SQL Server End of Life: Navigating Your Next Steps

Discover the essential next steps for navigating SQL Server end-of-life transition. Learn how to keep your database environment secure.

Table of Content

    SQL Server End of Life: The Inevitable End of an Era Coming July 9, 2024 

    Microsoft’s SQL Server 2014, a cornerstone for many database management systems, is approaching its end of life on July 9, 2024. This pivotal moment marks the end of extended support for this version, signaling a crucial juncture for organizations relying on this technology. Understanding SQL Server 2014’s lifecycle and planning for what comes next is essential for partners.  

    Understanding SQL Server Lifecycle: Mainstream and Extended Support 

    SQL Server, like many Microsoft products, follows a lifecycle policy that includes a minimum of 10 years of support. This period is divided into two phases: 

    • Mainstream Support (5 years): Includes updates related to functionality, performance, scalability, and security. 
    • Extended Support (5 years): Focuses solely on security updates. 

    When a product reaches the end of its lifecycle, it no longer receives servicing or support, a phase often referred to as end of life. 

    Navigating Post SQL 2014 Options: Migration and Upgrade Pathways

    Graph showing pathways to azure or SQL

    As SQL Server 2014 reaches its end of life, partners should be aware of several paths to help support clients: 

    • Migrate to Azure SQL: Leveraging cloud capabilities, Azure SQL offers a serverless system, ensuring scalability and modern security features. Never deal with “end of support” again.  
    • Migrate to Azure Virtual Machine: This option provides free Extended Security Updates and a familiar environment for your SQL Server workload. 
    • Upgrade to SQL Server 2022: An upgrade to the latest version extends mainstream support until January 11, 2028, followed by extended support. However, it’s crucial to note the finite nature of this solution. 

    Extended Security Updates: How to Help Clients Stay Protected 

    The availability of Extended Security Updates depends on the SQL Server’s hosting environment: 

    • Azure Virtual Machines: ESUs are free and enabled by default. 
    • On-premises or Hosted Environment (Azure-connected): Free ESUs are available on Azure Stack HCI, Azure Stack Hub, or via Azure Arc. 
    • On-premises/Hosted Environment (Not Azure-connected): Purchase ESUs through the Volume Licensing Service Center and manually register your SQL Server instances on the Azure portal. 

    The Criticality of Timely Planning 

    Delaying the transition from SQL Server 2014 can lead to increased risks and costs. A well-planned and executed migration or upgrade is vital for minimizing downtime and ensuring continuous, secure operations. Microsoft urges partners to help their clients to begin planning their upgrade to avoid potential crises. 

    What’s Next? 

    As SQL Server 2014 reaches its end of life, it’s more than just a technological shift; it’s a strategic opportunity to redefine how your organization handles data. The path ahead, whether it involves migrating to Azure, upgrading to SQL Server 2022, or securing extended support, requires careful planning and execution. In these times of change, having a trusted partner to guide you through the process is invaluable. 

    Stratos Cloud Alliance stands at the forefront of this technology. Our expertise in SQL Server technologies and deep understanding of Azure’s offerings positions us uniquely to assist your organization in navigating these changes. Whether your clients are considering a move to a serverless system, exploring the benefits of Azure ARC ESUs, or planning an upgrade to SQL Server 2022, our team is equipped to ensure a seamless transition. 

    Don’t let the complexity of these decisions slow down progress. Contact Stratos Cloud Alliance today to discuss how we can tailor a solution that aligns with business objectives, ensuring data management systems are not only up to date but also optimized for future growth and innovation. Let us help you turn this mandatory transition into an opportunity for advancement. 

    Contact Stratos Cloud Alliance for expert assistance in navigating the SQL Server transition.