Is your business ready to move on from Windows Server 2012?
The end of support deadline for Windows Server 2012 is looming. This blog tells you everything you need to know about the withdrawal of support, so you can anticipate, manage and plan-ahead for a seamless transition.
What’s happening and when?
After 10th October 2023, Windows Server 2012 will stop receiving regular patches and any further critical security updates from Microsoft. That’s now less than 12 months away.
For over a decade, businesses have relied on Windows Server 2012 to support their IT operations.
Back in 2012 when first released, it gave businesses access to a range of new, enhanced features and a higher degree of functionality – it was next generation technology!
With software advancements and the launch of various successors, including the latest Windows Server 2022, featuring multi-layered security features, Azure hybrid capabilities and a new application platform, Microsoft has taken the difficult decision to withdraw regular support for the 2012 version, believing them to be old technology.
Where does this leave your business?
Whether you’re an SME that has relied on regular Microsoft updates and fixes, with limited in-house expertise, or a bigger business with its own IT staff and/or supported infrastructure, the withdrawal of support means that you need to make changes – that’s an opportunity to re-think how to best organise, plan and protect your IT investment.
You need to be making decisions now to avoid any future IT vulnerability
Businesses should now be anticipating the changes and putting in place IT plans to safeguard their IT integrity.
The upgrade process often takes upwards of a year, so this is the right time to be considering how to best manage your arrangements if you are to enjoy a seamless transition from old to new.
What are my three main options?
There are, of course, many different options that you might consider.
We think there are three main considerations:
1. Upgrade your server
Just upgrade your server and necessary hardware within your existing set-up.
Microsoft recommends the latest upgradable version for Windows Server 2012, is Windows Server 2019, but you could also consider their latest operating system, Windows Server 2022.
2. Migrate to the Microsoft Azure Cloud
You might see this as an opportunity to migrate your servers to Azure. This means you can easily manage applications across multiple clouds, choose which tools and framework best fits your business, etc. This could cover everything including DevOps, to business analytics and the internet.
Microsoft’s trusted Azure cloud platform comprises more than 200 products and services that you can mix and match to bring new solutions to life.
This option is scalable, supported and secures greater efficiencies.
3. Seize the opportunity to upgrade/re-think your technology landscape
Hit the ground running and go for a complete overhaul of your servers, applications, hardware and/or cloud services, along with who supports it.
With technology advances moving rapidly, you must have access to a fast, dependable and secure system if you are to keep up with the constant updates and opportunities that the IT world has to offer.
Perhaps now is the time for an overhaul of your IT set-up?
This might provide the impetus for you accomplishing even greater things as a business?
What isn’t an option is to do nothing at all
According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey (2022), produced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, over the past 12 months, 39% of UK businesses identified a cyber-attack. The real risk and cost of doing nothing leads to many negative and costly impacts.
Don’t forget too that hackers will know the 10th October 2023 deadline and be ready to exploit business weaknesses.
Extended Security Updates (ESUs)
Another (unpreferred) option for customers who need to run certain older Microsoft products after the support expires, are ESU updates. These include critical and/or essential security updates for three years after the end date of extended support for the product.
This is not an ideal solution as comprehensive security updates are only distributed when available. ESUs do not include new features or security-related updates which does put your infrastructure at risk.
ESU are free of charge, only with Azure, but can be purchased for on-site deployments.
Don’t overlook the importance of your servers and IT infrastructure
As you will know, your IT infrastructure drives your business functions and applications. It’s crucial to your ongoing performance, efficiency and future success.
Security breaches, technical malfunctions and other blips can quickly disable your staff, managers and any ability to access your IT systems and customers.
Whether you’re a start-up or an SME, you should always work towards building and maintaining a robust, sophisticated and fully supported IT infrastructure that gives you reliable security, strong speeds and connectivity.
If your staff can access the applications that they need, they will be in a better position to deliver a more satisfying user experience for your prospects and customers.
Ultimately if your IT systems aren’t doing their job, you and your staff can’t do theirs either!
Work with an experienced IT solutions provider that knows their stuff
A server upgrade isn’t as easy as just dropping in more RAM, it will require extensive research, planning and delivery.
With different options on the table, it’s important to consider the pros and cons for your business.
The best way of exploring which option is best for you, in line with your budget, expectations and present/future requirements, is to chat through ideas and solutions with an experienced IT solutions business.
These days, most small (58%), medium (55%), and large businesses (60%) outsource their IT and cyber security protection to an external supplier.
Most of these businesses claim that they do this because it gives them greater and more immediate access to expertise, resources, and standards for cyber security.
Get expert IT support during the server transition period with Dufeu IT Solutions, Northampton
Whether you’re one of our existing customers considering what you do next, or just reading this and starting to think about a server upgrade, Dufeu IT Solutions can step with advice, provide managed onsite and remote IT support packages, provide backup and disaster recovery, cyber security protection, right through to VoIP telephony systems.
“The pending withdrawal of support for Windows Server 2012 needn’t present itself as a threat, it could also be seen as an opportunity to strengthen and reinforce your IT environment.” said Greg at Dufeu.
What Windows Server 2012 users should be focusing on, preferably before the end of the year, is which pathway they want to go down.
If you’re not sure what to do and when about the imminent loss of Microsoft support, or just want to chat about what’s possible with your existing IT set-up, we should talk.