How Will Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 End of Life Impact Your Business

By 10 October 2023, Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 will no longer receive extended support, posing potential risks to your infrastructure and applications. It is essential to consider upgrading or migrating to a supported version to maintain security and reliability. 

To prevent security breaches and ensure you remain compliant with industry regulations, now is the optimal time to start planning your migration in order to mitigate these risks. This process will involve migrating your workloads to newer, supported versions, such as Windows Server 2022, or purchasing Extended Security Updates (ESUs). 

One of the primary concerns arising from the end of Windows Server 2012 support is that your business will lose compliance with PCI, GDPR, and other relevant regulatory agencies. With the cessation of support, your applications and infrastructure will no longer receive updates or vendor support, automatically rendering your business non-compliant.  

Once the support for Windows Server 12 ends, your organisation will lose the capability to receive support in case of a security threat. With no dependable vendor to offer assistance, your business will become vulnerable to potential security threats.  

By delaying the migration or upgrade from Windows Server 2012 until the last minute, you will be left without a secure solution in place by the time support ends. It is essential to plan to prevent security breaches and loss of reputation.  

Migrating to Microsoft Azure 

You have the option to migrate your applications and databases to various solutions in Azure, such as Azure VMware Solution, Azure Stack HCI, Virtual Machines, and Dedicated Host. By doing so, you become eligible to receive free ESUs for three years after October 10, 2023. Additionally, you can take advantage of the Azure Hybrid Benefit, which allows you to apply your existing Windows Server and SQL Server licenses. This provides a cost-effective and efficient way to maintain security, as well as compliance, while benefiting from the capabilities of Microsoft Azure’s cloud services. 

Remain on-premises and upgrade to Windows Server 2022 

If your business requires an on-premise solution, there are two options. Firstly, you can upgrade to Windows Server 2022, which will provide you with the latest security updates and features. Alternatively, you can purchase ESUs for Windows Server 2012 which will grant you three years of continued security updates. The ESUs are renewable on an annual basis until 13 October 2026.  

For seamless management and enhanced security, you can use Azure Arc, which allows Microsoft to automatically deploy the purchased ESUs on your on-premise infrastructure. Furthermore, Azure Arc enables the extension of Azure’s security and governance features to your on-premise environment, providing your firm with a comprehensive and integrated solution. 

What is the next step? 

Change can be overwhelming, and planning your migration strategy can be a complex task. However, the key is to understand the options you have, make an informed decision and pursue the right technology for your business.

Our cloud migration assessment offers a comprehensive evaluation of the technical and economic aspects involved in transitioning to Azure. This assessment provides you with a strategic roadmap and a detailed business case for migrating your on-premise infrastructure to Microsoft Azure.  

Additionally, as an established Azure Expert Managed Service Provider, we have access to Microsoft assessments and funding to help you on every step of your Azure journey.