Windows Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2 are approaching end-of-life, what should you do?

Windows Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2 are approaching end-of-life, what should you do?

Upgrading your personal computer with the latest Windows can come with some challenges and hesitancy due to changes that are made to every new consumer and business version of Windows for personal computers.

UI changes and increased specifications both come to the forefront for our customers when making these changes, but for servers that decision process feels even more fraught with danger.

On October 9th, 2023, Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 will be in their end-of-life. What this means is it will no longer be a primarily supported product by Microsoft, who understandably needs to focus their time and energy supporting more current products. What it means for customers still utilizing Windows Server 2012 (or 2012 R2) is that their servers may not receive crucial support updates that often prevent things like your server malfunctioning, software working as intended, or even security updates.

With just under a year to go that gives you time to consider your options when upgrading to a more current software, or if it makes sense to pay for extended support through Microsoft.

The Extended Security Updates (or ESU) program does not include any feature updates, the only updates your server will receive will be security updates only, and to expand on that further that will only be important or critical security updates.

This may mean your server is still vulnerable to intrusion although much less so than devices going unpatched. Often times a device ending support is a green light to hackers to begin working on breaching these older devices now that they’re less secure.

That problem is not unique to Microsoft either, even smaller devices such as routers or switches can fall under end-of-life and no longer receive critical security patches. Just look at the recent Cisco zero-day security announcement and their stance. They will not be patching the outdated routers to prevent security intrusion; the expectation is that customers that own those routers will need to upgrade to ensure their business is safe.

There are some factors to consider however when it comes to upgrading your Windows serve, see our chart below:

Five Considerations to Take When Replacing Your Windows Server

The chart assumes an ideal scenario of either performing the update on a newly purchased server or taking the server offline temporarily. Performing an in-place Windows Server update can be risky and is best left for the professionals to decide whether it’s possible in each unique scenario.

Purchasing a new server if your current server is too out of date to run the current version of Windows Server is tricky as well, there are more factors to consider with a machine that supports your entire business than with a device that’s only utilized by one or two employees.

It’s also important no matter which avenue you take that you’ve properly backed up the existing server, if something were to go wrong not having that backup could mean losing all of your data. Which in many cases, is a catastrophic event.

If we haven’t convinced you yet we’ll say it plainly, this is not a job that should be attempted by someone who’s just “computer savvy”. Upgrading your server requires an expert’s knowledge to execute in a timely manner and without losing your company data. Valley Techlogic can be that expert hand, learn more today with a free consultation.

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