The countdown has begun…
In October 2023, Windows Server 2012 R2 becomes end of life. So, what does this mean for your business, and should you be worried?
The first question is – Does your business still run servers within your office?
Over the past couple of years, a huge shift of businesses have pulled their old servers out of the offices and moved onto the cloud.
However, there are still a lot of businesses who still run physical servers in their offices. So the next question is, does that server run server 2012 R2? You can find this out by asking your IT provider or thinking about how long the server has been installed.
If it’s been installed longer than 4 years, it might. If it’s more like 5-6 years, it’s more likely to, and if it has been installed longer than 6 years, it could be running something even older.
What does this mean for you?
Microsoft supports operating systems for a certain length of time. They also bring out new operating systems and new versions. When they d this, they stop supporting the older ones.
When Microsoft stop supporting an operating system, it doesn’t mean your server will stop working or blow up or anything remotely dramatic. What actually happens is that they stop trying to keep it secure.
Microsoft has a team of security specialists who work on their operating systems. When these security specialists spot any issues, such as a security flaw, a fix for that problem is the issue. It will be rolled out, and those with the servers will download it.
This is a critical part of keeping your IT safe.
When Microsoft‘s support ends for server 2012 R2, it means no more security updates.
This is not good for your business as it will have a higher risk of becoming a victim of a cyber attack. You need to use the cyber security framework to be able to pass the certification.
Your business now has three options.
Option 1: The Cloud
Your business might have a server in the office that is only used to store files and folders. If that is the case, why not move them over to Microsoft SharePoint? it is a part of your Microsoft 365 package. Once you’ve done that, you can switch that server off and get it out of the way.
What if your business has a server that runs more than files and folders, such as applications? You can first speak to the software provider to check if they have a cloud version of this software that you can use instead. You can switch that server off and get it out of the office.
Option 2: A New Server
The first option is the ideal path. However, you might not be able to achieve this; maybe you still need a server in your office. If this is the case, the best option is to buy a new server. New servers cost a lot of money, which is one reason we’ve made this blog for you. It gives you 12 months to plan a new server installation and every 12 months to budget for a new server.
If this is the direction you need to take your business in, here are a few tips on getting a new server.
- Use Dell or HP servers. We find those to be the best for SMEs
- Don’t scrimp on hardware. This new server is an investment for the next 5 years, so make sure that the server and hardware are up to the job.
- Get a five-year manufacturer warranty. This means that if the server stops working in just a couple of years, a Dell or HP engineer will be able to come and fix it for you.
Option 3: Cloud Servers
Your business might have an application that needs to be installed on a server. So what happens when you want to avoid purchasing a server and maintaining one for the next five years? Instead, Install the server onto the cloud using something like Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing system.
This service would mean that you wouldn’t have any servers in your office; they’d be in the cloud. This has obvious benefits, particularly when we talk about physical security.
The cost model is the key difference between buying your own server. Buying your own server is a capital expenditure; you pay for it all in one go. Hosting a server in the cloud is an operational expenditure (OpEx), meaning you pay for it monthly. Most businesses prefer to pay for their services every month.
Another advantage is commitment. With the cloud server, it is easy to move on or off. After two years, you might realise that you don’t need that server anymore. You can switch it off with a cloud server and stop paying. Physical servers will still be sat with all that money wasted.
We recommend these three options for replacing your 2012 R2 server in October 2023. The key thing to remember is: Don’t do nothing.