Microsoft SQL Server is quickly approaching End Of Life. While most customers would prefer to upgrade to the latest release, that’s not always possible. Some customers, especially in large enterprises and government, simply need more time to clean up old code in order to address deprecated features. Others maybe plan to refactor the application completely. Either way, having a few more years to transition would help several user bases. Microsoft heard these concerns and and offered a lifeline. Customers who migrate SQL Servers to Azure cloud will get an additional three years of patches for free. While at Dell Technologies World, I discovered this offer also extends to the on-premises Azure Stack.
Azure Stack is an on-premises solution that allows customers to use Azure resources locally. Azure Stack configurations ship from multiple vendors. There are even Azure Stack configurations like the “Tactical Azure Stack by Dell” designed for extreme environments. This can be useful for customers who have compliance or regulatory needs that do not allow them to use public cloud. Moreover, there are still some customers who, for whatever reason, feel uncomfortable putting workloads in the cloud. That doesn’t mean that they don’t want the benefits of cloud. Azure Stack is an opportunity to have cloud capabilities in a local datacenter.
Microsoft offering free patches for EOL software to customers who move to Azure is an interesting development. In a lot of ways, this makes sense. The fact that Azure and Azure Stack are highly engineered closed systems allows Microsoft to protect the system.
Adoption of Azure Stack stack grants customers who have not, or cannot move to public cloud a reprieve for another few years. This is especially beneficial to the largest enterprise and government customers who often have multiple databases spread throughout the organization making it difficult to quickly upgrade or migrate all instances.
Announcing new options for SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 End of Support - https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/announcing-new-options-for-sql-server-2008-and-windows-server-2008-end-of-support/
New Extended Security Updates Program Can Add Three Years of Support to SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 Products - https://redmondmag.com/articles/2018/07/12/extended-security-updates-for-2008-windows-servers.aspx