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Server 2008 / Windows 7 – ‘End of Life’


2019 is well underway and if you haven’t already, then now is the perfect time to take stock of your business’s IT infrastructure.

Microsoft ended mainstream support for both Server 2008 and Windows 7 back in 2015, meaning that they no longer provide non-critical updates for these Operating Systems and the ‘Extended Support’ period which provides critical security updates and bug fixes comes to an end on January 14, 2020.  This means that in less than 12 months time (at the time of writing) Microsoft will no longer provide critical security updates for these operating systems, leaving them vulnerable to unquantifiable risk.

Looking back at the various hacks, leaks, and breaches over the last couple of years, being at risk is something that businesses can ill afford.  Ransomware attacks in particular have skyrocketed over the last couple of years.  Wannacry struck in May 2017, followed by Petya, then NotPetya (a variant on Petya), then others, shutting down hospitals, banks, logistics companies and many other organisations that were running unsupported operating systems on their PCs.  Ransomware alone has cost businesses and governments tens of billions of pounds in the last 24 months.

What do you need to do about Server 2008?

The first order of business is to upgrade to a new operating system.  In many cases this may require an upgrade to existing hardware, especially where servers are concerned and you may wish to consider an infrastructure update to take advantage of recent virtualisation features which are included in more modern operating systems.  Virtualising servers in particular can provide many benefits, especially regarding backups, providing much more robust disaster recovery features and business continuity capabilities.

An infrastructure update is no small task, so starting as soon as possible is of the utmost importance to make sure proper planning and execution takes place.  January 14, 2020 is under one year away and there may be a lot of planning that needs to take place before doing an infrastructure update properly.

If you are considering waiting until the last minute to upgrade we highly recommend having at least 3 months of leeway between your projected finish date and January 14, 2020.

Small Business Server 2011

Many small businesses took advantage of Microsoft Small Business Server 2011 (SBS2011) which included Microsoft Exchange 2010 email server software bundled in with the operating system.  Although the name suggests that it is a slightly newer operating system, it is still based on Server 2008 R2 technology which is unsupported after January 14 2020.  There is no direct replacement for SBS2011, which means that businesses currently using it will also need to consider a change to their email system.  Usually this will be a choice between migrating to Exchange Online which is hosted in the cloud or a dedicated ‘on-premise’ Exchange Server.  As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Integrity IT have migrated thousands of mailboxes from SBS2011 to Exchange Online and are well placed to advise you on the best course of action.

What about my PCs?

For most people, moving to a new device with Windows 10 will be the recommended path. Todays PCs are faster, lightweight, yet more powerful and more secure than they were even just 4 years ago, yet alone 9.  Solid State Drives (SSD’s) have increased in capacity while decreasing in price and have been standard on all PC’s that Integrity IT have provided since 2017.  But upgrading to Windows 10 may still require a certain amount of planning, if you have any software which is critical to your business, you will need to check that it is compatible with Windows 10 first.  If not, you will need to upgrade your software before moving to Windows 10 and if the company who wrote it no longer exist an alternative will need to be found and tested well in advance.

Help is at hand

Integrity IT have performed hundreds of server migrations over recent years and as a Microsoft Gold Partner we’re ideally equipped to advise you on the best way to upgrade to the latest Operating Systems and how to best take advantage of the latest technologies in order to maximise your Return on Investment.

Fill in our Contact Us form or phone 01228 594682 to arrange a free consultation.

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