It’s an announcement that has long been on the horizon. While Microsoft gave everyone plenty of warning that SQL Server 2008 will reach end of support from Microsoft in July 2019, that hardly makes the critical next steps any easier to figure out.

As soon as the announcement was made, businesses began scrambling to find a solution. If you happen to be using SQL 2008 right now, it’s time to find an alternative. But what will that alternative be?



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Why do people use SQL Servers?

There are countless uses for SQL Servers at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Most of the time, an SQL Server is the back-end database for Line of Business systems. Obviously, keeping these systems up-and-running is critical to the business’ success.

Why do businesses need to take action?

As SQL 2008 continues its final months of support, Microsoft is urging businesses to upgrade their systems to a modern solution that will continue to be supported by the company’s tech department.

While SQL 2008 may continue to function normally following the end of support date, businesses need to realize that failing to upgrade will have a direct negative impact on the company.

When support ends in July 2019, so will security patches. This puts the SQL servers (and respective businesses) at a much greater risk of being attacked. Without security patches, the system is basically unprotected with the risk of many gaps that a hacker can exploit.

With that in mind, many businesses will face compliance issues when it comes to data protection and privacy laws that many industries have to abide by. In short, continuing to run core business operations on the basis of unsupported software can lead to significant consequences.

On the other end, there are also many benefits of switching that a company will get to reap. For instance, updating to a supported solution means a modern system with new features, capabilities, and improved performance. Innovating is obviously a big part of being a successful business, which is why companies should see this as a positive opportunity to change.

What’s the solution?

While you may be dreading this change for fear of a big headache, the solution is actually quite simple.

There’s three routes you can take; you can upgrade the SQL version you are running and keep it on-premise, pay for extended support or lift and shift your servers to a VM in Azure and get free extended support.

Re-platforming your current systems to Azure will give you all of the flexibility and agility you need, in addition to a future roadmap that provides you with plenty of options, like the ability to upgrade to a supported version of SQL (ideally, you’ll choose 2017, but you can pick any version from 2012 onwards).

If you migrate to the Azure Virtual Machines platform, you’ll also receive 3 free years of extended support for SQL 2008, and that buys you extra time as you make the upgrade to the SQL of your choosing.

You can purchase the Extended Security Updates for 75% of the price of the full annual license cost. Since you’ll only pay for the servers you need covered, you’ll be able to reduce your costs every year as you upgrade different parts of the environment.

Here’s a look at the steps that must be taken to handle the migration:

  • Assess: The first step is identifying and taking inventory of your apps and various server roles that are currently running on SQL 2008. Your workloads will be analyzed, and the best path will be determined for your business (migrate to Azure vs. upgrading on-premises).
  • Migrate: The next step is to migrate your SQL server to Azure before the end-of-support period.
  • Optimize: Once migrated, bring in the professionals to manage workloads, strengthen security, and fine-tune your resources while ensuring security compliance across the board.

It’s really that simple, and the process is made even easier when you have a team of experienced professionals working with you to get the job done.

What’s The Service-Level Agreement (SLA)?

Microsoft guarantees that you’ll have connectivity to your Azure workloads at least 99.99% of the time, regardless of the tier or plan you choose. This guarantee should evoke a great sense of confidence in any business who is hesitant to migrate out of fear of connection issues.

What’s the Hybrid Benefit?

Using your existing licenses, you can save up to 55% thanks to the Azure Hybrid Benefit! The Hybrid Benefit is offered to businesses to help them maximize the value of their current investments in licensing. It also accelerates the migration process as they move to the cloud.

With this, you’ll be able to use your business’ pre-existing SQL Server licenses with Software Assurance to reduce your rate. Confused? We can help you figure out if your business qualifies.

How much will Azure cost my business?

Cloud management is the way of the future but figuring out the variable pricing can be frightening to any business, especially one on a tight budget. Fortunately, Microsoft has a handy calculator to help your business determine just how much using Azure will cost you.

Try this calculator out for yourself to gain a better understanding of how this will impact your business’ future IT budget. This calculator allows you to compare costs both with and without a hybrid benefit.

Realize that the default numbers are geared toward large enterprises, so the numbers you initially see when the page loads are likely to be significantly higher than the ones your SMB will ultimately pay.

Moving to Azure

Getting your servers over to Azure is simple with the right professionals on your side. We can help you:

  • Rehost your SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 with little to no changes required to your application code by migrating to the Azure SQL Database Managed Instance.
  • Move your servers to the Azure Virtual Machines where you’ll get three years of Extended Security Updates at no additional cost. You’ll be able to upgrade to a new version whenever your business is ready.

If you need assistance with your company’s migration, reach out to Compete 366 here.

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Published On: October 3rd, 2018 / Categories: M365 /

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“Working with Compete366 has been like extending our own team – they are extremely and easy to work with. Right from the outset, it was clear what was on offer – everything was presented to us in a straightforward and uncomplicated way. They also provided just the right level of challenge to our developers and saved us time and money by suggesting better ways to implement our infrastructure.”

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“Compete366 were able to help us leverage some useful contacts in Microsoft. We really value the expert advice and guidance that they have offered us in setting up a highly scalable infrastructure. We are also setting in place a regular monthly meeting which will allow us to further refine our architecture and ensure we keep on track as our requirements grow and change.”

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