Est. 1977
Windows Server 2012 R2 End of Life

Time flies, doesn’t it? It seems like just yesterday when Microsoft unveiled Windows Server 2012/R2. Yet, after a remarkable decade-long journey, Microsoft has officially declared that the sun is setting on this operating system come October 10th, 2023. But, let’s dive into the details. As with any software, Microsoft eventually bids adieu to older versions of Windows Server. This translates to the end of security updates and technical support for Windows Server 2012/R2 after the aforementioned date.

Transitioning smoothly is the name of the game, and that brings us to the topic of Operating System (OS) lifecycle management. We get it; you’ve got a mountain of tasks to conquer and high-priority projects vying for your attention. However, making a head start on this one could save you from the frantic rush when the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) comes knocking, trying to dodge cyber news headlines.

Operating System (OS) lifecycle management encompasses the planning, deployment, maintenance, and retirement of an OS. With Windows Server 2012/R2 nearing its End of Life (EOL), time’s of the essence. Starting early is vital to ensure a seamless transition to a newer, supported OS version and sidestep potential security or compliance conundrums. As your subject matter expert, I’m here to underscore the significance of early planning and lay out the pros and cons.

Why Jump the Gun? The Perks of Early Planning

  1. Security Boost: As an OS approaches EOL, security vulnerabilities spike in frequency and severity. Hackers know that patches are no longer forthcoming, making the system a prime target. Early planning lets you take the reins of security, warding off risks and keeping your system watertight. Prioritizing security pre-EOL is key to dodging security breaches.
  2. Compliance Champion: Your organization’s compliance standards might dictate the use of supported software versions. An early OS upgrade strategy aids in meeting regulatory obligations head-on.
  3. Budget Brilliance: Forewarned is forearmed, they say. Early planning helps your organization pencil in the budget for OS upgrades. Estimating the costs—hardware, software, and more—allows for precise budgeting.
  4. Business Uninterrupted: Early planning cushions your organization against downtime during the migration process. With careful planning, downtime is minimized, ensuring a hiccup-free transition.

Balancing Act: Pros and Cons of Being an Early Bird

Pros:

  1. Risk Trimmed: Early planning whittles down the risks tied to migrating to a new OS. Identifying issues and nipping them in the bud is a hallmark of this approach.
  2. Security Stepped Up: Early planning tackles security vulnerabilities before they go critical. Overall system security gets a substantial boost.
  3. Resource Savvy: Early planning optimizes resource allocation, trimming costs and enhancing overall IT efficiency.

Cons:

  1. Time Investment: Early planning demands time, especially when you’re dissecting various migration paths, testing scenarios, and prepping the infrastructure.
  2. Budget Stretch: Getting an early start might call for more resources—staff, tools, hardware—adding to costs.

In a Nutshell: Vendor Timelines, EOL, and Early Planning

In a nutshell, your organization’s OS lifecycle management ought to factor in the vendor’s reference and EOL timelines. Getting ahead of the curve is non-negotiable to ensure a silky transition to a modern OS. The rewards? Diminished risks, elevated security and compliance, resource optimization—without compromising business continuity. Microsoft’s ESU (Extended Security Updates) could be on your radar.

What’s the Deal with ESU?

I know what you’re thinking: “Extended Security Updates, anyone?” There are scenarios where legacy applications or compatibility needs shackle your organization to older Windows Server versions. Enter Microsoft’s ESU for Windows Server 2012/R2, serving up an extra layer of security post-EOL. Computer Solutions has your back, ready to assist in plotting your ESU journey:

  1. Azure Migration: Transfer your workloads to Windows Server and SQL Server Azure Virtual Machines. Azure offers three years of free Extended Security Updates for Windows Server 2012/R2 and SQL Server 2012—exclusive to Azure.
  2. ESUs Purchase: Computer Solutions can host upgraded servers at our data center for less than half the price of an equivalent Azure hosted server. All versions of 2016, 2019 and 2022 Microsoft servers are supported.

Remember, ESU isn’t the silver bullet but a stopgap. It buys you time to strategize and leap to a modern, fully supported OS. And hey, that EOL deadline doesn’t have to haunt you; ESU grants access to critical security updates for three years post-EOL.

ESU Not Your Cup of Tea? Computer Solutions to the Rescue!

Computer Solutions offers avenues for modernizing your workloads without ESU:

  1. New Servers: Craft fresh Windows 2019/2022 Servers and migrate your applications.
  2. Upgrade Dance: Upgrade Windows 2012/R2 to Windows 2016 and 2019. Computer Solutions can host upgraded servers at our data center for less than half the price of an equivalent Azure hosted server. All versions of 2016, 2019 and 2022 Microsoft servers are supported.

Stay ahead of the curve, embrace the transition, and let Computer Solutions be your guide!

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