On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer offer support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, meaning they will no longer release additional security patches and updates. If your business runs off Windows 2008 you have some serious choices to make.
- Do Nothing – For a lot of small businesses this is a serious consideration- one that causes people in my industry to lose sleep. I understand the thinking, “A server is a big investment. It has been running for years without any issue. None of these horror stories will happen to us.” I’ll be honest. The truth is, it’s a gamble. But we have history to look back on. Five years ago we went through this with the end of life for Windows 2003 Server. We had some clients that, for a variety of reasons, chose not to upgrade or replace their servers. Two small businesses are no longer in operation as their data was compromised by an encryption virus. Three other businesses suffered significant downtime due to hardware failure of their old, dying servers. Then, adding insult to injury, they were hit with a pretty hefty service and hardware bill to get them back up and running. The others eventually replaced their servers. You have poured your heart and soul into your business… is this something you want to roll the dice on?
- Buy a new server – This can be a no-brainer for some companies. If you run client-server type applications or have a complex infrastructure that would be a nightmare to migrate to the cloud, then purchasing a new server might make sense. Odds are your current server hardware is over 5 years old and you will see an immediate improvement in performance. Plus Windows Server 2016’s support will run through 2027, thus kicking the can down the road.
- Migrating to the cloud – Oh the cloud, such a magical word. Actually vague, the cloud can mean so many things. The cloud is basically anything on a computer or server that is not local to you. The cloud has always been there. Your website for instance, has most likely always been in ‘the cloud’. Migrating your server to the cloud could happen in a few different ways. You could take an exact copy of your server, virtualize it and host it with Microsoft in their Azure environment. Or, let’s say you run Quickbooks on your server, you could migrate to Quickbooks Online. Perhaps you have a SQL database on your server, you could host that in the cloud. However, for most small businesses, you are just using your server for file sharing. The good news is, you might not even need a server anymore. Especially if you have Microsoft Office 365, you can utilize Microsoft Teams and transform the way your company communicates.
In the end this is a business decision, just like the hundreds of others one that you have to ponder throughout the year. The Miller Group is always here to assist you with any questions.