Extended Security Updates frequently asked questions

Find answers to commonly asked questions about end of support for SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2.

Download the Extended Security Updates datasheet

General questions

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  • End of Support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 is July 9, 2019.
  • End of Support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 is January 14, 2020.

  • Microsoft Lifecycle Policy offers 10 years of support (5 years for Mainstream Support and 5 years for Extended Support) for Business and Developer products (such as SQL Server and Windows Server).

  • As per the policy, after the end of the Extended Support period there will be no patches or security updates, which may cause security and compliance issues and expose customers’ applications and business to serious security risks. Learn more at Microsoft Lifecycle Policy page.

  • We recommend upgrading to the latest versions of our software, on-premises or in the Cloud (IaaS and PaaS), to help reduce security risks and continue to get regular security updates. However, for customers that are not able to transition before the End of Support deadline, we are announcing offers to help protect data and applications during the End of Support transition.

    Extended Security Updates in Azure: Customers who migrate workloads to Azure virtual machines will have access to Extended Security Updates for both SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 for three years after the End of Support deadlines, included at no additional charge over the standard VM pricing.

    Eligible customers can also use the Azure Hybrid Benefit to leverage existing on-premises licence investments for Windows Server and SQL Server to save on Azure Virtual Machines (IaaS) or Azure SQL Database Managed Instance (PaaS).

    Extended Security Updates for on-premises environments: Extended Security Updates will also be available for workloads running on-premises or in a hosting environment. Customers running Windows Server or SQL Server under licences with active Software Assurance or Subscription licences under an Enterprise Agreement enrollment are eligible to purchase Extended Security Updates annually for three years after End of Support. Customers can purchase Extended Security Updates for only the servers they need to cover. This offer replaces Premium Assurance.

  • In Azure: Customers can begin migrating workloads to Azure virtual machines immediately and apply regular security updates until the End of Support deadline, at which time Extended Security Updates will become available, ensuring continuous coverage.

    On-premises or hosted environments: Extended Security Updates will be available for purchase as we approach the end-of-support deadline (specific dates to be announced later). The delivery of Extended Security Updates will begin immediately after the End of Support deadline.

    For SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2: Extended Security Updates include provision of Security Updates and Bulletins rated "critical" for a maximum of three years after July 9, 2019.

    For Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2: Extended Security Updates include provision of Security Updates and Bulletins rated “critical” and “important,” for a maximum of three years after January 14, 2020.

    This offer does not include technical support, but you may use other Microsoft support plans to get assistance on your 2008 and 2008 R2 questions on workloads covered by Extended Security Updates.

    This offer does not include new features, customer-requested non-security hotfixes, or design change requests. However, Microsoft may include non-security fixes as we deem necessary.

    There is no retroactive effect for any update that the engineering teams declined in the past.

  • The Datacenter, Enterprise and Standard editions are eligible for Extended Security Updates.

  • There is no deadline for migration of the Windows Server or SQL Server 2008 workloads to Azure. However, we recommend customers complete migration before the End of Support deadline (July 9, 2019 for SQL Server and January 14, 2020 for Windows Server) so that they do not miss any security updates.

    In Azure: Customers running Windows Server or SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 in an Azure will get Extended Security Updates for no additional charges above standard VM rates. Customers moving to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance (PaaS) do not need Extended Security Updates, as this is a fully-managed solution.

    On-premises: Customers with active Software Assurance or subscription licences can purchase Extended Security Updates for 75% of the full licence cost annually. Customers pay for only the servers they need to cover, so they can reduce costs each year as they upgrade parts of their environment. Contact your Microsoft partner or account team for more details.

    Hosted environments: Customers may purchase Extended Security Updates for 75% of the full on-premises licence cost annually and use them in a hosted environment. Contact your Microsoft partner or account team for more details.

  • No. We recommend upgrading to the most current versions, but customers could upgrade to 2008 or 2008 R2 versions to take advantage of this offer.

  • Software Assurance is required for customers to purchase Extended Security Updates on-premises. On Azure, customers do not need Software Assurance to get free Extended Security Updates, but Software Assurance is required to take advantage of the Azure Hybrid Benefit.

  • No, but customers can use an active support contract such as Software Assurance or Premier Support on the relevant on-premises product(s) to get technical support if they choose to stay on-premises. Alternatively, if hosting on Azure, customers can use a relevant Azure Support plan to get technical support.

  • When customers have a support plan:

  • Scenario: Support Engineer will open a support ticket
  • Response: Yes

  • Scenario: Support Team will work to solve customer issue
  • Response: Yes

  • Scenario: Support Team will do a root cause analysis
  • Response: No

  • Scenario: Support Team will file a bug
  • Response: No

  • If an investigation determines that resolution requires product enhancement available in a recent release, then a request will be made to the customer to upgrade to a more recent release where the capability is already available.

Extended Security Updates on-premises

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  • Windows Server or SQL Server licences with active Software Assurance or subscription licences qualify customers to purchase Extended Security Updates for servers on-premises.

  • No. Customers can choose to cover as few or as many servers as they need with Extended Security Updates.

  • Yes, Extended Security Updates replaces the Premium Assurance offer, but we will honor the terms of Premium Assurance for customers who already purchased it.

Extended Security Updates on Azure and cloud/hosting environments

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  • Extended Security Updates for Windows Server and SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will be offered on Azure IaaS at no additional charge above the standard pricing for Azure Virtual Machines. For customers that migrate workloads to Azure Virtual Machines, we will offer Security Updates and Bulletins rated "Critical" and "Important" for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, and those rated "Critical" for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2. For both Windows Server and SQL Server, the method of delivery will be announced closer to the end of support deadline.

  • For SQL Server, we recommend customers consider migration to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance as the best destination for their 2008 environments. Azure SQL Database Managed Instance is a new service in Azure providing near 100% compatibility with SQL Server on-premises. Managed Instance provides built-in high availability/disaster recovery (HA/DR) capabilities plus intelligent performance features and the ability to scale on the fly. Managed Instance also provides a version-less experience that takes away the need for manual security patching and upgrades.

  • Yes, migration to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance is a great option for customers on SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2. Azure SQL Database Managed Instance is an instance-scoped deployment option in SQL Database that provides the broadest SQL Server engine compatibility and native virtual network (VNET) support, so you can migrate SQL Server databases to Managed Instance without changing apps. It combines the rich SQL Server surface area with the operational and financial benefits of an intelligent, fully-managed service. Leverage the new Azure Database Migration Service to move SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance with few or no application code changes.

  • Yes, customers with active Software Assurance can leverage the Azure Hybrid Benefit:

    SQL Server: Customers can leverage existing on-premises licence investments for discounted pricing on SQL Server running on Azure SQL Database and Azure Virtual Machines.

    Windows Server: Customers can leverage existing on-premises licence investments to save on Azure Virtual Machines.

    Customers choosing to move to Azure IaaS can combine Azure Hybrid Benefit savings for SQL Server and Windows Server for increased cost savings.

  • Yes, customers can migrate SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 to virtual machines running on Azure Stack and receive free Extended Security Updates after the End of Support deadline.

  • Customers can move legacy SQL Server environments to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance, a fully-managed data platform (PaaS) that offers a "version-free" option to eliminate concerns with end of support dates, or to Azure Virtual Machines to have access to Security Updates. Extended Security Updates will be available for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 in Azure Virtual Machines after the end of support deadline in July, 2019.

  • Azure does not currently support shared storage clustering. For advice on how to configure a highly available SQL Server instance on Azure, refer to this guide on SQL Server High Availability

  • For advice on how to optimise SQL Server performance on Azure Virtual Machines, refer to this guide on SQL Server performance.

  • For Windows Server, when paying the hoster for the underlying Windows Server licence, customers can purchase Extended Security Updates from Microsoft for use on their hosted instances. Pricing is based on Windows Server Standard per core pricing, at a minimum of 16 cores per instance.

  • For SQL Server, customers with Licence Mobility through Software Assurance may also purchase Extended Security Updates from Microsoft to use in virtual machines properly licenced to run in an authorised Licence Mobility partner’s data centre. See the Microsoft Licencing site for availability and use rights for the End of Support Offering.

  • The Extended Security Updates offer does not include technical support. Customers can use existing support agreements for questions. When paying the hoster for the underlying Windows and SQL Server licence, per Microsoft Hosting contracts, all technical support must be provided via the Hoster. For more information, contact your Microsoft partner or account team.

  • Customers cannot use Extended Security Updates if they move their SQL Server 2008 environment to a PaaS implementation on other cloud offerings.

  • If customers are looking to move to IaaS, they can leverage Licence Mobility for SQL Server via Software Assurance to make the move, and purchase Extended Security Updates from Microsoft to manually apply patches to the SQL Server 2008/2008 R2 instances running in a VM (IaaS) at another cloud provider. However, free Extended Security Updates and the Azure Hybrid Benefit are only available on Azure.

Product and implementation questions

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  • Security updates will be delivered using the standard technology in market at the time and will be announced closer to the End of Support deadline.

  • Customers may use their preferred tools for software and hardware inventory. Find links to inventory tools from Microsoft and our partners on the Azure migration assessment site.

  • Customers can migrate workloads from a VMware-based virtual machine on-premises to an Azure virtual machine using Azure Site Recovery for full cloud benefits. Another option is the new VMware on Azure solution, for a dedicated hosting experience.

  • Apps running with or on SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 can generally be rehosted to Azure with no application code change. Customers that are ready to upgrade to a newer version, either in Azure or on-premises, can review the Windows Server Catalog as well as consult with their software vendor for the matrix of Windows Server and SQL Server version support. It is recommended that customers run an environment assessment to identify potential feature parity gaps. For further questions, work with your Microsoft partner or your Account team to evaluate application readiness.

  • You can find links to upgrade guidance at our End of Support Resource Center or in our Windows Server upgrade documentation.

  • You can find links to upgrade guidance at our End of Support Resource Center or in the Database Migration Guide.

  • We recommend using an in-market supported version of System Center. For Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, the following System Center versions are supported:

  • Product: SCOM
  • System Center 2012/R2: Yes
  • System Center 2016: Yes
  • Semi-annual Channel version 1801: Yes

  • Product: VMM (WS2008/R2 as Host)
  • System Center 2012/R2: Yes
  • System Center 2016: No
  • Semi-annual Channel version 1801: No

  • Product: VMM (WS2008/R2 as Guest)
  • System Center 2012/R2: Yes
  • System Center 2016: Yes
  • Semi-annual Channel version 1801: Yes

  • Product: Orchestrator*
  • System Center 2012/R2: No
  • System Center 2016: No
  • Semi-annual Channel version 1801: No

  • Product: Service Manager**
  • System Center 2012/R2: No
  • System Center 2016: No
  • Semi-annual Channel version 1801: No

  • Product: DPM
  • System Center 2012/R2: Yes
  • System Center 2016: Yes
  • Semi-annual Channel version 1801: Yes

  • *For Orchestrator, the response in table indicates the components of Orchestrator running on Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2. The automation tasks in an Orchestrator runbook can run against a Windows Server 2008 Server.

  • **For Service Manager, the response in table indicates the components of Service Manager running on Windows Server 2008 R2

  • Component: SCOM
  • System Center 2012/R2: Yes
  • System Center 2016: Yes
  • Semi-annual Channel version 1801: Yes

  • Component: DPM
  • System Center 2012/R2: Yes
  • System Center 2016: Yes
  • Semi-annual Channel version 1801: Yes

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