Things are running smoothly in your IT department – your team are humming along, your technology stack is up-to-date, and you think utopia has arrived. Then you see the announcement. What do you mean Windows Server 2012 and 2012R is hurtling towards end-of-life status?

Panic sets in but we stick our heads in the sand and add it to the ‘too hard basket’. Deep down we know it’s coming and that it exposes us to all kinds of unknown vulnerabilities and ends pro-active support agreements How do we move it out of too hard basket into the can-do folder? We’re here to help. It’s time to face facts – It’s only 7 months until Windows Server 2012 and 2012r is considered end of life.

The actual date is 10 October 2023 and it’s knocking on all of our doors. And while it’s starting to bubble as a source of tension for IT teams, we’re pro-actively supporting our customers to seize the opportunity to mitigate risk and maximise opportunities by tackling modernisation projects that have been on the back burner for a while.

Choose opportunity over risk

The risks are known and plain to see. In the current climate, leaving systems and technologies exposed in any way, shape of form, is likely to bring vulnerabilities closer than ever. The likelihood of being targeted by a phishing, malware or ransomware campaign is unimaginable in this situation – and risk mitigation is taken firmly out of your control.

Migrations take planning, effort and resources, so if you haven’t already started planning and getting advice, it’s time to start. The migration situation is just around the corner, so we’re sharing some of our end-to-end experience and knowledge in supporting effective and efficient transitions in this set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):

Why do I need to migrate?

Windows Server 2012 / 2012R2 will reach the end of support on 10 October 2023. In effect, your organisation will receive no security updates, general updates, bug fixes or technical support after this time. It also means your infrastructure and all of your applications will be exposed to unnecessary levels of risk through cyber security breach and attack.

Can I migrate later?

This depends on your appetite for risk, however with cybersecurity high on the boardroom agenda, it simply doesn’t make commercial sense to knowingly expose your organisation.

Risk is always balanced by opportunity – in this case to seize the time to modernise your infrastructure and applications in a structured way. However, you do need to start planning at-pace.

What are the real risks?

Security breaches – your systems are no longer receiving updates and are unsupported (just what bad actors are waiting for). This leaves your networks and your organisation exposed to vulnerabilities through attack leading to loss of revenue, reputational damage, customer attrition, and so much more.

Compliance – most compliance agencies and insurers require a vendor supported environment. When networks and applications are no longer supported, you can expect your insurer to refuse to cover you, or significantly increase premiums.

Lack of support – picking up the phone to get immediate assistance will no longer be an option with the vendor, it will be a best effort approach by your service provider. Urgent requests will take time and investment – Is it worth the risk?

What are the options for migration?

Every customer is different, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Here are four options to consider:

  1. Defer migration as a short-term fix– run the risk of cyber-attack and data breach or consider Extended Security Updates licencing if it’s available.

  2. Build new and migrate – take the opportunity to modernise your infrastructure in one hit and benefit from the efficiencies and extended capability that come with that.
  3. Run an in-place upgrade – move to the latest version, while staying on the same physical hardware – the risks are high and unfortunately there is no rollback plan in this situation.
  4. Choose a hybrid upgrade – work with your technology partner to organise a phased and structured approach that delivers what you need in line with organisational drivers and demands.

Our final word here is that keeping organisations performing, productive and protected is what matters. So, it’s time to get on the front foot. We’re already helping to future proof our customer’s organisations by working on their migration strategies for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012R2.

If you’re ready to start planning yours, get in touch.