The end date for Extended Support for Microsoft SQL Server 2012 is little more than 12 months away – 12th of July 2022. Organisations need to review the extent of their deployed on-prem or IAAS SQL Server 2012 instances to ensure upgrade paths or contingencies are planned.
Overview of SQL Server Product Lifecycle
Microsoft supports SQL Server versions for 10 years, the first 5 years being Mainstream Support in which time Microsoft provides security and bug fixes as well as minor feature enhancements. The latter 5 years are Extended Support where only critical security patches are supplied.
Prior to SQL Server 2017, Microsoft provided Service Packs which bundled together cumulative updates, security updates and hotfixes. Service Packs received subsequent security and non-security updates whilst in Mainstream Support but only for 12 months where they were superseded by subsequent Service Pack for the SQL version. For SQL Server 2017 onwards, Microsoft’s Modern Servicing Model has done away with Service Packs and instead will only supply Cumulative Updates and Critical Updates.
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Extended Support Expiring
After Extended Support ends on 12th of July 2022 no new security patches will be generally available for SQL Server 2012. This means your DBMS systems can have an increased security threat vulnerability. To reduce the risk and ensure your critical data remains on DBMS instances that have continued security updates, organisations should upgrade to a supported version of SQL Server.
What are the Available Options?
The three options available for organisations to ensure their SQL Instances continue to at least receive Security Updates are:
1. Upgrade SQL Server
BCS’s experienced Database Managed Services staff can work with client’s SQL Server upgrade projects and provide bespoke in-house upgrade solutions. When upgrading, clients should plan to upgrade to the latest version certified by the applications hosted on the SQL instance. SQL Server 2019 is the latest and preferred version, but SQL Server 2017 is under Mainstream Support until October 2022 and Extended Support until October 2027 and SQL Server 2016 has Extended Support until July 2026. Upgrades to later versions not only provide the continued Security Updates but also provide updated features including for performance and high availability.
2. Migrate to Cloud
Migrating to the cloud can be a big step if you’re not already there. BCS can offer solutions across its cloud partners. For more on BCS’s cloud offering, visit our Cloud Services site.
3 . Purchase Extended Security Updates
Microsoft offers an Extended Security Updates subscription which can be purchased and provides security updates for up to a further three years.
At Blue Crystal, we seek to ensure our client’s data is kept secure and maintained on a supported version of the DBMS software, continuing to receive critical security updates to minimise vulnerabilities.