Windows Server 2012 Is Almost Dead. Here’s What You Need to Know.
Microsoft recently announced that two of its most popular business products, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2, are reaching end-of-life status. That’s a big deal if you’re still using Windows Server 2012 anywhere in your business.
In today’s post we’ll explain what this end of support announcement means, what the implications are for your team, and what you need to do in the next couple of months.
Windows Server 2012 Reaching End of Support: What It Means
First up, what does this announcement mean? Simply put: on October 10, 2023, Microsoft will no longer support Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
That means that if something goes wrong, Microsoft will not help you anymore. Of course, servers running this OS went out of warranty years ago—so what we’re really talking about is if something goes wrong in the OS itself.
Every piece of software and operating system has flaws. When these flaws are discovered by the bad guys, they become exploits and vulnerabilities. That’s why, every now and again, you get a Security Update for Windows on your regular work machine. Your key applications issue software updates as well, often for the same reason: once these vulnerabilities are discovered, software makers are motivated to fix them so that customers continue using their products and trusting their brands.
When a piece of software or an operating system reaches End of Support, that means the company (Microsoft, in this case) is saying they won’t keep doing those updates. The product is usually either quite old by the time this happens, or it’s sold so poorly that the company can’t justify ongoing work on it.
Here, you can probably tell by the name (Server 2012) that age is the issue.
What Does This Change Mean for Your Business?
Microsoft has moved on to newer and better products, and they think it’s time for you to do the same.
If you’re running any on-premises hardware that’s still using Server 2012, you’re going to need to make a change. Remember: if you choose to stick with Server 2012, that OS will become increasingly unreliable and vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Some servers are new enough that they can just upgrade to the new version, Server 2022.
Unfortunately, most of the time this isn’t the case. If your server was new in, say, 2010-2012, it’s probably not going to survive the upgrade to 2022. It just isn’t powerful enough.
Options for Moving Forward
If you’re still running Windows Server 2012, you have a few options.
1. Migrate to the Cloud
Now might be the perfect time to migrate to the cloud. You’re going to have to make changes of some sort, so this option is definitely worth exploring. Cloud migrations can be disruptive, but they can deliver tons of strategic advantages long-term.
2. Replace Your On-Premises Server
If you replace your on-premises server with a newer similar model, chances are that new model will come with Windows Server 2022 preinstalled. This new OS is the modern equivalent to Server 2012, so you’ll probably find that many things work similarly and that most of your computing needs migrate over fairly effortlessly.
3. Upgrade Your Server OS
If you’re running Server 2012 and your server is capable of handling Server 2022, then a straightforward upgrade might be the way to go.
4. Purchase Extended Security Updates (ESUs)
Last, Microsoft technically offers something called Extended Security Updates, which you can pay for to extend your Server 2012 for another three years. We don’t recommend this option: if you’re going to pay money, you may as well pay to step into the modern era—not to keep a dying server running for a few more years.
All of this can be a bit technical, we realize. If you need assistance, we’re here to help! Reach out anytime.