Out with the old, in with the new!
Updated: Mar 4, 2019
Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 will reach end of life on January 14th, 2020. Below we'll discuss what "end of life" really means and how you can prepare to move forward.
First things first...
Hopefully you've come here looking for some insight on the impending EOL (End of Life) for Windows 7 and Server 2008. Now, if you have Server 2003 or Windows XP still running in your environment, PLEASE unplug the network cable from the back immediately! You're an outlaw and it's gotten out of hand! (Sorry, big Waylon Jennings fan...if you don't know who he is....spend a few hours on YouTube finding out.)
Just kidding....believe it or not, in my line of work, it is not unusual to walk in somewhere and see that all familiar logo floating on a small 15" monitor hooked up to an old Dell PowerEdge 2900, just humming along!!
What does this really mean...and what it doesn't...
Don't be confused by what End Of Life really means. This DOES NOT mean that on January 14, 2020 your old FileServer running Server 2008 is going to blue screen on you and never function again. (That could happen though so if it does, don't blame me!! Of course it would be 100% coincidental.....right??) Server 2008 and Windows 7 will continue to run just like they are right now. What it does mean is that Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support for PCs running Windows 7 or Server 2008. Remember the whole Windows XP meltdown from 2014? Same thing, just 6 years later... You'll become exponentially more vulnerable to ransomware, crypto virus', malware, spyware, etc... Not a place you want to be, especially where there are so many options to protect yourself.
What actions can I take...
First the easy one...the natural replacement for Windows 7 is Microsoft's solid, proven and reliable Windows 10. We'll pretend like Windows 8 never happened. I have seen in place upgrades of Windows 7 directly to Windows 10 work without a hitch. As long as your hardware meets the minimum specs, you'll be fine. There are some in the IT world that just like a "clean" install however and if that is the case, have at it. Make sure you back up your data!!
Replacing Server 2008 is not quite as cut and dry. There are now 2 Microsoft Server Operating Systems on the market, one more seasoned than the other. Server 2016 was released on September 26, 2016 at Microsoft's Ignite conference and was available generally on October 12, 2016. Server 2019 was released for general availability on October 2, 2018. The differences between the two are better explained here, however there is no reason to believe that Server 2019 is not ready for prime time. As for upgrading....when you have the opportunity to do a clean install, do it...no questions asked. Anytime you can get a clean install in place, take advantage of it. However, most people are not aware that you can upgrade from Server 2008 to 2012 and then to 2016. Full transparency, I've never had the need to do an in place upgrade on a server OS. Would love to hear below from those that have, whether successful or not!!
In the end...
In conclusion...we know all good things must come to an end. It's like a 30 year old Ford F150. At some point it's just not economical to maintain, parts become obsolete, and it does not have the features and functionality to be productive. Yes, nostalgia has a part to play, but this is your business or job relying on a solid Operating System. Nostalgia could put you out of business or out of a job! A word of warning, DO NOT WAIT to take action. The last thing you need is to spring this on someone up the food chain and them ask you how long you've known about this.
If you have questions or are interested in learning more about Server 2019, Hosted Server environments and other options, reach out to us at email@example.com.
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