FAQs: Preparing for Windows Server 2012 R2 End of Life
As technology continually advances, so too do the lifecycles of the software that powers it. On October 10, 2023, Windows Server 2012 R2 reaches End on Life. Security updates, non-security updates, bug fixes, and technical support are suspended after this date. Now is the time to start planning how to migrate your workloads to avoid potential security breaches and falling out of compliance. In this blog post, we cover the details surrounding Windows Server 2012 R2 End of Life so you can prepare your organization's next step.
When is the End of Life for Windows Server 2012 R2?
The End of Life, or support, for Windows Server 2012 R2 is October 10, 2023.
What happens after the End of Life of Windows Server 2012 R2?
After October 10, Windows Server 2012 R2 will no longer receive security updates, non-security updates, bug fixes, technical support, or online technical content updates.
What are the risks of using Windows Server 2012 R2 after its End of Life?
The risks of using Server 2012 R2 after its End of Life are that it will no longer receive security updates, non-security updates, bug fixes, technical support, or online technical content updates. Your data and applications will be vulnerable, putting your company at risk.
Will Microsoft extend the End of Life for Windows Server 2012 R2 beyond October 2023?
If history is our guide, Microsoft will not extend the End of Life for Windows Server 2012 R2. Microsoft details rigorous plans on when software goes into extended support and ultimately End of Life. There is no evidence to suggest that this will be any different for Windows Server 2012 R2.
What are my options for moving workloads off Windows Server 2012 R2?
- Azure Migration: Move to Azure cloud and Azure Virtual Desktop by migrating applications and databases to Azure Virtual Machines using the free tool Azure Migrate and receive no-cost Extended Security Updates (ESU) for three years after the end of support. Find an Azure partner like ProArch to assess your cloud readiness and leverage all of Microsoft's funding opportunities.
- Remain on-premises by upgrading to Windows Server 2022.
- Stay on Windows Server 2012 R2 (not recommended) and purchase Extended Security Updates (ESU) for three years after the end of support.
What are Extended Security Updates?
The Extended Security Update (ESU) program is a last-resort option for customers who need to run specific legacy Microsoft products past the end of support. It includes critical security updates for a maximum of three years, renewable annually, after the product's End of Life date. ESUs do not include new features, customer-requested non-security hotfixes, or design change requests.
What do Extended Security Updates cost?
ESU is free if you migrate to Azure. The exact cost for on-premises systems can vary depending on your specific licensing agreement with Microsoft. Contact Microsoft or a partner, like ProArch, to get pricing information for your particular scenario.
Is Software Assurance required to take advantage of Extended Security Updates?
On–premises: Yes, Software Assurance is required for on-premises and hosted workloads.
In Azure: No, for workloads running in Azure, Extended Security Updates is free and does not require Software Assurance (unless using Azure Hybrid Benefit).
The best way for customers to maximize savings when running Windows Server and SQL Server in Azure is to leverage the Azure Hybrid Benefit (available to customers with active Software Assurance or Server Subscriptions).
Is there a direct upgrade path from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Server 2022?
Unfortunately, there is no direct upgrade path from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Server 2022. You can perform an in-place upgrade from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2019 and then from Windows Server 2019 to Windows Server 2022. This does not require a Server 2019 license.
NOTE: An in-place upgrade from Windows Storage Server Editions is not supported. You can perform either migration or installation instead.
Is there a deadline for when servers need to be migrated to Azure?
There is no deadline for migrating the Windows Server 2012/R2 or SQL Server 2012 workloads to Azure. However, we recommend completing migration before the End-of-Life date so you do not miss any Extended Security Updates. If you miss a year of Extended Security Updates coverage, you can buy coverage for previous years at the same time as the current period.
In the face of Windows Server 2012 R2's impending End of Life, the importance of proactive planning cannot be overstated. As you contemplate your organization's next move – whether it's embracing the cloud, upgrading on-premises infrastructure, or opting for a hybrid strategy – remember that you don't have to navigate this transition alone. As a top Microsoft partner, ProArch can guide you through this journey in a way that aligns to your business goals. Reach out to us.