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To help you through the decision-making process for your SQL Server 2012 database, our SQL support have responded to the main questions you might ask yourself.
Does It Matter?
Yes. After 12th July 2022, Microsoft will no longer release hotfixes, cumulative updates or service packs and will not be able to provide support for any security vulnerabilities or bugs that are identified in your SQL Server 2012 instance. This presents a risk to your organisation’s data should you encounter any issues.
Running end-of-life platforms can also affect your organisation’s compliance eligibility (e.g. CyberEssentials, PCI, SOC 2, ISO27001:2013).
What Can I Do?
WellData recommends that you upgrade or migrate your SQL Server 2012 instances to a supported version; this could be either on-prem, cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).
- Upgrade: The ease of upgrading SQL Server is dependent on your organisation’s current architecture – it may be a relatively simple upgrade that could be done in a single day, or may require more detailed planning, testing and implementation. WellData can assist you with the initial discovery phase to help you plan your upgrade, and subsequently carry out the upgrades.
- Migrate: Similarly, WellData can assist if you are considering the migration to PaaS – this often requires more planning and testing as there may be some limitations of the PaaS platform that affect your applications.
Can I Stay on SQL Server 2012?
Yes. In some cases, often due to legacy application compatibility, it is not possible to upgrade or migrate. SQL Server 2012 will continue operating as normal, but your organisation would need to accept and document the risks associated.
If you have to stay on SQL Server 2012 (or SQL Server 2008 R2) then Microsoft does offer Extended Security Updates for these platforms until October 2023. This is available for free if your SQL Server 2012 instance is migrated into an Azure virtual machine. Otherwise, your organisation would need both Software Assurance and an Enterprise Agreement in order to purchase the Extended Security Updates.
WellData provides managed service for any version of SQL Server, this would ensure your legacy instances are kept as secure, performant and reliable as possible but does not mitigate against the risks associated due to the ending of Microsoft support.
There are a number of proactive steps you can take to prepare for the upgrade:
- Run the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit to identify versions of SQL Server in your organisation’s estate (Download Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit from Official Microsoft Download Center)
- Run the Microsoft Data Migration Assistant (Overview of Data Migration Assistant (SQL Server) – SQL Server | Microsoft Docs) to identify compatibility issues when upgrading to a newer version.
- Alternatively, if you are considering migrating an Azure migration use Microsoft’s Azure Migrate tool (Azure Migrate—Cloud Migration Services | Microsoft Azure), AWS Database Migration Service (Migrate an on-premises Microsoft SQL Server database to Amazon RDS for SQL Server – AWS Prescriptive Guidance) or Google Compute Platform’s Database Migration Service (Database Migration Service | Google Cloud)
- Establish what versions of SQL Server your application vendors support.
If you are unsure about carrying out any of these actions then please contact WellData today and we will be happy to help guide you through the entire process.
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