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You may have heard us mention quite a while back in 2018 that server 2012 R2’s end-of-life road map was beginning and Microsoft were removing their mainstream support for this server. So why are we reminding you of this now, you may ask?! That is because the extended support phase that the server entered is coming to an end in October 2023, which will creep up on us much quicker than we think. 

In essence, any business still using the Microsoft server 2012 R2 will no longer receive critical security updates and patches after October 2023. This means that any data stored on your server will be at a much higher risk of threat from hackers or cyber-attacks. Therefore, we recommend that you take a proactive approach and update your server operating system well in advance of this support removal.

When Does End-Of-Life Happen?

Microsoft’s higher-profile software solutions such as Microsoft 365 have quite a vague lifecycle as support tends to be ‘unlimited’ without having an actual time frame stated. With Windows server products, however, they have a much more specific lifecycle which we will now go into more detail about.

These more traditional operating systems are released under Microsoft’s ‘Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC)’ which means product support is offered for 10 years. The first 5 years of support is termed ‘mainstream support’ and the latter 5 years are termed ‘extended support’. So how does this relate to server 2012 R2? Well, as the initial notice period for the end-of-life was given in 2018, this means it has now entered its ‘extended support’ phase until 2023.

What Happens After Extended Support Ends?

The line is quite black and white when the ‘extended support’ phase ends. Microsoft essentially rinse their hands of the product and there will be no support provided whatsoever, and the product will therefore be unprotected.

An unsupported operating system will no longer receive any security updates, official patches or bug fixes so it is incredibly insecure moving forward. So if you use Windows server 2012 R2 then you really need to think about shifting away from it sooner rather than later. An insecure network opens up lots of opportunities for cybercriminals to make their move and cause widespread damage. Not only are you exposing your network to potential breaches, but also the data stored on the network too.

Steps You Can Take

While you have got around 6 months to upgrade your server 2012 R2 if you are still running this, we would advise you to start thinking about this sooner rather than later. It may be that your entire IT infrastructure needs upgrading to the latest version, so it is always best to ensure you have time on your side.

How Old Are Your Servers?

It is worth noting that if you are using this outdated server then there may well be other IT infrastructure that you need to update at the same time. For example, if you haven’t upgraded your server operating system in the last 10 years then you will most likely need to upgrade your applications too. It is important to bring all IT systems up to date to reduce the risk of your business being prone to attack by hackers.

The team at Afinite are experts when it comes to supporting businesses with their IT support and infrastructure, and we provide a no-obligation quote. If you are running server 2012 R2 then please give us a call today to discuss your options on 0113 887 3999.

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