It may seem like it was just yesterday, but 2008 was over a decade ago. With Microsoft turning off extended support for SQL Server 2008 this July, now is a good time to reflect on the fact that technology moves fast, a lot has happened in the past decade, and any applications you may have which rest on the outgoing database platform are likely to be as ‘legacy’ as SQL Server 2008 is. It is, in other words, a perfect time to reflect on the potential necessity for modernising old applications which themselves may rest on SQL Server 2008 – in bringing your database up to date, it make sense to do the same with your applications.
Pro tip: Not sure which version of SQL Server you’re running? Here’s how to find out.
End-of-support of any major software product must be noted by the companies using them, because unless you migrate to a more recent version, you can expect substantial increases in the cost of support and maintenance. Additionally, unsupported software presents risk: there are no longer regular security patches and, as is implied, there isn’t any support from the vendor which made the software in the first place.
That’s the ‘stick’ which encourages those using ageing software to upgrade (and yes, we know nobody likes being coaxed with a stick!)
The ‘carrot’ is a much better prospect. Did I mention the pace of technology development? Probably didn’t need to, as you’ll know that over the course of ten years, an awful lot has changed. On-premise (which describes SQL Server 2008) is now surpassed by cloud and on-demand. Up-front license fees have given way to pay-as-you-consume models. Limited scalability is a thing of the past. And there are a ton of new features in the latest version of SQL Server 2017 which simply weren’t even possible back in the day when SQL Server 2008 was released.
Now, in modernising your database, you don’t have to go to the cloud. For some customers, cloud isn’t the best option. For a great many others, it makes perfect sense. And for still others, a hybrid approach will deliver the optimal balance of benefits, value and performance.
Microsoft itself has a great resource available which describes why (and how) Azure combined with SQL Server 2017 is a powerful modern solution, in ‘pure’ cloud or hybrid configurations. And when you go with this combination, you get a raft of features and benefits which can be introduced into your applications: AI, machine learning, containerisation, startling speed and capacity, tools and analytics the likes of which the richest companies in the world are already using, and which can put your business on an equal footing.
So, as July approaches and the final ‘EOS’ for SQL Server 2008 looms, our advice is to strongly consider upgrading your database platform. And at the same time, take a close look at your legacy applications and ask yourself if they are ready to perform in an always-on, cloud-first, mobile-first world. Even better, get in touch with us! ; we’ll be happy to provide an assessment along with options for how best to move your business and all its applications into the modern world.