All good things come to end and the end is nearing. What am I talking about you ask? That is end of support for several Microsoft server products in just 5 short months. Yes friends, in 5 short months there are several products that will be going end of support ( EOS) . What does this mean for those running these products? Keep reading and this post will detail what key products will be end of support and what options you have to get updated and current.
First off, let's briefly review the Microsoft Fixed Lifecycle Policy and the different support phases. The Fixed Lifecycle Policy is a policy for products with a defined end-of-support dates for the following :
Business, developer, and desktop operating systems
Consumer and multimedia
Device operating systems
Typically the products under the Fixed Lifecycle receive 10 years of support at the supported service pack level for business, developer, and desktop operating system products. The support is broken down into 2 categories, Mainstream support and Extended Support. It starts off with a minimum of five years Mainstream Support followed by five years Extended Support. Consumer and multimedia products get five years of Mainstream Support at the supported service pack level, there is no extended supported. Please note that the Fixed Lifecycle Policy does not apply to all products so I recommend checking the lifecycle product search to see the specific support offerings for a particular product. After the end of the Extended Support there will be no patches or security updates. Not receiving security updates can expose your systems and business to serious security risks as well compliance issues
Mainstream Support ( supported service pack level) is the first phase ( 5 years) of the product support lifecycle. It includes the following:
Incident support (no-charge incident support, paid incident support, support charged on an hourly basis, support for warranty claims)
Security update support
The ability to request non-security hotfixes
The Extended Support is the 2nd phase ( last 5 years out of the 10) follows Mainstream Support. At the supported service pack level, Extended Support includes:
Paid support - (Limited complimentary support may be available (varies by product))
Security updates at no additional cost
Ability to request non-security fixes for select products, for eligible Unified Support customers.
Products that will be EOS on January 14, 2020 are as follows:
Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2
Exchange Server 2010 - (yes, you will always be one of my favorite versions)
Windows 7 Professional for Embedded Systems
What are my options?
If you are running any of the above versions and don't have an upgrade plan, time is running out but you do still have several options.
Option 1 - Upgrade on-premises to the current support version through a series of in place upgrades or via migration. For a complete guide of upgrade steps check out the upgrade center . My colleagues have also written some great posts on doing various upgrade implementations that you may also find useful.