Microsoft: Windows Server 2012 reaches end of support in October 2023

Microsoft has reminded customers that Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 will reach its extended end-of-support (EOS) date next year, on October 10, 2023.

Released in October 2012, Windows Server 2012 has entered its tenth year of service and has already reached the mainstream end date over three years ago, on October 9, 2018.

Redmond also revealed today that Microsoft SQL Server 2012, the company’s relational database management system, will be retired on July 12, 2022, ten years after its release in May 2012.

Once EOS reached, Microsoft will stop providing technical support and bug fixes for newly discovered issues that may impact the usability or stability of servers running the two products.

“Microsoft recommends customers migrate applications and workloads to Azure to run securely. Azure SQL Managed Instance is fully managed and always updated (PaaS),” the company said.

“Customers can also lift-and-shift to Azure Virtual Machines, including Azure Dedicated Host, Azure VMware Solution, and Azure Stack (Hub, HCI, Edge), to get three additional years of extended security updates at no cost.”

What are the options?

Microsoft advises admins who want to keep their servers running and still receiving bug fixes and security updates to upgrade to Windows Server 2019 and SQL Server 2019.

Redmond also reminded admins in July 2021 that Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 will reach their extended support end dates in two years, urging them to upgrade as soon as possible to avoid compliance and security gaps.

“We understand that SQL Server and Windows Server run many business-critical applications that may take more time to modernize,” Microsoft said.

“Customers that cannot meet the end of support deadline and have Software Assurance or subscription licenses under an enterprise agreement enrollment will have the option to buy Extended Security Updates to get three more years of security updates for SQL Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2.”

Regarding the pricing scheme for Extended Security Updates, Microsoft says that they will only cost for on-premises deployments:

  • In Azure: Customers running SQL Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 in Azure will get Extended Security Updates for free.
  • On-premises: Customers with active Software Assurance or subscription licenses can purchase Extended Security Updates annually for 75 percent of the license cost of the latest version of SQL Server or Windows Server for the first year, 100 percent of the license cost for the second year, and 125 percent of the license cost for the third year.

Additional information regarding eligibility requirements and onboarding details is available on the Extended Security Updates frequently asked questions page.

SQL Server 2008/R2 and Windows Server 2008/R2 Extended Security Updates (ESUs) will also reach their end support on July 12, 2022, and January 10, 2023, respectively.

Customers who will require additional time to upgrade servers may re-host them on Azure for an additional year of free Extended Security Updates (ESUs).

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