Microsoft support ends this year for Windows Server 2012

As the year gets into its stride and IT teams around the world undoubtedly face more security challenges, Microsoft has reminded all its users that support for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 will end later this year, on 10 October.

Following this critical end-date, both operating systems will no longer receive security updates, non-security updates, bug fixes, technical support or online technical content updates, which will raise compliance issues for any businesses continuing to use the systems past the October date.

Windows 2012 overview

These operating systems were perhaps the most popular operating systems for business server environments, modern in approach and aligned with the Windows 7 and 8 desktop products. They offered improvements in security and virtualisation, running multiple servers on one hardware platform and greater flexibility.

Although it has served the business world admirable, according to Microsoft, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server R2 are now obsolete, having been superseded by later incarnations and losing any further development of the systems back in 2018.

The extended support was put in place to provide just critical security and patching updates, while waiting for a complete end of support date to be announced. This day has been coming for some time and this is just the lasts reminder from Microsoft that 10 October 2023 is the end for both Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Is there a risk using Windows Server 2012 after October?

Even with the relevant support providing security updates and patches, businesses have faced a series of security challenges and using the systems without this support could leave users open to attack from malware and viruses that leverage gaps in 2012 that will no longer be patched.

On top of these obvious security risks, application compatibility will also be an issue, with new products and services unlikely to support systems running Windows Server 2012 or the R2 variant. These combined problems will also raise the spectre of compliance issues for regulated businesses in the legal, financial and insurance sectors, to name but a few.

Although not strictly a risk, continuing to operate business-critical IT systems using old technology, makes little sense when the alternatives are better and will continue to be supported for years to come, with ongoing product development.

What solutions are available to replace Windows Server 2012?

Microsoft released updated Windows operating systems in 2016, 2019 and 2022, with all of these being more modern secure platforms offering a range of new features. In addition to these modern versions of Microsoft Server, Microsoft Azure is the choice of many organisations and their managed service providers seeking a more complete solution.

Microsoft Azure removes the need for physical on-premises server environments, utilising secure, cloud infrastructure that also removes the cost of maintaining hardware.

Services such as Microsoft 365 remove the need for email servers, file servers and even domain controllers in some instances. This allows IT strategies to focus more on evolving existing services and delivering new ones to help improve the customer experience, rather than worrying about the continuous renewal cycle.

If your organisation is still running Windows Server 2012, now is the time to consider your options carefully, but quickly, so the October end of life date does not creep past and compromise your security.

Whether it’s a simple upgrade to a later version or you want to discuss the benefits of transitioning to Microsoft Azure and losing your physical servers all together, the team here at Quiss have the experience and expertise to make your life simple, so please get in touch today.

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