As you may have already heard, Microsoft is officially ending support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 as of January 14, 2020. If your business depends on Server 2008 for day-to-day operations, now’s the time to migrate to a new platform as an opportunity for growth. If you’ve been considering moving your digital assets to the cloud already, you have a lot of options you can explore. Fortunately, whether you’re transitioning one server or dozens of servers, a cloud platform can help you simplify compliance, maximize security, and prioritize flexibility.
If you’re in the process of deciding what the next step is to prepare for Server 2008’s end of support period, here are your options and three critical steps to take.
The Simple Solution: Microsoft Azure
Migrating your Server 2008 platform to Microsoft Azure offers the simplest solution to prepare for Server 2008’s end of support. Microsoft is currently allowing businesses to upgrade Windows Server on Azure at no additional cost. If you choose this option, you can also hold off on upgrading later to a newer edition of Windows Server VM at no extra charge.
If you choose to migrate Server 2008 to Azure, your organization can also benefit from three additional years of support after the end-of-support deadline. That means your organization will have until January 14, 2023, to continue using Server 2008 as long as it’s hosted on Azure. This approach buys you a few more years to plan for a long-term server solution.
Planning Your Migration
There are three critical steps to follow if your organization wants to pull off a seamless migration between Server 2008 and your new server environment.
Before deciding on the optimal migration strategy, you should first take the time to gain a deeper understanding of your existing infrastructure and workflows. Begin by identifying workloads that depend on Server 2008, assess the infrastructure required to support these workloads, and create a migration outline that takes these factors into account.
Fortunately, Microsoft offers a few tools that can make auditing your current systems significantly easier, including:
- Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit: The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit offers an automated planning and assessment tool that facilitates faster and more efficient desktop, server, and cloud migrations by providing readiness reports and proposals with specific hardware and software data.
- Azure Migrate: Azure Migrate is a tool within Azure that can help you assess your on-site virtual machines for migration preparedness. It evaluates migration feasibility along with providing size recommendation for Azure.
- Azure TCO Calculator: The Azure Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator allows you to quickly compare the TCO for on-site infrastructure versus a comparable Azure platform, so you can quickly perform a cost-benefit analysis. If you want the best of both worlds, the Azure Hybrid Benefit Savings Calculator can help you estimate how much you’ll save by adopting a hybrid cloud platform.
When it comes down to migrating you have three fundamental options:
- Upgrading: If you want to keep using the Windows Server environment, you can always simply upgrade to Server 2016. You can either set up a new server, install Server 2016, and reinstall your applications, or you can maintain your existing server and upgrade only the OS. If you’ve been wanting to upgrade your on-premise servers anyway, this offers an excellent opportunity for doing so.
- Migrating: As already discussed, you can migrate Server 2008 to Azure or another comparable cloud-based environment.
Once you’ve migrated to a more modern server environment, you should be continually optimizing workloads to maximize security and improve performance. While Azure simplifies the optimization process for you, your in-house IT team or a managed service provider (MSP) like Hi-Tek Data can help you as well.
Long Island IT Support
An expert managed IT service provider like Hi-Tek Data can help make your migration to a new server environment as seamless and secure as possible. Contact our team of experts today, and we’ll start exploring the possibilities for migrating to cloud services right away.