Windows Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2 will be declared end of life (EOL) as of 10th October 2023, after which the operating system will receive no new security updates.
This leaves organisations using Server 2012 with several options:
– Re-license and migrate to a newer operating system if hardware supports it.
– Migrate those server workloads into a cloud platform like Microsoft Azure.
– Replace those server workloads with web-based applications.
– Purchase new server hardware with a supported operating system.
– Purchase specialist Extended Security Updates (ESUs) until 2026.
Which option to choose depends on where a business is their replacement/hardware lifecycle, budgets and changing workplace requirements. For some, a move to a newer version of Windows Server (2016, 2019 or 2022) is still possible, but this isn’t the only option. Don’t forget to check out Lineal’s handy flow chart on what to do when faced with the choice of replacing a server.
How and when to replace servers is a complex question, and businesses increasingly have far more cloud-based and software-as-a-service (SaS) choices available than a decade ago. Bundled services like Microsoft 365 have increasingly replaced the on-premises Exchange server, the file server and more for many small organisations – making the heavy capital investment for a server impractical. In the face of increasing hardware and energy costs, running on onsite server also looks increasingly expensive.
In some ways the end of Server 2012 represents the end of an era – in 2012, server sales were just beginning to recover from the financial crash. A decade on, both PC and small volume server sales look bumpy, while the largest server manufacturers appear to be focusing ever more sales attention on the data centre market – where there is growing appetite for enterprise hardware driven partly by the hosting and increasing consumption of those same cloud services.
For many small businesses in particular, a Server 2012 box may have turned out to be the last on-premises server they would ever purchase.
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