Enterprise users who are looking for migration alternatives for their Windows Server 2008 32-bit applications as the end of support approaches for the product in January 2020 can now turn to Azure Site Recovery to perform the migrations and extend support for those applications on Azure through 2023.
The new option, which was announced by Sue Hartford, senior product marketing manager of Microsoft's Windows Server division, in an Oct. 16 post on the Windows Server Blog, provides users with three additional years of Extended Security Updates for free in Azure if they migrate their old 32-bit applications from Windows Server 2008 or Server 2008 R2 to Azure virtual machines.
The Azure Site Recovery tool, which in the past has allowed migrations involving 64-bit versions of Windows Server, has now been updated to support those 32-bit application
migrations, wrote Hartford.
"With the end of support for Windows Server 2008 in January 2020 fast approaching, now is a great time to begin modernizing your applications and infrastructure with the power of Azure," she wrote. "The 2008 and 2008 R2 versions of Windows Server will reach End of Support on January 14, 2020. But customers who migrate these versions to Azure virtual machines will continue to get free security updates until January 2023. This buys customers more time to upgrade or modernize, while starting to gain the benefits of cloud."
For enterprise users, this can be a welcome and helpful option that adds flexibility to their long-term migration and infrastructure plans.
Back in July, Microsoft offered similar Azure cloud migration options for customers who have been using SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2, which will reach the end of support on July 9, 2019. By giving those customers the option to move their database applications to the Azure cloud, they also will gain three years of free use on Azure without requiring any application code changes.
When Microsoft pulls the plug on a software product, it effectively means the end of security updates, as in the cases of Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008, unless customers pay for costly premium support. That option is typically reserved for the biggest and wealthiest enterprise customers. Instead, in most cases, customers will move to newer versions of applications, such as SQL Server 2017.