Microsoft have confirmed that support for Windows Server 2008 R2 will end on the 14th of January 2020, as well as the support for SQL Server 2008 ending July 9 2019 (Each version is typically backed by a minimum of 10 years of support, 5 years for main stream support and 5 years for extended support, including security updates). So what does this mean for customers running these workloads? It means the end of patching and security updates, which can lead to security and compliance issues, as well as leaving the application and business at risk.
Microsoft’s recommendation is that your first step should be to perform an upgrade on your 2008 R2 workloads to latest versions to ensure the most advanced security, performance and innovation. However, some customers will struggle to meet this time frame, meaning they will be left to either pay for extended support (Up to 75% of full annual license cost) or be at risk of running unsupported workloads. The latter is rather undesirable and really should be avoided at all costs. The good news for those customers who find themselves in this position, Microsoft is now offering customers a key benefit if they choose to migrate those 2008 R2 workloads to Azure. Basically, Microsoft will provide free extended security updates only on Azure, for Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 for the next three years.
” Extended Security Updates in Azure: Customers who migrate workloads to Azure virtual machines will have access to Extended Security Updates for both SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 for three years after the End of Support deadlines, included at no additional charge over the standard VM pricing. Customers can begin migrating workloads to Azure virtual machines immediately and apply regular security updates until the End of Support deadline, at which time Extended Security Updates will become available, ensuring continuous coverage” https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/cloud-platform/extended-security-updates
This will allow customers to quickly rehost “lift and shift” existing workloads directly to Azure, ensuring sufficient time is available to refactor or rearchitect/rebuild your systems. This applied with Azure Reserved instances and Azure Hybrid benefit can see a cost saving of up to 5x that of migrating and running the same workloads on AWS. (Not only is this applicable for Windows and SQL 2008, this also applies to server 2012 R2 and 2016 in Azure.) Using native tools to Azure, such as Azure Migrate of Azure Site Recovery, or third party tools such as Zerto, Double-Take or Cloudamize, you can easily replicate your Physical servers or virtual machines as-is to Azure in a matter of a few simple steps.
Once you’ve migrated your 2008 R2 workloads to Azure, you can then look to implement Reserved Instances for those VMs to further reduce costs. Reserving instances allows you to “pay upfront” for your VMs for a period of either 1 or 3 years, which results in significant savings on compute spend. It’s important to note that you will receive savings on the compute running costs (VM Only) and not on SQL licensing costs, storage, networking associated costs. Applying another feature called Azure Hybrid Benefit, which I will discuss later, will allow you to use on-premises licenses to run your migrated Servers on Azure, bringing down operating costs even further. The reservation is charged to the payment method tied to your subscription. If you have an Enterprise subscription, the reservation costs are deducted from your EA balance. If your balance doesn’t cover the cost of the reservation, you’re billed the excess. Also, if you have a Pay-As-You-Go subscription, the credit card associated to your account will be charged immediately.
Reservations can be applied at the individual subscription level or across multiple subscriptions. It’s important to note that if you apply reservations across subscriptions, the reservations can only be applied to VMs within subscriptions which are NOT configured as MSDN or Dev/Test.In the following screenshot, you can see that you can expect estimated savings of up to 40% per year for an E8s_V3 (8 vCPU, 64GB).
Hybrid Benefit Savings
Another advantage of moving your 2008 R2 workloads to Azure is the Azure Hybrid Benefit, available to customers who own Windows Server Standard or Data Centre edition licences with active Software Assurance or Windows Server Subscriptions. Depending on the edition, you can convert or re-use your licences to run Windows Server virtual machines in Azure and pay a lower base compute rate (Linux virtual machine rates). “With this benefit, customers need to only pay for the infrastructure costs of the virtual machine because the licensing for Windows Server is covered by the Software Assurance benefit. The benefit is applicable to both Standard and Datacenter editions of Windows Server for the 2008R2, 2012, 2012R2 and 2016 releases. This benefit is available across all regions and sovereign clouds.”
Applying Azure hybrid requires no downtime, no VM restart and is effective immediately.
SQL Server Managed Instances
Azure SQL Database Managed Instance is a new deployment model of Azure SQL Database. It allows customers with existing SQL Server to lift and shift their on-premises applications to the cloud with minimal application and database changes, whilst at the same time preserving all the benefits of PaaS (automatic patching, version updates, backup and high-availability). This means that you can also move your SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 deployments with no application code change and near zero downtime to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance.
Start planning your migration strategy now, as well as accessing your total cost breakdown. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-au/pricing/tco/calculator/
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