End of Life for Windows Server 2012
David Heath
Senior Technical Consultant

Microsoft Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 will go End-of-Life (EoL) in October 2023, meaning Microsoft will no longer provide critical security updates for the server operating system after this date.  This can create several risks for an organisation:

  • Running EoL software can mean applications pose a threat to a business, as they can be targeted easily by hackers to take advantage of unpatched exploits and vulnerabilities. 
  • Support for applications will be limited or expire at a similar time, meaning organisations are unable to upgrade or patch services running on unsupported software.
  • Organisation can become competitively stagnated, unable to take advantage of new features available in later versions of Windows Server that provide improved performance, functionality, cloud integration and security. 


Migration options

With two years before Windows Server goes EoL, there is plenty of time to identify critical systems and plan a migration solution from Windows Server 2012.  As with previous server versions, Microsoft supports three different migration paths for your Server 2012 workloads.


Option one: Pay for extended support

If you have a critical application that you know cannot be migrated to a supported version of Windows Server, and require more time to plan a replacement system, then Microsoft offers the ability to purchase Extended Support for up to 3 years.  This then provides additional security updates for the duration of the support period allowing you to keep the existing server and application “as is” whilst its replacement or migration is developed.  This service is only available to customers with Software Assurance or subscription licenses and can be very costly.  Extended Support is roughly 75 % of the cost of the on-premises license per year, but it does provide additional critical security updates for up to three years after the end of Extended Support.  Further information about Microsoft Extended Security Updates can be found here (Microsoft Docs).


Option two: Migrate to a supported server version

Upgrading or migrating applications and services to a supported version of Windows Server is probably the easiest and most cost-effective way to mitigate the EoL of Windows Server.  This method allows you to migrate services as required, as well identify, and implement additional benefits such as application upgrades, server consolidation or virtualisation.  This method can drive cost reductions through license changes as well as improve high availability or disaster recovery requirements which can be factored in as part of any workload changes.


Option three: Migrate to Azure

An Azure migration provides multiple migration options, including the ability to “lift and shift” existing Windows Server 2012 servers to Azure Virtual Machines and take advantage of free Extended Security updates for three years.  Alternatively, existing applications and services can be migrated to Azure Virtual Machines running supported versions of Windows Server.  Azure provides  highly available and scalable platforms that receive the latest feature updates and services with minimal administration.  Running services in Azure also provides a host of other benefits including improved security, monitoring, higher levels of business continuity and rapid scalability to support future growth.


How Ultima can help

Ultima is a Microsoft Partner and has attained the Microsoft Advanced Specialisation for Windows Server and SQL Server Migration services from Microsoft.  This prestigious achievement demonstrates the high level of capabilities we offer for Server migration and Cloud migration services.   Ultima can support your organisation with Windows Server migrations, both on premises and to the Azure and can help you to plan and implement your server migration project. 

Ultima can provide you with a Windows 2012 End of Life assessment. This service includes:


  • Discovery of legacy workloads across your IT infrastructure.
  • Assessment of current operating model.
  • Identification of application and dependency mappings.
  • Role and application migration approach.
  • Service transition strategy.

To understand more about Ultima's Server Migration or SQL Server services, contact your account manager for more information. 

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