The End of an Era: Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 Reach End of Support


Microsoft has officially announced the end of support for Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2. While it might feel a little like saying goodbye to an old friend, this necessary evolution is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy, secure, and efficient IT infrastructure.

What Does End of Support Mean?

Microsoft’s product lifecycle typically includes a period of mainstream support, followed by extended support, and then reaches the end of support. During the mainstream phase, users receive free updates, patches, and can access warranty claims. Once a product enters the extended support phase, users can still receive security updates, but other types of updates cease, and warranty claims are no longer available.

Now that Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 have reached the end of support, no further security updates, patches, or support assistance will be available from Microsoft. Essentially, you’re on your own.

The Risks of Running Unsupported Software

Running outdated and unsupported software exposes your infrastructure to significant risks, including:

  • Security Vulnerabilities: Without ongoing security patches, your system becomes increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats. This could lead to data breaches, ransomware attacks, and other cybercrime that could severely damage your organisation’s reputation and finances.
  • Non-compliance: Depending on your industry, running unsupported software might breach regulatory compliance standards, leading to hefty fines and potential legal consequences.
  • Software Incompatibility: New applications and software are optimised for the latest operating systems. As a result, you might find that new software won’t run correctly on your outdated server – or won’t run at all.
  • Hardware Compatibility Issues: Similarly, as hardware technology advances, older operating systems may not fully support new hardware, leading to inefficiencies or system failures.
  • Increased Operational Costs: Unsupported software typically requires more maintenance and troubleshooting, resulting in higher operational costs over time.

Why You Should Upgrade or Migrate

The end of support for Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 signifies it’s time for businesses to upgrade or migrate to newer, supported versions such as Windows Server 2016, 2019, or take the leap into the future with Windows Server 2022. Migrating to a newer server OS provides several benefits:

  • Enhanced Security: Newer versions have advanced security features that can better protect your business against evolving cyber threats.
  • Improved Performance: You’ll enjoy the latest innovations in speed, efficiency, and usability with a new server operating system.
  • Better Compatibility: Updated server operating systems are designed to work seamlessly with the latest software and hardware.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: Advanced versions offer better options for scalability and hybrid capabilities, including seamless integration with cloud services.
  • Extended Support: You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your server OS is backed by ongoing security updates, patches, and support from Microsoft.

In conclusion, while saying goodbye to Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2, it’s a necessary step to ensure the ongoing security, efficiency, and scalability of your IT infrastructure. The risks of clinging onto unsupported software far outweigh the investment in upgrading or migrating. Embrace the future and enjoy the benefits that the latest server technology has to offer. If you have any concerns, Outsource Group can help support with inventory management, creating an upgrade plan, implementation and ongoing monitoring. Don’t be left behind and together we can help safeguard your business from potential vulnerabilities.

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