Still Running Windows Server 2008 R2? Here is what you need to know

Still Running Windows Server 2008 R2?  Here is what you need to know

There comes a time when everyone must stop looking to their parents and start fending for themselves.

That time is now, for Microsoft is preparing us to stand on our own as they punt us out the door.

Well, maybe that's an exaggeration.

But, they are preparing to end support of Windows Server 2008 R2. If you are hosting your website on a server running this operating system, you’ll need to know about this shift and how relying on this soon-to be legacy software could ultimately impact your bottom line. And, nobody likes to be left behind or lose profitability.

Here’s a summary of what you’ll need to know.

End-of-Life Timeline

Mainstream support for Windows Server 2008 R2 ended in January 2015, leaving behind only extended support. This will expire on January 14, 2020. What does this mean for current users?

If your current server is running Windows 2008 R2, you need to start planning a switch today. Some customers are already experiencing hardware-related issues, including performance slowdowns and even outright hardware failure. Windows Server 2008 is not optimized, and problems will continue to pop up as support ceases in the coming years.

Specific Consequences of End-of-Life Support

Beware that security updates will no longer take place. As hackers find new penetration points in the software, new threats will continue to enter the ecosystem. And, Windows server 2008 R2 is one of the most popular server platforms, further increasing its value as a target. This dangerous combination of popularity and lack of security updates means that hackers are expected to double their efforts. They’ll open up major security holes on servers with software not upgraded to a supported version of Windows.

Other more general updates will also come to a halt. As time goes on, Windows Server 2008 will start to show its age as more hardware loses compatibility. Software-related issues will snowball. Choosing to stay with this software is not only a security concern, but it will become a beast to work with as hardware and software continue to evolve.

This lack of updates can cause further server crisis with virtualization. Hardware virtualization relies heavily on web hosting because it is essential for private servers as well as virtual machines used online. Virtualization enables a software-based detachment of hardware from allowable instances of an operating system. It is key to multiple users sharing a single server. Not updating virtualization features could cripple this multi-user experience, resulting in slow server performance and system bugs.

Where to Go from Windows Server 2008 R2

The next major server edition of the Windows operating system is Windows Server 2012.

Many customers have already begun updating to allow ample time for a smooth transition. You’ll find many new features only on Windows Server 2012 that include:

  • HyperV 3: The most recent, blazing fast implementation of HyperV is able to handle all but the most exceptional server virtualization use cases. Your website may even receive a small performance boost from HyperV 3 if your previous server's virtualization created a bottleneck.
  • Hyper V Replica: This brand-new storage technology continuously replicates your virtual machines into a backup cluster. It takes an entire snapshot of an active virtual machine every 15 minutes, ensuring that they are never vulnerable to data loss.
  • Deduplication: As storage demand continues to grow online and outpacing hard drive space increases, Microsoft now provides a solution to this growing space issue. Windows Server 2012 supports deduplication on NTFS volumes. In non-geek-speak, you will find that when you use this feature with your volumes of duplicate data, you can now save money on your server-side storage costs. But, you must have the proper hardware in place, as well as the Windows Server 2012.

Bit by Bit sets up, configures, maintains and hosts servers for all type of business. Whether small, mid-sized, or even enterprise, we can do this on premise or by hosting a cloud solution from our secure data center. We’re one of the leading IT specialists in server setup, maintenance, and security, and that's why our customers trust us to oversee the IT foundation of their business on our servers.

Some advantages of working with Bit by Bit includes the following:

  • Certified consultants and technicians: Our staff has gone through rigorous training to perform their roles with a high degree of expertise and skill.
  • Continuous support and maintenance of managed systems: We implement continuous watch schedules to ensure your system stays up and running during peak hours when your business needs things to work.
  • 24/7 continuous system security: Our expert security staff watches your servers 365 days a year in order to keep out hackers and provide a safe, secure, and speedy channel for regular web traffic to your website.

Give us a call today to discuss your server's operating system update requirements.