2008 R2: Should We Update Our Server Software or Move to the Cloud?

2008 R2: Should We Update Our Server Software or Move to the Cloud?

If your business is still running a server with Windows Server 2008 R2, then you’ve been taking a big risk nearly all year. That operating system (OS) officially lost support on January 14, 2020. 

When a Windows Server OS loses support, reaching end of life, it means there are no more:

  • Free security updates on-premises
  • Non-security updates
  • Free support options
  • Online technical content update

Without those security updates, it leaves a server wide open to a data breach because critical security vulnerabilities are no longer being patched. If your Colorado business is still running 2008 R2, then it’s important you get server support as soon as possible for an upgrade.

In September 2020, Microsoft warned Windows Server users of a threat activity using exploits for the CVE-2020-1472 Neglogon EoP vulnerability, called Zerologon. It can give hackers complete control of a server and its data. Without those vital free security updates that come with a supported OS, 2008 R2 is vulnerable to this attack.

Upgrade Options

Those using Windows Server 2008 R2 have two main options for an upgrade to secure their data:

  • Upgrade the on-premises server software
  • Move to a cloud environment in Azure

We’ll go over both options below to give help you choose which may be the best for your needs.

Staying On-Premises and Upgrading to Windows Server 2019

If you’ve invested a lot in your server hardware and it’s still in good working condition, then you may want to upgrade the operating system on your server rather than getting rid of it altogether for a cloud environment.

If you have 2008 R2, Microsoft is recommending an upgrade to Windows Server 2019. But it’s important to know that this is a two-step upgrade process. First, you need to upgrade from 2008 R2 to 2012 R2, then you can upgrade from 2012 R2 to 2019.

What about just staying with 2012 R2? If you do this, you’ll be looking at end of support for that OS in just a couple more years, on October 10, 2023. So, it makes sense to upgrade to the newest version (2019) if you’re going through the time and cost of an upgrade in the first place.

Keeping your server on-premises does come with risks. We just saw one during the pandemic, where lockdowns kept everyone home so companies had to come up with ways to connect remote workers to on-premises data storage and application systems. You also run the risk of losing data in the case of a natural or man-made disaster (flood, fire, etc.)

Here are some of the reasons you may want to go with an on-premises upgrade.

Control Over Your Data

When you have your data on-premises you have complete control over its availability and don’t have to worry about a possible cloud outage. You also don’t have to rely on a 3rd party for your security, it’s all under your control and protected by your own network firewall.

You Can Access Data Offline

Companies that prefer to use a local area network instead of having to access resources online all the time, may also prefer doing an upgrade of their on-premises server.

When you have an on-premises server, you can run ethernet connections between your workstations, allowing you to connect to your server resources locally offline.

Moving to the Cloud and Upgrading to Microsoft Azure

Most companies in Broomfield and the rest of the country have been steadily migrating their work processes to the cloud over the last five years or so. This offers anywhere availability of resources, which has become increasingly important in today’s unpredictable world.

A migration to the cloud would involve rehosting your Windows 2008 R2 workloads in Azure, a virtual cloud server. You still have the tools you’re familiar with – Windows Server Active Directory, Windows Admin Center, PowerShell – in a cloud environment. 

Some of the reasons to upgrade to Azure from 2008 R2 include the following.

Anywhere Access is the Future

Anywhere access to data and workflows is not only the future, it has pretty much become the present. Remote workforces have taken a huge leap forward in 2020 due to the global pandemic, making it important to ensure resources are available easily from anywhere.

Hosting your data and applications in a cloud server environment rather than on-premises, makes it easier to access them from any location when you need to. They’re also protected in case of a damaging event at your office.

Expand Space Affordably

If you have a physical on-premises server and you run out of space, you have to purchase a whole new server, which can be costly. But if you’re using a cloud server, you can expand your capacity at the click of a button and for much less cost due to the elasticity of a cloud environment.

Get Affordable & Reliable Server Solutions from B-Comp Services 

We offer multiple server support solutions for Denver area businesses, including migrations and helping you choose the best environment for your needs.

Contact us today to get started. Call at 303-282-4934 or contact us online.