Server 2008 and Windows 7 enter End of Support (EOS) on January 14, 2020. Organizations who don’t prepare for this are staring at a ticking time bomb. They won’t have access to critical security patches and won’t meet compliance. Hackers also know these end of service dates and will take full advantage of them, making you extra vulnerable. This is exactly what we saw with the WannaCry attack, targeting computers running Windows XP well after it’s end of support date.
There’s never been a better opportunity to move your servers to the Microsoft Cloud. Business owners have commented during technology strategy discussions that they were interested in the cloud but weren’t willing to migrate over because they had technology that was working, secure and paid for. However, now with Windows 7 and Server 2008 ending support, the conversation is different.
Your business will incur costs either for new operating systems and hardware or the cloud. Investing in solutions like Azure offers a more secure and scalable long-term strategy.
Focus on your business not your hardware
Yes, you can upgrade to Microsoft Server 2016 and continue purchasing new hardware as needed for the duration of your business. Alternatively, migrating to Azure offers you a way off the hamster wheel of needing to purchase new servers every five years. It also eliminates concerns about where to physically store, maintain and support the machines, and about the costs of needing to purchase additional servers as you expand your operations, employee size or footprint.
That frees up time, money and resources for you to focus on driving your business forward.
Pay only for what you need and use
Azure lets you be more strategic and flexible with your resources, giving you the ability to provision and de-provision resources as needed, ensuring you only pay for what you actually use. When you are not using Azure, you have to shell out capital to ensure the highest use capability all the time.
Heightened security and monitoring
Employees can already access emails, documents and applications outside of work. Creating flexibility for your employees, without sacrificing productivity or security, takes either an extraordinary amount of capital and work for you, or you need cloud-based tools like Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS).
EMS allows you to manage company devices and data remotely. You can control who has access to which documents, and whether or not they can be downloaded, printed or shared. For your employees, it is a secure way to collaborate no matter what device they are on.
Free Extended Security Updates
This is a lesser-known, money-saving perk for anyone who has Software Assurance and is currently running Windows server 2008 or SQL server 2008. Instead of deploying Windows 2016 on new hardware, you can rehost your existing operating system to Azure, get free extended security updates and save a lot of money through this Azure hybrid-use benefit.
Better Data Protections
Many businesses back up their data to prevent downtime and loss of valuable information. This is a good start, but Azure offers an even better solution. Microsoft has a worldwide network of data centers it can tap into. Using these resources, Microsoft ensures your customer data is in at least two geographically distributed data center locations. All data centers meet any governmental or compliance regulations that you must follow. The entire system is a stronger solution than having a single on- or off-site backup.
Like Server 2008, you need a plan for Windows 7 entering EOS. While you could purchase Windows 8, this won’t save you any money, and it offers less security than Windows 10. Plus, to take full advantage of cloud-based applications like EM+S, you need Windows 10.
It may also be prudent to update your desktops at the same time, especially if they are more than five years old. If you don’t, you may experience compatibility issues and downtime as old machines attempt to run new software.
Successfully managing a cloud migration requires planning and prior experience to keep your organization secure.
Contact Nortec to schedule a whiteboarding session to see what Azure would look like for your organization. Now is the time. You can call us at 866-531-1990.