SQL Server 2014 End of Life

The text "End of Life for SQL Server 2014" on white and grey textured background

SQL Server 2014 is weeks away from their end of life. On July 9, 2024, Microsoft will stop providing security updates, technical support, and other essential services for this products. 

If your organization is still running on this server, we’ve compiled all the information you need on what this means for your business—and what options you have going forward. 

The Risks of Doing Nothing 

What exactly does it mean when we say SQL Server 2014 is going end of life? 

It means no more updates and support from Microsoft, which makes this system vulnerable to security threats, including ransomware. Threat actors love unsupported systems, often specifically targeting organizations running out-of-date software. 

By choosing inaction, you are opening yourself to an untold number of security threats. Cyber insurance often refuses to cover you if your obsolete server (e.g., SQL Server 2014) is breached, leading to fines and potential lawsuits for falling out of compliance. 

You should also consider the risks of performance and stability issues when using unsupported and non-updated products and the inability to install new features or applications. 

Your Options 

Like the end of life issues of Windows Server 2012/2012R2 and SQL 2012, if you’re still running one of Microsoft's no-longer-supported products, you have three primary options. 

  1. Upgrade to a Supported Server Version: The most obvious—and simplest—option, this will provide the smoothest transition for your organization. Choose from Server 2016, Server 2019, or Server 2022.
     
  1. Migrate Virtual Machines to Azure: This option allows for continued security updates at no additional charge for three years, provided the VMs are moved to Azure. This option will incur monthly compute and storage costs.
     
  1. Stay On-Prem: For those preferring to keep their systems on-site, HBS can facilitate the purchase of Extended Security Updates (ESU) through a monthly Azure subscription or an annual CSP subscription. 

It is important to note that to migrate your VMs to Azure or to stay on-premises and purchase ESUs, your server must meet one of the following prerequisites: 

  • Have an active Software Assurance (SA) plan (e.g., Open Value Agreement or CSP Software subscription).
  • Have a Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA) that includes ESU licenses.

HBS can rent licenses to clients, offering flexibility and custom solutions. Microsoft’s messaging can sometimes be confusing—we are here to clarify and simplify the best possible options for any organization.

Understanding ESUs 

The Extended Security Update program is designed as a last resort measure for customers needing to run legacy Microsoft products beyond their support lifecycle. It includes critical security updates for up to three years after the end of extended support.

There are two ways to purchase ESUs: 

  • Monthly Azure subscription 
    Azure Arc for Windows Server gives you two licensing choices: 
    • Pay based on the number of virtual cores (vCores) with an 8-core minimum for licensing.
    • Pay based on the number of physical cores (pCores) with a 16-core minimum for licensing.
    • Pricing for Azure Arc for SQL Server is based on vCores with a 4-core minimum.
  • Annual CSP subscription
    Like Azure Arc, pricing for on-premises ESU licenses can be based on either vCore or pCore you want covered. The licenses must align with how you have licensed the underlying Windows Server environment. This includes the edition of Windows Server (Standard or Datacenter) and the number of cores. 

Don’t Get Left Behind 

The end of support for SQL Server 2014 is quickly approaching. Continuing to run these outdated systems exposes your organization to significant security risks, potential compliance issues, and hinders your ability to embrace new features and applications. 

HBS can help you navigate your upgrade or migration options, ensuring a smooth transition to a supported environment. We offer a variety of solutions to fit your specific needs and budget, whether it's upgrading to a newer server version, migrating to Azure, or extending security updates on-premises. 

Please don't wait until it's too late. Contact HBS today and secure your future!