Windows Server 2008 R2 End of Life and the Public Sector

On July 19,2019 Microsoft will drop support for SQL Server 2008 R2. Soon, on Jan. 14, it will retire support for Windows Server 2008 R2. Security, product updates and technical support will disappear for organizations using these operating system staples.

Public sector organizations, including local, state and higher education institutions, have largely relied on this system to host enterprise resource planning (ERP) programs, web applications, database systems and other mission-critical applications. Most organizations have not properly planned or budgeted for this change. After making the initial investment, it may be simply not viable to purchase additional hardware to handle the increased needs of a newer operating system and software. But without support for what you have, what will you do with your old servers?

Why Should Public Agencies Take a Look at AWS?

Obviously, you can migrate Windows server workloads to another on-prem solution, but a more cost-effective — and more appealing option is to migrate your existing infrastructure to the cloud. According to a NASCIO (National Association of State CIOs) State-of-the-State report in 2018, 33% of public sector organizations are considering an off-premise move in the next two to three years. For the public sector, below are four advantages of moving to the cloud.

  • Moving cost from CapEx to OpEx
  • Reallocating IT talent to solving business problems instead of supporting hardware
  • Eliminating hardware refresh cycles
  • Decreasing licensing costs.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one possibility that makes the switch easy and less cumbersome than other options. AWS runs more Microsoft workloads than any other Public Cloud provider (including Microsoft’s own Azure platform), and has been at it for longer than a decade. With easy-to-use solutions in the AWS Marketplace built to migrate these workloads, making the move is painless. The end of life of these two platforms provides a perfect opportunity to modernize your infrastructure, while potentially reducing your organization’s overhead IT costs.

Consider a few reasons public sector organizations should migrate to AWS:

Get Out of the Microsoft License Management Business

Managing Microsoft Licensing has always been a tedious task that has never been straightforward or easy to manage. When you migrate your Windows workloads to AWS, all of the Windows Server licenses are managed for you. In fact, AWS includes the licenses as part of the cost of the instance, and there are no CALs required. (Hold for applause...) Flexibility is a huge component in AWS, so architectures can be deployed to leverage your own licensing for Windows Server if that is a requirement.

Let AWS Handle the Mundane Tasks for Your SQL Server Database

When you are using Microsoft SQL Server (or any other database for that matter), there are the mundane tasks that are always a requirement like hardware provisioning, patching and backups. With Amazon’s Relational Database Service (RDS), AWS automates all of those tasks, freeing you up to focus on your applications so you can give them the fast performance, high availability, security and compatibility they need. Amazon RDS is also flexible when it comes to licensing. RDS can be priced with the license from Microsoft included in the price, or alternatively, in a BYOL (bring your own license) model.

Auto-Scaling Can Be Done on the Fly

Another concern with migrating to the cloud may be that you don’t have the dedicated resources to handle changes in capacity. AWS offers auto-scaling that can be done easily. This reduces your overall costs, saving precious operating funds from a possibly already limited budget.

We know that public sector organizations — whether local or state offices or universities — have limited funds to spend on IT and technical support, and it’s always a challenge when dedicated funds go away. Because of this, when you use AWS solutions, moving to the cloud will be easier, faster and cheaper than staying when you face on-premises Windows Server 2008 R2 end of life.

As an AWS advanced consulting partner, we're help to help you make this transition and answer your important questions.

Are you ready to take the next step? Sign up for our free cloud ready assessment.

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Meet the Author

Dal VanDervort, Vice President Sales - Public Sector

Dal VanDervort, Vice President Sales - Public Sector

Dal oversees sales strategy for the governmental and institutional sectors. He joined Onix in 2000 as federal account sales manager, working with key Department of Defense and civilian agencies. During his tenure here, he has served as a Sales Account Manager across all segments and as Sales Manager for the federal, state, local government, educational and enterprise sales teams. Prior to joining Onix, Dal served on the leadership team for a firm that developed and sold industrial sensor technologies for the natural gas and nuclear industries and also installations within the federal government. A self-proclaimed "fairly boring person," Dal travels extensively for work. He's been racking up the frequent flier miles and passport stamps and has been doing so since age 24 with travels to Ireland, Spain, China, Canada, all 50 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and a few Caribbean islands.

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