What 5 options are available when these Microsoft server products expire in 2024?

Technology is constantly advancing, and new products are being released regularly. This means the server products your organization is using may not be supported or updated in the future.    

As an organization, when you purchase any Microsoft products and services, there will be the need to start preparing for options as the expiring period draws near. The expiring period can also be termed as the end of support (mainstream support), which is usually five years, after which there is also an Extended Support period, making the entire support duration ten years after which the product gets to the end of the lifecycle.  

Every organization that uses an IT product in general must have a proactive strategy that will ensure continuity in use and security always. There must be in place a consistent reviewing plan of all products in use, including servers to understand the timeline for end of support.  

What IT strategies can help review possible expiry dates for Microsoft server products? 

 Your strategy should start with identifying all server products used in your organization. You should write and store an inventory of when all current in-use servers were purchased, date of installation and use. This can include operating systems, applications, and hardware.  

Determine expiry dates for each product even though this may take some time. Once you have a comprehensive list, research the expiry dates for each product. This can typically be found on the vendor’s website. Carrying this out helps to spot outdated server products that pose a risk to your business continuity and plan for remedial measures in time. If a critical system running on an expired server product fails or experiences a security breach, it could result in downtime, data loss, or other disruptions to business operations. This can be costly and avoiding a situation such as this is very crucial. 

Prioritization is also very strategic to get the needed expected results. Prioritize products with upcoming expiry dates. It’s more of a first come, first serve situation. It is important to prioritize products with expiry dates approaching soon. These should be reviewed and updated first to avoid any potential risks.  

Create a plan for updates of identified servers. Once you have identified which server product needs to be updated, create a plan to implement these changes. This may involve budgeting for new technology or scheduling downtime for updates.  

Monitor ongoing updates as it is important you get all security patches and bugs well taken care of. Regular monitoring of the updated server products ensures that they remain supported and secure. Make this a part of your regular IT maintenance routine and your IT team should align accordingly.   

What is the list of server products reaching the end of support in 2024? 

This is a list usually compiled by Microsoft years ahead to aid organizations prepare ahead with steps to take before their products comes to end of lifecycle. For servers reaching the end of support 2024, this includes Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 dated January 9, 2024. The option to be considered is to upgrade to a higher version which is Dynamics CRM 2015.  

The server used to integrate IBM-hosted data with “on-premises and Azure Cloud applications” which is the Microsoft Host Integration Server 2013 reaches its end of support also January 9, 2024. The option here will be to use the Host Integration Migration tool. This is a tool that collects the configuration information in a current or existing Host Installation Server and relates the information to a new installation. 

Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2013 which serves as a platform used for ”source-code-control, project-management, and team-collaboration,” according to Microsoft’s description will in 2024 also come to end of support. As a requirement for upgrading from the 2013 product to continue usage, organizations will have to upgrade SharePoint and SQL Server.   

For SQL Server 2014, the possible upgrade will be to SQL Server 2022 when the end of support slated for July 9, 2024, is up. You may also want to speak to our team of licensing experts to get an overview of current servers in use in your organization and steps to take ahead of mainstream and extended end of support periods.  

What happens when Microsoft support ends for a server product? 

When Microsoft support ends for a server product, customers will no longer receive technical assistance, software updates, or security fixes. However, the server may continue to function with programs installed on it even after support has been discontinued. But continuous use can become dangerous.  

The lack of support, hence updates, can leave systems vulnerable to new security threats, potentially leading to data breaches or loss. Technology is constantly evolving, and Microsoft’s support is to offer timely solutions to deal with new vulnerabilities that are discovered. Constantly updates are released to address them and keep systems secure. However, when a product reaches its end of support, no new updates will be released, leaving systems vulnerable to these security threats.   

There is also the issue of elevated cost of maintenance as your organization may have to invest extra in other security alternatives to protect and prevent data breaches. Extra or additional security measures will have to be implemented to mitigate the risks associated with running unsupported software. 

Considerations for assessing your current Microsoft server product end-of-support impact 

The first thing to consider is to evaluate the life cycle management process as adopted and practised in your organization. Focus on how products (servers) are maintained, updated, and ultimately retired.   

This includes analyzing the compatibility of new updates or replacements with existing infrastructure. Additionally, understanding the security implications of continuing to use outdated server products that may no longer receive support or updates.   

Also consider the financial impact, including the cost of upgrades and the potential risks of service disruptions. How costly it may get in the case of a downtime impact when upgrades are not completed in time to support continuous operation. When your regular operations stall for a moment, how it affects the quality-of-service delivery.  

What options exist when Microsoft server products reach end of support? 

When Microsoft server products reach the end of support, several options are available to address the situation. Options should not be taken to meet the short-term solutions but noting that a likely situation may arise again. Once a new server product is in use, an end of support period is forthcoming. Get a solution that will be lasting and binding.    

1. Consider pre-owned Microsoft server licenses  

These are software licenses that are legally transferrable for Microsoft server products that were previously owned and used by another entity or organization. This market exists and our team of experts understand and know how to assist you benefit fully from such options. 

We are available to answer and guide you with all uncertainties about opting for used or pre-owned software licenses. Apart from these licenses coming at a reduced cost compared to new licenses, you are able to save up to 70% on your purchases. We also go strictly by all governed and specific regulations and guidelines to ensure the legality and legitimacy of the license transfer.  

2. Upgrade to the latest version 

Consider the latest version of the server product that is supported. This ensures that you continue to receive security updates, patches, and technical support. Upgrading may require hardware updates and software migrations, but it ensures that your systems remain secure and compatible with newer technologies.  

3. Consider extended support 

There is extended support for some products beyond their mainstream support end date and servers are included. During this period, you can still receive security updates and patches, albeit for a fee. This option provides more time to plan and execute upgrades while maintaining a certain level of support.  

4. Migration to Cloud Services 

Consider migrating your server workloads to Microsoft’s cloud platform, Azure. Azure provides a range of services that can replace or augment traditional on-premises server infrastructure. This can include virtual machines, managed services, and serverless computing options. Migration to the cloud can offer benefits such as scalability, reliability, and reduced maintenance overhead.  

5. Risk Mitigation 

If upgrading or migrating is not feasible in the short term, you can implement additional security measures to mitigate the risks associated with running unsupported software. This may include network segmentation, intrusion detection systems, and regular security audits to monitor and protect against potential vulnerabilities.  

Talk to a Microsoft expert in the event of a Microsoft license purchase   

An independent Microsoft licensing and cloud expert can share various scenarios based on experiences to solve your current challenge of an outdated server in use. However, this will be just for the short-term effect.  

 The experts will go beyond this to look at your entire IT estate to identify and put measures in place knowing how likely such situations may have been undetected. The approach to bringing a long-lasting solution will be unbiased and solely in your interest as an organization.   

 In the instance where our team of experts are engaged, we can assist with a thorough inventory and procedures to trigger reminders ahead of end of support dates. What this will do is to get you well prepared ahead in terms of finances, getting workable options available in anticipation and planning your entire IT support operations strategically.  

 Reach out to our team of experts and let’s work on your behalf today.  

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