Are You Running Windows Server 2008 or SQL Server 2008?

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Windows Servers 2008 support ends on January 14, 2020. If you are running this version of the Windows operating system, here’s what you need to be thinking about now.

  1. Is it time to move?

Server upgrades are moving. No one looks forward to moving, but in almost every occasion, the end result is worth it. If your IT organization is like most, you try to combine as many IT upgrades or refreshes as possible to lessen the upheaval necessary to modernize your IT infrastructure. In IT, most refreshes are driven by an application upgrade, an OS refresh or an architecture change.

Over the last six months, Microsoft has announced the EOS (end of support) of SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008. We prepared an eBook on upgrading Windows Servers 2008 to help you understand how much time is left and what you need to be considering now. The EOS announcement is important. One detail that stands out is that Microsoft will no longer provide security updates on either SQL Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008. You could be introducing a huge security risk by simply continuing to run software past EOS.

Now is the perfect time to modernize your infrastructure and applications.

  • Ensure your applications and infrastructure are secure
  • Add advanced analytics and get the most out of your data
  • Consolidate and simplify infrastructure and operations
  1. Should I upgrade infrastructure and applications at the same time?

Outside of application, OS, and hypervisor refreshes, IT departments have also been evaluating software-defined storage (SDS), hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) and software-defined data centers (SDDC). Now may be the perfect time to combine multiple projects and modernize your data center with SDS with Microsoft SQL Server 2017 or 2019 and Windows Server 2019.

The question many IT departments wrestle with is whether they should just refresh the software or if they should upgrade the hardware, too. There are times when the hardware the EOS software is running on is so out-of-date that an upgrade of just the software won’t work. Those are the no-brainer situations, but there are other times when it’s not so clear-cut. Consider this:

Moore’s law continues to play out by doubling processing power every 18 months. Servers and their key resources (compute, memory and storage), as well as applications keep finding new ways to leverage technology gains. The combination of PowerEdge, SQL Server and Windows Server produced 12X more IOPS in a vSAN cluster[1], 20.8X faster queries and reduced configuration time by 99%[2] compared to running on older servers

Performance is an obvious benefit and Dell EMC OpenManage is a powerful portfolio to simplify, automate and optimize IT. Did you know, PowerEdge servers also significantly increase security with features to lock down server configurations, secure firmware updates, and simplify the retirement/repurpose of a server with Secure Erase?

Only you can decide whether to upgrade the hardware as you upgrade the operating system. You have to ensure that the hardware can reliably and adequately support the new version of Microsoft Windows Server and/or SQL Server.

  1. How can I right-size my infrastructure?

Properly sizing a new infrastructure is more challenging than ever. We all know server consolidation is a given – you will not need as many servers to run the same amount of workloads. The extent in which you are consolidating and the new server configuration requirements are important concerns to address. In addition, if you are moving to a hyper-converged or software-defined storage architecture, more questions will need to be answered  You can take the guesswork out of properly sizing an environment using Live Optics.

Live Optics is an online software (nothing to install) that gathers workload characteristics and resource utilization to give you all the information you need to size an infrastructure based on your needs. It often eliminates overdesign and provisioning from not understanding what resources are truly being used.

  1. How do I know I am making the right decisions?

Now is the perfect time to refresh an aging infrastructure while refreshing to a newer version of Windows Server or SQL Servers. Using Live Optics, you can ensure your refresh maximizes your infrastructure resources and optimizes your socket and core-based licensing. Don’t overlook the savings you can reap from licensing. Typically, you can consolidate servers on a 5:1 basis delivering significant licensing savings.

Let us help you design an infrastructure that is right-sized, delivers automated management throughout the entire server lifecycle, and increases your server security.

To learn more, visit dellemc.com/servers or join the conversation on Twitter @DellEMCservers.

[1] Principled Technologies (PT) commissioned by Dell EMC, “Consolidate Your Data Analytics Servers with Dell EMC PowerEdge R740xd,” October 2017. Full Report: http://facts.pt/rszSR7.

[2] Based on Principled Technologies report, “Simplifying Systems Management with Dell OpenManage on 13G Dell PowerEdge Servers,” commissioned by Dell, testing Dell’s 13th-generation R730 with Enterprise-level Dell systems management, August 2014.

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