Microsoft is flagging up the end of life for yet another of its workhorse products, SQL Server 2005, as the deadline for the end of support for Windows Server 2003 reaches three months, handing IT chiefs yet another migration to plan for.
Organisations still have a year to plan for the end of support for SQL Server 2005, which reaches the end of the extended support phase of its lifecycle on 12 April 2016. However, Microsoft is warning that a migration could take longer than customers anticipate, and adds to the potential burden that IT departments may be facing as the Windows Server 2003 end of life falls on 14 July this year.
"After 10 great years, extended support for all versions of SQL Server 2005 is coming to an end on April 12, 2016," said Microsoft's corporate vice president for its data platform T.K. Rengarajan, writing on the Official Microsoft Blog.
"A year sounds like plenty of time to plan your migration, but, depending on the type of application, the migration destination, the scale of the move and resources allocated, migrations can take several months."
Moving to a newer database management system is "not just a maintenance task", but an opportunity to derive new business value, according to Rengarajan. Microsoft recommends customers upgrade to the latest version of the software, SQL Server 2014, or else migrate their database to its cloud-hosted Azure SQL Database service, either of which would offer a substantial increase in performance as well as new capabilities.
Upgrading to SQL Server 2014 will require customers to be running Windows Server 2008 R2 or later to host the software, which would also involve a server upgrade if they deployed SQL Server onto a Windows Server 2003 instance.
Microsoft is offering tools and resources to help organisations plan and execute an upgrade, including the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit to evaluate their existing IT infrastructure, plus free trials of SQL Server 2014 and Microsoft Azure.
Alternatively, Microsoft partners can assist organisations with a migration. For example, hosting firm Rackspace recently introduced a fully managed database-as-a-service (DBaaS) offering based on SQL Server 2014.
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