As of April 12, 2016, Extended Support for SQL Server 2005 will cease. And while this specific announcement doesn’t sound impactful to your business at the outset, consider the following statistic. Spiceworks, a leading network for the IT industry, conducted a study that claimed 4 out of 5 customers are still running at least one instance of SQL Server 2005. That single outlier could be the gate left open to your servers.
Microsoft’s recent announcement translates thusly: the 2005 server’s obsolescence is inevitable, and keeping even one instance of it presents risks to your business. And while this might sound like unclear jargon at the outset, we’ll plainly explain what’s taking place, and why you should seriously consider an upgrade.
End of Support Business Impacts
Business owners and IT practitioners who stick to their old version of database server should expect unfavorable impacts on their business. End of Extended Support for this SQL version means no security updates, no hotfixes, no assisted support (neither free nor paid), and no more technical content updates. Business disruptions and bottlenecks caused by slow-performing databases and downtime should come as no surprise if your business keeps ’05 around.
It follows that maintaining legacy servers brings higher maintenance costs. Even more, compliance concerns may arise, as your business will likely fail to meet regulatory standards when support for your servers, firewalls, and intrusion systems comes to a close.
The Advantages of an Upgrade
Businesses who possess the initiative to stay on par with changing technology will see payoffs. These will manifest themselves in a litany of ways, most importantly via performance and security. You should see more efficient server function as your data platform infrastructure will be optimized, and security updates means critical business data is better protected. Those bottlenecks and downtime we just mentioned are all but nullified when choosing Microsoft’s latest update.
Upgrading to SQL 2014 mitigates the risk of system failures that can cost a company time and money, and it keeps you ahead of the compliance curve. Ultimately, you’re creating a healthier IT-environment, and smooth business operations are likely to follow. Companies should inventory their server hardware to see if their servers are scheduled for service retirement and make plans to upgrade ahead of their retirement date.
What’s New in SQL 2014
The breakthrough in-memory performance is proven to be 13x that of SQL server 2005. And if that alone is not enough reason to upgrade, 2014 includes disaster recovery features like AlwaysOn, and security features that make SQL the least vulnerable platform six years in a row. Support includes maintenance updates and security patching, and 2014 is easily scalable across both networking and storage. If you’re a techie, you should know that it can support 640 logical processors, and offers virtualization and live migration support.
This means easier access to both big and small data, which—if you’ve been paying attention—is the direction of nearly every major industry around. SQL 2014 also allows insights with familiar tools like the self-service BI, so there’s not a whole new training regimen to reading and interpreting your data.
2014’s hybrid cloud solutions provide the best of on-premises and cloud computing, with an easy on-ramp to the cloud. Too, you’ll have the ability to virtualize and modernize your data platform/infrastructure for maximized performance. This translates to a significantly lower total cost of ownership.
The Bottom Line
Next week marks the End of Extended Support for SQL Server 2005. This is a crucial event for business owners and IT practitioners as keeping old versions of database servers put them at greater risk for cyber-security attacks and business disruptions caused by slow-performing databases and downtime.
Too, keep these basic considerations in mind when choosing who you work with. Businesses who voluntarily upgrade their servers can leverage dramatic performance gains, are more scalable and available, and offer rich business intelligence (BI) capabilities that come with Microsoft’s new versions of database servers.
If it’s been a while since you considered your database servers, give Dynamic Quest a call. You can plan an upgrade with our experts, and we’ll put you on track not only for server success, but business success as well.