Date: May 14, 2019Reading Time: 2 minutes
FREE! Did I get your attention? Free what though…?
Everyone uses the word “free” as a way to get our attention but typically the free offering is pretty much worthless. That, or the cost is simply being wrapped into whatever is being sold. Rarely is something of actual VALUE given for free. But THIS “free” offer has real value, especially if you are still running SQL Server 2008/2008 R2. Microsoft is offering FREE security updates for SQL Server 2008 when it reaches end-of-support (EOS) on July 9, 2019.
From all accounts, there is a massive install base of SQL Server 2008. Some have indicated more than half of all SQL Server deployments are 2008. This would mean a lot of very concerned DBAs who will be losing security updates in a few months. So what? Once a vulnerability is identified, all the bad guys that want to steal your critical data will exploit it. Without security updates, these systems will be wide open for them to help themselves.
Microsoft is Offering 3 Years of Security Updates to Move SQL Server to Azure
So, what’s free that will actually help? Microsoft is offering 3 years of security updates at no cost IF you move those SQL workloads to their Azure cloud. Sure, there is a cost to hosting these systems in Azure, but that cost will be offset by the reduced cost of hosting and managing them on-premises and all the other benefits cloud offers. And let’s face it, you’ve probably been considering moving to the cloud anyway, and this may be just the right opportunity to make that leap.
Something to consider when planning your move to Azure is your clustering solution. Like most SQL Server deployments, you probably have your systems protected against downtime using a shared-storage clustering solution, like Windows Server Failover Clusters (WSFC), or they are running in VMs protected by VMware HA. The issue that you will face is that the shared-storage subsystem WSFC requires isn’t available in Azure and there is no hypervisor failover option like VMware HA either.
SIOS Provides High Availability for SQL Server 2008 in Azure
That’s where SIOS can help. SIOS solutions alleviate the need for shared storage, providing block-level data replication between two nodes that happens transparently to WSFC, allowing you to continue to provide high availability for your SQL Server 2008 instance by deploying a SQL Server SANless Failover Cluster Instance (FCI).
Together, SIOS and Microsoft enable you to confidently deploy your SQL Server instances in Azure, maintaining availability and security SLAs. Speaking of free, check out our free offer to assist you with maintaining support for SQL Server 2008 by moving it to Microsoft Azure in a highly-available cluster configuration. We will assist you in designing, deploying, configuring, and validating your SQL Server environments in Microsoft Azure.