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Support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 ended on July 9, 2019. That means the end of regular security updates. However, if you move those SQL Server instances to Azure or Azure Stack, Microsoft will give you three years of extended security updates at no additional cost. If you’re currently running SQL Server 2008 or 2008 R2 and you are unable to update to a later version of SQL Server, you will want to take advantage of this offer rather than running the risk of facing a future security vulnerability. An unpatched instance of SQL Server could lead to data loss, downtime, or a devastating data breach.

If you have a SQL Server failover cluster instance (FCI) or use hypervisor-based high availability, or other clustering technology on-premises for high availability, you’ll probably need the same in Azure. If you need to migrate to Azure/Azure Stack at end of support, and you require high availability for SQL Server 2008/2008 R2, there’s only one solution recommended by Microsoft: SIOS DataKeeper. SIOS DataKeeper enables clustering in the cloud, including the creation of a SQL Server 2008/2008 R2 failover cluster instance, allowing you to achieve your high availability goals.

In order to mitigate the risk of downtime and qualify for Azure’s 99.95% or 99.99% SLA, you have to leverage SIOS DataKeeper. SIOS DataKeeper overcomes the lack of shared storage in Azure and allows you to build a SQL Server failover cluster instance in Azure that leverages the locally attached storage on each instance. SIOS DataKeeper not only supports SQL Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 R2 as documented in this guide, it also supports any version of Windows Server, from 2008 R2 through Windows Server 2019 and any version of SQL Server from SQL Server 2008 through SQL Server 2019.

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