SQL Server has brought reliability and security to mission-critical workloads for 30 years. SQL Server 2022, released November 2022, delivers performance enhancements as well as Azure connectivity for disaster recovery, analytics, and governance. Now customers like Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) are using SQL Server 2022 to expand their capabilities to better support a truly worldwide operation.
“Features like Query Store hints and the next generation of Intelligent Query Processing are awesome. The possibility of improving and maintaining great performance over time without code changes is getting better on every new SQL Server version“—Javier Villegas: IT Director for DBA and BI Service, Mediterranean Shipping Company
We love delivering innovation with each new version of SQL Server. But all good things must come to an end: SQL Server 2014 has a ten-year product lifecycle, and after this time product support and regular security updates cease. Support for SQL Server 2012 ended on July 12, 2022, and Windows Server 2012/R2 and SQL Server 2014 releases reached end of support on October 10th, 2023, and July 9th, 2024 respectively.
The upcoming end-of-support milestones are an opportunity to evaluate your business needs and modernize your IT estate. To provide you with the flexibility to stay secure while you plan for the future, we are announcing a new option to help you manage this transition: SQL Server 2014 Extended Security Updates will offer up to three years of critical security updates and the ability to obtain technical support through existing support contracts. Extended Security Updates are free for workloads running in Azure. The updates will be offered for sale to use on-premises and in multicloud environments. If you work with an EA Reseller or Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP), you can now purchase Extended Security Updates from your partner as of October 1, 2023.
This complements the recent announcement of Extended Security Updates for SQL Server 2012 enabled by Azure Arc, which provides Azure benefits and flexible subscription billing for SQL Server 2012 workloads on-premises or in multicloud environments.
Customers have multiple options for the SQL Server in their data estate that is nearing the end of support. These options include migrating or modernizing to Azure, upgrading to SQL Server 2022, or purchasing Extended Security Updates if more time is needed before the upgrade or migration.
Modernize to Azure for the latest database features
Modernize your SQL Server by migrating to the always up-to-date Azure SQL Managed Instance, which upgrades and patches automatically. Azure SQL Managed Instance is an intelligent cloud database service combining the broadest SQL Server engine compatibility—all the way back to SQL Server 2008—with the benefits of a fully managed database as a service. SQL Server licenses with Software Assurance are eligible for Azure Hybrid Benefit to help you reduce the costs of moving to Azure SQL Managed Instance.
Migrate to Azure, and get Extended Security Updates at no additional cost
If you are ready to move to the cloud but challenged to upgrade or modernize before the end of the support timeline, Extended Security Updates are available for free in Azure for SQL Server 2014 and 2012 and Windows Server 2012. Secure your workloads for up to three more years after the end of the support deadline by migrating applications and SQL Server databases to Azure Virtual Machines. Free Extended Security Updates are available for Azure Virtual Machines including Azure Dedicated Host, Azure VMWare Solution, Nutanix Cloud Clusters on Azure, and Azure Stack (Hub, Edge, and HCI). Combining Extended Security Updates in Azure with Azure Hybrid Benefit further reduces your costs. With these pricing advantages, AWS is up to five times more expensive than Azure for SQL Server and Windows Server end-of-support workloads.
Stay protected on-premises or in multicloud environments
Another way to stay protected is to upgrade your SQL Server to SQL Server 2022, the most Azure-enabled release yet. Get more out of your data with enhanced security, industry-leading performance and availability, and business continuity through Azure.
Customers who cannot meet the end-of-support deadline and have Software Assurance or subscription licenses will have the option to buy Extended Security Updates to get three more years of security updates.
For SQL Server 2012, Windows Server 2012/R2, and starting next year SQL Server 2014, customers can protect their workloads with Extended Security Updates enabled by Azure Arc. With Azure Arc, organizations will be able to activate and seamlessly deploy Extended Security Updates in on-premises or multicloud environments, right from the Azure portal.
Extended Security Updates for SQL Server enabled by Azure Arc provide visibility of your entire SQL estate, automate repeatable updates and patches, and can enhance security and data governance with Azure services. It is offered as a monthly subscription which will automatically stop when you migrate or upgrade—pay only for what you need.
Get started planning Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2014 end of support
We encourage all our customers running SQL Server 2014, Windows Server 2012, and 2012 R2 to start planning for the end of support. We have migration resources, best practices, and more as well as a rich ecosystem of partners ready to help. To get started, please visit the following pages to learn more:
- Azure migration and modernization center with resources for every stage of your cloud migration.
- What are Extended Security Updates for SQL Server? Covering more details on Extended Security Updates and your options.
- SQL Server and Windows Server Extended Security Updates resource page.
- Extended Security Updates enabled by Azure Arc with details on how to get started with this option.