Microsoft has reminded customers that the extended support for all editions of Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 will end on October 10.
Although Windows Server 2012 reached its mainstream support end date over four years ago, in October 2018, Microsoft pushed back the end date for extended support five years to allow customers to migrate to newer, under-support Windows Server versions.
Once the end of extended support is reached, Redmond will stop providing technical support and bug fixes for newly discovered issues that may impact the stability or usability of servers running the two OS versions.
“After this date, these products will no longer receive security updates, non-security updates, bug fixes, technical support, or online technical content updates,” Microsoft said on Tuesday.
Customers advised to upgrade or migrate to Azure
Microsoft advises admins who want to keep their on-premises Windows Server 2012 servers running and receiving bug fixes and security updates to upgrade to Windows Server 2022 or purchase Extended Security Updates (ESUs).
ESUs will provide them with up to three more years of security updates, renewable every year until October 13, 2026.
The other option is to migrate their databases and applications to Azure Virtual Machines, which will also provide them with free ESUs for three years after the end of support.
“For on-premises servers, customers can use Azure Arc to receive automated/scheduled ESU updates and installation as well as the security and governance capabilities in Azure,” Microsoft said.
Windows Server 2008/R2 Extended Security Updates (ESUs) will also reach end support on January 10, 2023.
Additional information about Extended Security Updates is available on this frequently asked questions page.
“With cyberattacks becoming more sophisticated and frequent, running apps and data on unsupported versions can create significant security and compliance risks,” Microsoft said in July 2021.
“It is highly recommended that customers upgrade to the most current versions for better performance, efficiency, and regular security updates.”