Don’t get left behind – why it’s time to upgrade from Windows Server 2012

As the curtains fall on Windows Server 2012 R2, with mainstream support ending on October 10, 2023, it’s essential for businesses to acknowledge this change and upgrade.

Ignoring Windows Server 2012 end-of-life can expose servers to new risks, especially as there won’t be any further security patches after the cut-off date.

But with the right strategy, there’s a clear path forward. With many alternatives to choose from, we’re here to serve as a beacon to guide you through your options.

Also, in case you missed it, don’t forget to check out this months Coasting the Cloud Livestream. We were joined by special guests Andy Porter, Microsoft Partner Technology Strategist and Chris Williams, Territory Channel Manager, as we delved in what Microsoft call Secure Productivity.

The End of an Era…

One door closes, another one opens: Why you can’t afford to ignore this upgrade

“Sticking with outdated software isn’t just a tech oversight; it’s a risk that no modern business should take.”
Unpatched and unprotected, the consequences of continuing to use mission-critical software like Windows Server 2012 beyond end of life can be dire.

The term ‘end of life’ might sound finalistic, but in the software world, it is an inevitable phase in any product lifecycle. When a product reaches the end of its life, developers will no longer release updates, patches, or provide technical support, thus pushing users to newer solutions. 

While Windows Server 2012 has long been a reliable workhorse, Microsoft is committed to its focus on developing its current product range. For businesses, sticking with an out-of-date system post end-of-life can open a pandora’s box of potential issues, such as: 

  • Vulnerability to threats: Without security patches, servers become a breeding ground for malware and other malicious activities. 
  • Lack of bug fixes: Any persisting problems, such as compatibility issues with newer hardware, won’t be addressed. 
  • Lack of support: With a stagnant knowledge base and no more customer or technical support available, you’ll be on your own. 

Microsoft Azure awaits: Embracing the future with extended security updates

When it comes to server management, transitioning to the most contemporary system is nearly always the best option. It’s not all about keeping up with the latest tech; it’s about safeguarding your operations and data, and ensuring optimal efficiency. Microsoft Azure not only presents businesses with enhanced features and functionality; it fundamentally changes the approach to server infrastructure with greater resilience, adaptability, and scalability. 

As one of the leading cloud platforms, Azure offers a comprehensive and multifaceted solution for today’s business needs. Moreover, as it’s also a Microsoft offering, it’s a natural destination for those looking to upgrade from Windows Server 2012. By upgrading, you can open the door to advanced security features designed to tackle modern threats, enjoy complete scalability of your computing resources, and dramatically reduce capital expenses. 

For those considering the transition, here are the two avenues we recommend: 

  1. Azure Virtual Machines: Simply migrate your existing Windows Server 2012 machines to Azure VMs. This hassle-free approach not only offers the familiarity of your existing system; it also gives you the added benefit of Extended Security Updates until 2026. 
  2. Complete Azure Integration: Migrate your workloads to other Azure services and fully modernise your operations. While undeniably the more complicated option, this allows you to harness all of Azure’s advanced capabilities. 

In most cases, we recommend doing both in the above order. By first moving existing servers to Azure VMs, you can continue running your legacy apps and enjoy some breathing room while you prepare for the more permanent solution that is full Azure integration. 

The on-premise challenge: Navigating cost and complexity

There’s typically an on-premises alternative to migrating to the cloud, and Windows Server 2012 is no exception. However, for businesses considering this route, it’s vital that they factor in both the foreseeable and unforeseeable complexities that come with this choice. Although maintaining physical control and oversight of your servers might offer a semblance of comfort, a cloud migration almost invariably far outweighs these perceived benefits. 

There are two options if you want to go down the on-premises route. In most cases, the better option is to upgrade directly to Windows Server 2022, but doing so comes with major upfront costs and operational investments. The other option is arguably even costlier, as it involves purchasing yearly extended security updates for each server. Moreover, this option is only available to companies with Enterprise agreements with Microsoft.  

Thank you for reading. Let us know what you think!


Embarking on any server migration can seem daunting, especially when you’re moving from a legacy system like Microsoft Server 2012. But with the right expertise on your side, you can enjoy a seamless experience with a greatly reduced risk of complications. 

Westcoast Cloud helps businesses navigate through the expansive world of cloud computing pioneering tech solutions. Let us guide you to brighter horizons, and ensure your cloud journey is nothing short of exceptional. Contact us today to learn more.

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