Windows 2008 R2, the most popular server operating system for small to medium businesses, will be end-of-life in January 2020. What does ‘end-of-life’ mean? Microsoft will no longer issue patches or updates to this OS, making it vulnerable to hackers, creating a security risk. Newer software may not be compatible with this older OS (it was release 10 years ago, after all).
One of the issues we’ve seen when upgrading to the 2016 Server Operating System has been issues with print drivers. Many of our clients have older printers, the true work horses of the office! Due to their age, the manufacturers are not providing updated print drivers for them. So, with the newer operating systems, these old printers will not work.
Take a look at your capital planning budget and build in funds to replace older printers well before the deadlines. You’ll need to have the Server OS upgraded BEFORE the deadline to avoid any security risks.
The next consideration is your mission-critical software. This includes any middleware, accounting software, special reporting software, anything you rely on. Contact the manufacturers and ask if their software is compatible with the 2016 Operating System, or if there is an upgrade available that is compatible. If not, you may have to consider installing the 2012 OS instead, which impacts the printers, too.
Lastly, you’ll need to take a look at your server hardware. Older equipment may not be appropriate for an upgrade; you may need to replace the hardware. This might be a time to consider virtualization to reduce the amount of servers; perhaps look at private server hosting which includes a monthly fee, but no capital purchase.
Bottom line? Hardware may need to be replaced and software needs to be upgraded. Having an antique car is fun, but not if you need to get to work every day! Need help? Give us a call – 630-850-9039 – CMW