In this month’s newsletter we are going to discus two or three different SQL Server issues: SQL 2008 End of life, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and SQLAzure They may not seem to be related but I think they need to be addressed together.
SQL Server 2008, End of Life
Extended support for SQL 2008 will end on July 9, 2019. That sounds like a long time, but now is a good time to begin. It is a migration that will not be easy and it certainly will not be cheap.
SQL Server 2008 was the last SQL Server version before Microsoft changed to a complicated core-based pricing model that made SQL Server vastly more expensive. It has been getting more expensive with each upgrade.
It is difficult to come up with a difference in prices then and now because of the many changes since SQL 2008 was rolled out that have to be taken into account but I will make a rough guess that you will pay at least fifteen times what you paid for what you now have.
What If I don’t want to upgrade?
There are some SQL 2008 instances that can just go on doing what they have always been doing without worrying about security. We don’t need to discus them much.
However, Consider this.
Your database instances after that date will not be receiving regular security upgrades. The safety of your client’s data is questionable. If a hacker gets in and steals their data what might ensue is a lawsuit that you can’t win. It is questionable whether you would be able to securely handle healthcare or credit card data as is required by law.
To complicate all of this, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect this month.
GDPR imposes new security rules on companies, government agencies, non-profits, and other organizations that offer goods and services to people in the European Union (EU), or that collect and analyze data tied to EU residents. The GDPR applies no matter where you are located.
Personally, I don’t think it will be possible to create a secure and compliant database platform on an unsupported version of SQL 2008 no matter what you do.
However If you still want to upgrade to the current version of SQL Server you are going to spend a lot of time and money on upgradiing to another shrink wrap version.
Since you will be spending a lot of money no matter what you do, you might want to think about moving your database instance to the cloud, in this case to Microsoft SQL Azure.
I have not recommended Azure to my clients before now, but it is a new world out there. I think in light of the new security requirements thrust on us now,Azure is a reasonable choice for even small database instances. It is somewhat expensive but Azure takes care of server hardware, backups, security, etc, all of the things your don’t want to worry about.
I am far from an AzureSQL expert but I have my own database instance in Azure and have shepherded a couple of my clients into SQLAzure . If Azure is of interest to you (and it should be) I advise you to talk to Microsoft about moving your database instance to the Azure cloud. Let Microsoft do the hard work.