Business organizations rely on post-sales support services for third-party IT products to maintain operations of products that are core to their IT infrastructure. Suddenly getting caught out of vendor support however, brings internal IT in charge of maintaining performance and availability for core IT products. Many organizations lack the internal resources and expertise to meet such support demands and should understand exactly how the product support lifecycle aligns with their organizational circumstances for investments in various product versions and upgrades.
Organizations that have fallen in love with SQL Server 2005 may relate to this concern. The product was indeed a breakthrough update and offered significant feature improvements in comparison with the earlier product iterations. However, the SQL Server 2005 extended support ends on April 12, 2016 and product users must act now and migrate their workloads to a newer SQL Server version, or run the risk of getting caught without technical support for one of the most critical elements of their IT systems. Running out of support also means the vendor will no longer supply security updates, leaving your IT systems vulnerable to unprecedented new security exploits and service outages.
SQL Server Improvements
The latest version of the SQL Server product line offers significant feature improvements across all fronts, including performance, security, availability and cloud-readiness. The company has also expanded the resource bandwidth it offers with the standard version, which now includes 128 GB of RAM that yields performance improvement of multiple orders in comparison with the previous versions.
However, an update is matter of strategic business and IT decision considering the role of SQL Server technologies in today’s data driven business operations. Your organization should evaluate the cost effectiveness of the licensing of version upgrades against functionality requirements of the product and sizing of your infrastructure to maximize the potential of SQL technologies. For instance, your organization may actually choose to downgrade a version or make more use of virtualization for the latest versions. Product tiers within the SQL server version will also determine the features and pricing. The Enterprise version for example, offers a range of important security, scalability and performance features that would tempt most mid-size to large enterprises, whereas small businesses might consider them as unnecessary expenses.
Regardless, the new feature implementation also presents its own set of risks and challenges. Organizations not only need to plan investments in the latest SQL server as a business decision, but also need to work with industry experts to ensure smooth migration, minimal downtime, full integration and strong support as they implement new SQL functionalities and pursue effective migration.
Not sure when and how to choose an SQL Server version? Watch the HOSTING webinar titled, “Don’t Get Caught with an Out of Support SQL Server” for more insights.