If your business is using SQL Server 2005 to manage your business data, there is an event on the horizon that could leave your data vulnerable. On April 12, 2016, Microsoft will cease support for SQL Server 2005; as of today, you have roughly 60 days to migrate to a new Microsoft product before your business data becomes vulnerable.
What is SQL Server?
You may be using SQL Server and not really know what it is or how it works. Put simply, SQL Server is a way to store and manage information in an efficient manner. SQL Servers not only store data, but also provide a means to quickly and easily manage this information for multiple uses. If you’d like to know more about how an SQL Server works, IT Business Edge’s Database Journal has a good explanation, written in plain English.
What Does End of Support Mean?
The typical lifecycle of a Microsoft product is ten years; five years of mainstream support and five years of extended support. When the extended support comes to an end, Microsoft will no longer provide updates or patches on the product in question. Make no mistake, a ten-year product cycle is a pretty lengthy period of time, during which hackers spend a lot of time and energy in poking holes in the system. Continued use after the end-of-support date is a risky proposition, because your business data is exposed to anyone who might take advantage of gaps in security.
The five years of extended support typically offered on a product is in actuality a five-year ride into the sunset; once the sun sets, your options are to continue in the dark (not recommended) or to move to the newer, better product designed to replace it.
On the Horizon: The Upgrade
Upgrading to SQL Server 2016 can help to protect your business data as well as improve the efficiency of your business processes. Some of the enhancements and improvements that come as part of this upgrade include:
- Always-Encrypted Data
- Stretch Database
- Real-time Operational Analytics & In-Memory OLTP
- Built-in Advanced Analytics, PolyBase and Mobile BI
- Additional Security Enhancements
- Improvements to Always On
- Native JSON Support
- Upgraded Performance, Usability, and Scalability
- Faster Hybrid Backups
Upgrading to SQL Server 2016 can be handled in two ways:
- SQL Server on Premises – An on-premise solution requiring investment, management, and maintenance of your own in-house hardware and software
- SQL Server hosted on Azure virtual machines – A hosted environment that does not require a significant outlay for hardware and software; administration and maintenance is performed in the background
IT is a field of constant change, and data security is a big part of that change. By creating products to update and replace products currently in use, Microsoft is doing its part to advance information security for business at all levels.
Rather than find your business data vulnerable in 60 days’ time, make plans to upgrade your server now. It will take some time to deploy the upgrade and assure that all processes are operating as they should be, so the sooner you begin the upgrade process the better. If you’re not sure where to begin, contact us here at Lieberman Technologies – the security of your business data is important to us.