Microsoft officially ended support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 on 14 January 2020.
Nevertheless, there are still businesses using this software – which is now over a decade old.
Over the last two years, many companies have also been delaying the purchase of new server hardware.
In 2017, the average age of on-premise server hardware was 7.3 years, up from 5.6 years in 2015.
The reluctance to purchase new hardware and update software means businesses have been missing out on the massively increased capacity for data storage and processing afforded by newer technologies like the cloud, while their security and compliance protections have also fallen behind.
For small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) running these server versions, this is an opportunity to move to a current version of Windows Server.
Purchasing new server hardware and running the latest version of the operating system offers three primary benefits for businesses – detailed below.
Faster performance for increased productivity
Firstly, the latest Windows Server offers increased storage and computing abilities, unlocking more power with the ability to run the latest traditional and cloud-native applications.
Enhanced data storage abilities will further allow your business to gain better and faster insights into operations and performance.
In addition, it features AI and machine learning with hybrid capabilities built into the servers, allowing your business to connect devices, streamline existing processes, and identify inefficiencies to optimise operations.
With less complexity compared to previous versions, it is also easier to control and manage your Windows-based environments.
Better security for threat detection and data protection
Secondly, the latest Windows Servers boast built-in protection which reduces the risk of security breaches by allowing you to designate what can run on your servers and detecting when unauthorised users or machines are trying to connect to your systems.
Finely tuned access controls and Credential Guard protect your systems against access from hackers with stolen credentials.
These upgraded security features also help businesses meet regulatory and compliance objectives, including GDPR, and protect data and intellectual property.
Cloud capability for enhanced mobility
On top of the improvements with regards to performance and security, the newest Windows Server versions can be integrated with Microsoft Azure.
The benefits of migrating to the cloud include:
- Advanced analytics and IoT capabilities.
- Flexible platforms for running applications more efficiently.
- Increased agility and scalability.
- Better redundancy for data recovery and operational stability.
New Windows Server versions will help your businesses plan for its future, with continued cost efficiency and the flexibility to transition to the cloud when it meets your needs.