3 Options For Microsoft Exchange and Server End-of-Support
It’s nearly the end of the road for Microsoft Exchange 2010 and Server 2008, as end-of-support (EOS) winds up on January 14, 2020. Now is the time to consider what’s next. Without preventive action, Microsoft end-of-support could have a negative impact on security, cost, and business functions in your environment.
While this is a business challenge, it’s also an opportunity to reassess your IT strategy. For example, many of our clients view Microsoft end-of-support as a reason to embrace cloud solutions like Microsoft Azure or Office 365.
To help you determine the best way forward, we’ve put together recommended migration paths, as highlighted in the above recent webinar.
Three options for your Microsoft Exchange and Server migration
First and foremost, consider the potential impact of EOS on your environment. EOS spells the end of not only feature enhancements, service packs releases, and hotfixes, but also critical software updates and patches. So, simply keeping old Exchange and Server platforms running will expose your business environments to significant compliance issues and serious risks.
For most companies, inaction is simply not an option. Read on for options to consider now:
Go for the cloud
At last year’s Ignite conference, Microsoft announced it would offer three years of extended security updates at no additional charge for MS-licensed enterprises that migrate from Windows Server 2008/R2 to the Azure platform. For most companies, this will be the best way forward. Migrating to the cloud averts the hefty price of keeping workloads on-prem, while tapping into the business advantages of the cloud. Bear in mind that migrating to non-MS cloud providers, like AWS or Google, will incur costs for the extended support needed to host MS Server 2008/R2 in external cloud providers.
Moving to the cloud by way of Office 365 is also our top recommendation for Exchange Server users. Hosted in Microsoft’s cloud, the robust Exchange SaaS makes the move to O365 relatively simple and cost-effective. And, should you want or need to keep certain workloads on-prem, Microsoft can support hybrid strategies, too. In that case, Burwood’s recommendation is to start with a new version of Windows Server 2016 (or Server 2019 if appropriate), then migrating select applications or roles over to these new servers.
Assess applications for potential gaps—and solve for them
In some cases, applications that run on Server 2008/R2 are not supported on Windows 2016 or 2019. Consider whether a different vendor could provide a more modernized experience than your current product—or whether you should pursue the opportunity to replace outdated apps with SaaS solutions. Given that hackers will look to exploit EOS Server 2008/R2 vulnerabilities, it may be beneficial to migrate to a platform in which the underlying infrastructure is taken care of for you.
Understand the fine print
Naturally, many questions crop up when it’s time to rethink Exchange/Server protocol. For example, some people ask whether the cloud path will provide enough security or compliance control. The reality is that cloud solutions are considerably more secure today than they were a few years ago, with a wide array of secure, regulation-friendly features like role-base access controls, firewalls, data encryption protection, and documentation.
Learn More About Microsoft Exchange and Server Migration
It’s no small job to weigh the pros and cons of migrating to the cloud vs. staying on-premises and upgrading to Server 2016/2019 or Exchange 2016/2019. Given pending EOS deadlines, now is the time to do exactly that.
If your team could benefit from some expert counsel on the subject, I invite you to reach out to Burwood. Don’t forget to watch my full webinar above for additional commentary and audience Q&A.