Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 EoL and IT Planning

It’s that time again…time to announce Microsoft End of Life dates for products we’ve become very accustomed to.  Windows 7 is the product closest to our fingertips that now has a formal end-of-life date, but the Servers in our server closets running Server 2008/R2 share that same end-of-life date with Windows 7.  Mark your calendars and start planning for January 14, 2020 because all systems utilizing these operating systems should be upgraded/replaced by this date. 

Microsoft is also taking a different tact, enforcing a fee for any end-of-life OS in use past that date needing security patches and updates.  We don’t know what that fee will be yet, but you can assume that it will aim to incentivize a migration to current operating system versions. 

For many, we’ve already made the transition to current operating systems or have plans in 2019 and this is a moot point.  But it’s still important to double-check that you don’t have legacy systems in use as they will become a security vulnerability.  It is advantageous to plan this migration as Windows 10 has “Next-gen” security features built into the OS to protect against the ever-growing threat of malware and ransomware.  Well known attacks like the well-publicized WannaCry virus were not a threat to Windows 10 systems which have layered security features preventing infection and mitigating the spread of malicious attacks. 

So, if you didn’t have this date on your calendar and you’re using outdated versions of Windows, my hope is that this article provides that gentle nudge needed to prioritize and plan that effort.  In our opinion, creating a balanced and informed IT plan/budget/roadmap, is one of the foundational pieces of your business.  Your plan should encompass hardware, software, renewals, applications, bandwidth, people, facilities, growth or retraction, industry compliance requirements, security services, data needs and requirements, disaster recovery and redundancy needs, etc. 

Understanding what you have, what you need, and what you want based on your specific business needs will allow you to build a flexible and predictable budget around your IT initiative.  This will help control IT spend and reduce risk to your business by allowing you to address your top priority IT needs first and stick to your budget.  If you need some help with your IT plan and/or if your 2018 plans didn’t deliver the results you were hoping, feel free to reach out to us here at Connecting Point and we can help.