Unified Communications & Team Collaboration
The end of the life cycle for Microsoft® Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 & Exchange 2010 is upon us. If you haven’t already done your homework on this, it can feel daunting (even if you have done your homework, it may still seem daunting, but we’ll tell you how we can help).
We have been fielding calls from customers about the EOL (end-of-life) announcement as well as the end-of-support announcement, so we thought it would be a good idea to post a few of these questions (along with our answers), to help you understand exactly what this means and what this change will mean to your operations.
What does the end of the life cycle mean?
With respect to Windows 7, the end of the life cycle simply means end of life. This is the point where Microsoft will no longer provide support (including paid support plans). Under the “support” umbrella, all updates – including security patches – will also cease to exist.
What Windows OS and Windows Products are being EOL’d and what are the dates?
The life cycle end dates for each are as follows:
Windows 7: January 14, 2020
Windows Server 2008 R2: January 14, 2020
Exchange 2010: October 13, 2020
These products are currently operating under extended support until we reach the deadlines.
What happens if I continue to use these products after the EOL dates?
Once the EOL date hits, the application is no longer going to be supported by Microsoft. For example, after January 14, 2020, you can still use the Windows 7 operating system, but Microsoft will no longer be offering support, or updates (including security updates) after this date. To continue running this OS means you are leaving your operation vulnerable to security breaches; and with viruses, malware and other cyber attacks growing at an alarming rate, you will have difficulty protecting your network, systems and company data.
What are my alternatives if I can no longer run these applications?
If you’re currently using Windows 7, you should immediately upgrade to Windows 10. This is the current version of Windows and is fully supported by Microsoft. Windows 10 can be used across multiple devices including tablets and smartphones. Windows 10 is faster than Windows 7 and was designed to be an ‘as-a-service’ product which means instead of having to upgrade again down the road, you’ll receive periodic, automatic updates.
For Microsoft Exchange 2010 users, you may want to fully migrate to Office 365, or another option would be to migrate your Exchange 2010 servers to Exchange 2016 on your on-premises servers.
For Windows Server 2008 R2, updating an IT infrastructure can be a large task so it’s best to consult with a solution provider who can help you through this migration. Based on your needs and requirements, it’s likely you will want to migrate to Windows Server 2016 with extended support available through 2027.
What approach should I use to put a transition plan together?
There are several approaches to take, but whichever path you choose, you won't want to do it alone. Partner with a network solution provider who can guide you through the decision-making process, share the experiences they’ve had with other users just like you, and be a reliable source for information and support from start to finish.
We realize there are a lot of big decisions to make, and CNP is ready to do the heavy lifting! Contact us for more information regarding these changes, and your alternatives, and we’ll help you put together a smart plan for 2020 and beyond.