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The End is Near: Shutting the Door on SQL Server 2005

After a decade on the market, support for all versions of SQL Server 2005 is officially coming to an end on April 12, 2016.  Although mainstream support for SQL Server 2005 ended in 2011, Microsoft released a reminder announcement last year, giving companies time to execute their migration plans.

So, if you haven’t made the move to SQL 2014 or Azure, what does end of support for SQL Server 2005 means for your business?  Similar to the Windows Server 2003 end of life back in July 2015, instances will continue to run after the end of support date, however, Microsoft will no longer provide hotfixes or security updates.  SQL Server 2005 users running databases on Windows Server 2003 should have made upgrading an IT priority.

The push from Microsoft to move customers to SQL 2014 or Azure SQL Database allows businesses to not only maintain regulatory compliance and mitigate potential future security risks, but to also an opportunity to see increased performance gains.  SQL Server 2014 has been benchmarked to deliver 13x performance gains compared to SQL Server 2005.

And with any move or upgrade, there needs to be a cost-benefit analysis.  A 2014 Forrester study commissioned by Microsoft that focused on the overall economic impact of deploying SQL Server, found that companies realized an ROI of 113% with a payback in less than 10 months – in addition to improvements in IT resources and reduction in application data errors.  Sounds great, but the initial costs reported were well over $4 million.  Not exactly pocket change for some companies.

There are tools available to assist in assessing and evaluating your current infrastructure, such as Microsoft’s Assessment and Planning Toolkit or 6 month evaluations of SQL Server 2014 or a month long trial of Azure.

And to make sure you’re ahead of the curve, check out the full list of the products that are reaching end of support on Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle site during the first half and second half of 2016.

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