SQL Server 2008 Extended Support FAQ: Find out more

by Teodor Nechita
Teodor Nechita
Teodor Nechita
Software Managing Editor
Eager to help those in need, Teodor writes articles daily on subjects regarding Windows, Xbox, and all things tech-related. When not working, you may usually find him either... read more
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General Microsoft users are probably aware that January marks the end of Windows 7. Any user that still uses this OS is now left unprotected.

Once official support runs out, users will have to do one of the following:

What fewer users are aware of is that this also marks the end of Windows Server 2008, and SQL Server 2008. However, unlike Windows 7, this isn’t the end of support per se, it is the end of the Extended Support.

Given how important this piece of news is, we’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions regarding the matter and answered them.

Windows SQL Server 2008 Extended Support FAQ

1. Can I still use Windows SQL Server 2008 after 2020?

No. The End of Support date for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 is July 9, 2019. This means that SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will no longer receive any form of updates, neither in terms of features or security.

2. What happens if I continue to use SQL Server 2008 after 2020?

Like any typical OS, End of Support means that it will not only not receive any patches or security updates, which may cause security and compliance issues, and expose customers’ applications and business to serious security risks.

3. What are my upgrade options?

The best course of action is to upgrade SQL Server 2008 to a newer version, such as 2012, 2017, etc. Additionally, you can also choose to migrate all of your data to Microsoft Azure.

4. How can I update to a newer version of SQL Server?

The update process of SQL Server 2008 is done using only the tools provided by Microsoft. The process is wizard-guided, and all you need to do is follow the on-screen instructions.

For more information on how to upgrade your Windows Server OS, check out this in-depth guide.

5. Can I perform in-place upgrades from SQL Server 2008 to a later version?

Unfortunately, no. When you upgrade SQL Server, the previous version of SQL Server will be overwritten. That is why it is a good idea to back up any SQL Server data you have before the upgrade.

You should also keep in mind that you cannot upgrade SQL Server Express or SQL Server Developer, as these are not supported.

6. Why should I migrate my SQL Server 2008 data to Microsoft Azure?

Given that SQL Server 2008 is at the end of the Extended Support, the best incentive that Microsoft Azure offers is that you will get free security updates for 3 more years after the end of support.

Additionally, migrating your data this way can also be performed in-place, allowing you to skip the data backup phase.

7. What are the system requirements for an SQL Server 2008 upgrade?

Fortunately, there isn’t much of a difference between the system requirements of different versions of SQL Server.

Thus, if your hardware meets the minimum settings listed below, you should be able to upgrade effortlessly to any other version.

  • Processor
    • Minimum: 1.4 GHz 64-bit processor
  • RAM
    • Minimum: 512 MB
  • Disk space requirements
    • Minimum: 32 GB


All questions and answers indicate that upgrading SQL Server to a newer version or migrating it to Azure is the best course of action.

Since this program is used primarily for data management, it is the last thing you would want to keep in a vulnerable state security-wise.

Did you find this article useful? Let us know in the comment section below.

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