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Microsoft announces end of support for SQL Server 2005

We know it’s hard to let go, but it’s been 10 years. In its time, SQL Server 2005 was a great choice for your departmental and mid-market IT needs. Over the last decade, Microsoft has continued to invest and SQL Server has evolved to be an enterprise-class solution to support your growing business needs. If you haven’t yet moved on to take advantage of these capabilities, now is the time to start planning.

Extended support for all versions of SQL Server 2005 is coming to an end on April 12, 2016. While this sounds like plenty of time to plan your migration, depending on the type of application, the migration destination, the scale of the move and resources allocated, migrations can take several months. In addition to SQL Server 2005, you may have heard that support for Windows Server 2003 is ending. As you plan your SQL Server migration, you should also plan your infrastructure migration to get the most out of our modern platform. Planning now will ensure that you are able to make the move in time and that Microsoft will continue to support the migration process.

First, it is important that you know what end of support means for your business. While SQL Server 2005 instances will continue to run, after the end of support date Microsoft will no longer provide hotfixes or security updates. Additionally, the benefits of upgrading to a modern data platform far outweigh the costs of maintaining security, support and compliance for an unsupported database.

Why upgrade SQL Server?

It is important for businesses to understand the impact of SQL Server 2005 end of extended support and how upgrading to a new data platform will benefit them. Organisations that choose to upgrade to a newer version of SQL server (either on-premises or in hosted VMs) and forego the Azure SQL Database option will need to evaluate changes in features and licensing in the available versions and decide among various upgrade paths when planning the migration process.

Upgrading is not just a maintenance task; it's an opportunity to provide new value to thebusiness. Moving to SQL Server 2014 or Azure SQL Database enables you to achieve breakthrough performance:

  • SQL Server 2014 has been benchmarked to be 13 times faster than SQL Server 2005, before the additional performance gains available from in-memory OLTP.
  • AlwaysOn availability groups provide more reliable High Availability.
  • Together with Windows Server 2012 R2 you can scale up across computers, networking and storage.
  • New tools in SQL Server Management Studio provide an easy on-ramp to cloud to help you get more from your data platform investment.

Here are six benefits to upgrading and migrating your SQL Server 2005 databases before the end of extended support:

1.            Maintain compliance – it will become harder to prove compliance with the latest regulations such as the upcoming PCI DSS 3.0 protect your data and stay on top of regulatory compliance and internal security audits without running an upgraded version of SQL Server.

2.            Achieve breakthrough performance – according to industry benchmarks, SQL Server 2014 delivers 13x more performance gains relative to SQL Server 2005 and 5.5x performance gains over SQL Server 2008.  Customers using SQL Server 2014 can further accelerate mission critical applications with up to 30x transaction performance gains with our new in-memory OLTP engine and accelerate queries up to 100x with our in-memory column store.

3.            Virtualize and consolidate with Windows Server – scale up on-premise or scale-out via private cloud with Windows Server 2012 R2. Reduce costs by consolidating more database workloads on fewer servers, and increase agility using the same virtualization platform on-premises and in the cloud.

4.            Reduce TCO and increase availability with Microsoft Azure– Azure Virtual Machines can help you reduce the total cost of ownership, deployment, management, and maintenance of your enterprise database applications. And, it’s easier than ever to upgrade your applications and achieve high availability in the cloud using pre-configured templates in Azure.

5.            Use our easy on-ramp to cloud for web applications – the new preview of Microsoft Azure SQL Database announced recently has enhanced compatibility with SQL Server that makes it easier than ever to migrate from SQL Server 2005 to Microsoft Azure SQL Database. Microsoft’s enterprise-strength cloud brings global scale and near zero maintenance to database-as-a-service, and enables you to scale out your application on demand.

6.            Get more from your data platform investments - upgrading and migrating your databases doesn’t have to be painful or expensive. A Forrester Total Economic Impact of Microsoft SQL Server study found a payback period of just 9.5 months for moving to SQL Server 2012 or 2014.

If you would like to discuss your options when it comes to upgrading from SQL Server 2005, please contact a member of our pre-sales team on 01268 494160 or email


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