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SQL Server Versions – SQL Server Updates

In this blog, we look at the different SQL Server versions along with the corresponding end of support and the overall SQL lifecycle. The first SQL Server was released in the year 1989 as SQL Server 1.0. Since then we have seen regular releases until the latest – SQL Server 2022 which is out as release candidate 1 and due for general availability by the end of the year.

If you have been using SQL Server for some time, you may not be tracking with which SQL version you are using, when support runs out, until when extended support is offered and so on. So we are going to cover all the end-of-support dates for each SQL version here.

SQL SERVER VERSIONS

This is a full rundown of each SQL version, its release date, end of mainstream support and end of extended support, also known as end of life. You can also see easily which versions are presently covered by support.

SQL Server end of supportSQL SERVER AND WINDOWS SERVER

Using unsupported SQL servers is one issue, but as SQL Server relies on Windows, another security risk is opened up if you are relying on an older out-of-support Windows version.

Here is a useful guide on which Windows Server/Windows each SQL Server version supports.

In this table, you can see each Windows Server version, its release date, end of mainstream support and end of extended support. You can also easily see which versions are presently under support.

Windows Server end of support

SQL Server Update – When is it due?

Using the information above and as needed using the directions in this document (Determine the version, edition, and update level – SQL Server) you can see if you are using an out-of-support version of SQL Server or the accompanying Windows Server.

Recently passed important dates for SQL Server updates:

  • 11th July 2022 end of extended support for SQL Server 2012
  • 9th October 2022 end of mainstream support for Windows Server 2012
  • 11th October 2022 end of mainstream support for SQL Server 2017

Forthcoming dates for SQL Server updates to be aware of:

  • 10th October 2023 end of extended support for Windows Server 2012
  • 9th Jan 2024 end of mainstream support for Windows Server 2019
  • 9th July 2024 end of extended support for SQL Server 2014

All earlier versions are not within either support or extended support, meaning applications are at risk. Here you can see what you may be missing.

Microsoft support

MAINSTREAM SUPPORT

This is the main life of a product, on occasion you will see cumulative updates and you can request design changes and new features. Moreover, you can open support tickets, get security updates, security support, non-security fixes etc.

EXTENDED SUPPORT

During this stage, you can open paid support tickets and get security updates. However, no non-security fixes, features or design changes will be acted upon. There are no updates during extended support.

You can read more about what the fixed lifecycle looks like at Microsoft in this policy: Fixed Lifecycle Policy | Microsoft Docs

EXTENDED SECURITY UPDATE PROGRAMME

This programme is the final recourse for organisations that need to run legacy applications past the cut-off for extended support. It is called the Extended Security Update (ESU) programme. It only consists of critical and sometimes important security updates.

This programme is only available by purchase and not offered on all products. Currently, it is available for some Windows Server versions and SQL Server 2012. You can find out more here: FAQ – Extended Security Updates | Microsoft Docs

A NOTE ABOUT SQL Server Updates

Due to the nature of SQL Server updates, you can’t always make the jump from an old SQL Server version to the most recent. Take migrating SQL Server 2008 to SQL Server 2019, for example. It requires a migration to something like SQL Server 2016 first, and then from there, the migration to SQL Server 2019 becomes possible. Alternately, at that point, making the jump to the cloud and Azure SQL would be the logical modernisation jump – making the most of available cloud capabilities.

We have explored SQL Server and Azure SQL in some recent blogs. You can get some insight into staying on SQL Server or migrating to Azure SQL here:

SQL Server MIGRATIONS AT BALLARD CHALMERS

You can see an example of our SQL Server work in this case study or take a look at our SQL Server expertise at Ballard Chalmers. Do get in touch for a free consultation or to find out how Ballard Chalmers can help.

Post Terms: SQL Server | SQL Server 2008 end of support | SQL Server 2012 end of support | SQL Server 2019 | SQL Server upgrade

About the Author

Marketing Manager, Leah Monterroso, has been writing blogs and articles for the last six years. Since working with Ballard Chalmers, she has immersed herself in Microsoft tech news and bringing value to clients and the wider community through content.

You can find Leah online at:

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