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Update SQL Server Workloads to 2019 or Migrate to Azure SQL

End of Support SQL Server 2012 is now only one year away (July 2022) and now is the time to upgrade SQL Server 2012 to 2019. With the big push to upgrade from SQL Server 2008 now behind us, 2012 is the next to take the hit. That being said, if you have remained on SQL Server 2008 you are at risk, and we urge you to update or migrate urgently as you are no longer receiving security updates.

At this juncture of end of support, there are two major options available – update to SQL Server 2019 or migrate to the cloud with Azure SQL. Here we will explore both options.


Reasons to Update SQL Server


Companies need to keep up with strict business compliance and industry regulations. New threats have made it harder than ever to secure data and applications. With end of support SQL Server 2012 approaching, your system may fail to comply with regulatory standards. This could expose you to security attacks and compliance risks with regulations such as GDPR – leading to business complications and financial penalties.

Cyber Security

End of support SQL Server 2012 means the end of critical security updates, opening the potential for business interruptions. Worse still, without regular security bulletins, it is impossible to guarantee protection against hackers or malware.

An estimated 111 billion lines of new software code are produced each year — creating a massive number of vulnerabilities to sensitive data within businesses.

Modern Features

Reduce your pain points, embrace the speed at which technology is advancing and enjoy all the new features that have been added since SQL Server 2012 (or 2008!). Whether you update to SQL Server 2019 or modernise to Azure SQL, you will reap the rewards in efficiency.

Upgrade SQL Server 2012 to 2019

The first choice available when looking at end of support is an update – in this case, the most modern SQL Server version available is 2019. A straightforward upgrade can normally be carried out in-house. And as well as the clear benefits of being within support from Microsoft, you gain all the benefits of the upgrades within SQL Server.

Here SQL Server 2019—Comparison| Microsoft you can see new features that have been added since SQL Server 2016 and 2017. If you are still on SQL Server 2012, or even 2008, the increase of benefits and features will be tremendous.

Upgrade SQL Server 2012 to 2019

You can find out more about SQL Server 2019 here and details of the features and editions here.


Migrate to Azure SQL

End of support SQL Server 2012 offers an opportunity not just to update but to modernise with the Microsoft cloud by migrating to Azure SQL. Combine flexibility, high compatibility, and hybrid capabilities with a secure and familiar platform. All while gaining cloud agility and increased efficiency.

Migrating existing apps enables you to get more time back to focus on your business, with hassle-free upgrades that ensure your applications are always up to date. Azure SQL delivers the reliability and high performance required no matter where you are on your digital transformation journey.

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation has become the industry standard, and businesses that understand this are well placed to outperform the competition while providing the most up-to-date customer experience. Companies that embrace digital transformation often realize higher operating margins, generating more revenue per employee.

48% of businesses say new technology will influence growth over the next three years, which is why adapting to this ever-changing business environment is key.

Azure SQL – Compliance and Security

With more compliance certifications than any other cloud provider, Microsoft offers secure environments that will help businesses with all compliance needs. Modernising your application stack avoids fines – as well as lost customer trust.

Migrating to Azure allows you to benefit from Microsoft’s $1B investment into a secure platform you can trust. With enhanced security through operational best practices and a global team of over 3,500 cybersecurity experts, you get three years of security updates at no charge; with built-in security that encrypts and protects your data.

Azure for SQL Server Workloads

If you need more information as to why and how to migrate your SQL Server over to Azure SQL, this Microsoft eBook will help.

.Update SQL Server

Download here.

You can find out more about Azure SQL here and get all your questions answered in the Microsoft documentation here.

How Ballard Chalmers Can Help

Being both SQL Server and Azure experts puts us in a unique position to advise you on the best route for your SQL Server 2012 or 2008 modernisation. Get in touch.

Advice from Consultants

There is no question as to whether you need to update, but if you have a question about how best to go about it and whether it is the right time for you to migrate to Azure SQL, our consultants are the experts you need.

Turn the Upgrade Over to Experts

Upgrading from SQL Server 2012 or 2008 to 2019 is often done in house, but if you don’t currently have the capacity/expertise for such a project, our SQL Server Experts can take it off your hands.

The ability to access large scale data from SQL Server (as shown in the infographic) is a feature we urge you to make use of.

Refactor Your Application for the Cloud

If you would like to embrace this time and make the move to Azure SQL, you may be tempted to consider refactoring your application for the cloud as well. This has many advantages including going serverless, so no more servers to manage, backup, upgrade or patch, plus automatic scale-out as the processing load increases and scale-back as load decreases and improved security with automated protection against intrusion and denial of service attacks.

In this case study, you can read about our work with AppCan, the smart field data solution, doing just that. We are also in the process of large refactoring and migrating projects for our clients, Avison Young and MSI.

No matter which route you are thinking about, give us a call on 01342 410 223 contact us.

Post Terms: Azure SQL | Data Estate Modernisation | SQL Server 2008 end of support | SQL Server 2012 end of support

About the Author

As Co-Founder of Ballard Chalmers, Geoff is the company’s CTO, directing technical strategy, overseeing technical consultants, managing larger development projects and ensuring technical delivery quality standards.

Education, Membership & Awards

Geoff graduated from the University of London with a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics and computing and a Masters degree in Database Management Systems. Additionally, he is a certified SQL Server Development, Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) and Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist (MCTS).

His professional memberships include Charted Engineer (Software), Member of the British Computer Society (MBCS), Member of European Federation of Engineers (FEANI) and Fellow of the Institute of Analysts and Programmers (FIAP).


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