Server Premium Assurance Announced
Just a few weeks ago Microsoft has confirmed that Extended Support for Office 2007 will end in January 2017, and that Microsoft will not offer any prolongation for business customers with Premier Support contracts. This decision was justified with the increasing utilization of Office365 and the weakening demand of enterprises for customer-specific support.
However, this does not seem to apply to Windows Server 2008 and Windows SQL Server 2008. Microsoft has now announced in a blog that, from next year on, a Server Premium Assurance will be available for both products, extending the support for Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 for another 6 years.
In general, Microsoft offers 10 years of software support for its products, divided into 5 years of Mainstream Support and 5 years of Extended Support. During the first stage, Microsoft provides security fixes, quality updates, and new features. During the last half of support, there will only be updates available that help to improve reliability and stability of the system.
Customers have to meet a number of conditions to be able to acquire Microsoft’s Premium Assurance: The products must have been purchased under an Enterprise Agreement, and Extended Support must not have been expired. This means that Windows Server 2008 Premium Assurance has to be purchased before January 2020, and SQL Server 2008 R2 before July 2019. In addition, an active Software Assurance (SA) is mandatory.