SQL Server 2014 will reach end of life on July 9, 2024. This means that Microsoft will no longer service or support the product. For organizations that use SQL Server 2014, this is a pivotal moment in their digital transformation journey. To prepare for SQL Server end of life, it’s best to proactively plan for an upgrade to the current version of the system or migrate to Azure.

In this blog post, we cover your best options to navigate the upcoming SQL server 2014 end of life and the risks of staying on an unsupported system.

SQL Server Lifecycle

SQL Server falls under Microsoft’s Fixed Lifecyle Policy that provides a defined timeline for support. Applicable products get a minimum five years of mainstream support from Microsoft, followed by extended support in some cases.

So, when will Microsoft stop supporting SQL Server 2014? According to the SQL Server lifecycle, mainstream support for SQL Server 2014 ended in 2019, which means the solution stopped receiving any design or feature updates. Extended support for SQL Server 2014 is set to end on July 9, 2024.

Once the product reaches end of support, SQL Server 2014 will no longer get security updates, unless you purchase an Extended Security Update subscription.

With the Extended Security Update subscription, your system will only receive critical security updates for up to 3 years from the end of support date. It’s important to note that this solution is merely a stopgap. Eventually, you will need to upgrade to the latest version of SQL Server or migrate to the cloud. Further, this option is only available to customers with Software Assurance or subscription licenses.

What are the risks of staying on SQL Server 2014?

With Microsoft ending support for SQL Server 2014, staying on this legacy system will expose your business to security threats and put your data at risk.

Microsoft will no longer provide security updates for SQL Server 2014, which means hackers can exploit the security gaps in your unsupported system to carry out cyber-attacks, such as ransomware. Running an outdated system can also cause compliance and regulatory challenges.

Besides data security risks, you may also experience functional or performance issues if you stay on the legacy SQL Server 2014.

SQL Server 2014 end of life: Best options for upgrade & migration




Upgrade to SQL Server 2022

You can upgrade to the latest version of SQL Server.

Right now, the most current version of the system is SQL Server 2022. According to Microsoft’s Fixed Lifecycle Policy, this version will continue to receive mainstream support till 2028 and then move to extended support till 2033.

Upgrading to SQL Server 2022 will allow you to leverage new features and security enhancements in a familiar environment. Some considerations with this option include the upfront investment, potential downtime, and any compatibility challenges.


Migrate to Azure SQL Database

This is a good opportunity to consider migrating to Azure SQL Database, a cloud-based solution. One of the key benefits of Azure SQL Database is that the system is ‘versionless.’ This means that you are always on the most current version and never have to worry about navigating system ‘end of support’ again.

Other benefits of Azure SQL include:

  • Automatic patching and backups
  • Lower costs since you don’t have to maintain the hardware and software.
  • Built-in analytics
  • Scalable solution, which means you can adjust usage as needed and enjoy pay-as-you-go pricing.

Need assistance to prepare for SQL Server 2014 end of life?

Our experienced team can guide you through navigating SQL Server 2014 end of life. Based on a review of your business needs, our consultants will help you choose and implement the best path forward, whether that is upgrading to the latest SQL Server version or migrating to Azure SQL. Contact us today to get started!

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