CSS SQL Server Engineers

This is the official team Web Log for Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) SQL Support. Posts are provided by the CSS SQL Escalation Services

Important SQL Server and Windows “End of Support” Dates you should know about….

Important SQL Server and Windows “End of Support” Dates you should know about….

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Please note: Important changes to the support lifecycle policy for service packs that affect this blog should be read first at: http://blogs.msdn.com/psssql/archive/2010/04/13/an-important-change-for-the-microsoft-lifecycle-support-policy.aspx

 

There are some important dates about the end of support for specific products and releases involving SQL Server and Windows that I want you to be aware of:

 

Important Upcoming SQL Server Support Dates

1) SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 support ends next week January 12, 2010. You should upgrade to SQL 2005 SP3 or SQL 2008 SP1 immediately.

2) SQL Server 2008 RTM support ends on April 13, 2010.  You should make plans to upgrade to SQL Server 2008 SP1 soon.

 

A complete list of our support policy dates can be found on the following web site:

http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/

A very good discussion about these upcoming dates was published by our release services team for SQL Server back in October of last year. This includes what choices you have for support and what actions you should consider to stay supported:

http://blogs.msdn.com/sqlreleaseservices/archive/2009/10/08/end-of-service-pack-support-for-sql-server-2005-sp2-and-sql-server-2008-rtm.aspx

What does this “end of support” mean to you?

  • You cannot call or open a case with CSS for technical support if you are running these versions after the respective dates above. There are only 2 exceptions to this:
    • You are contacting CSS to get help with an upgrade to a supported version
    • You have a Premier Support Agreement and have purchased something called a Custom Support Agreement (CSA) (contact your Technical Account Manager if you want to consider this option)
  • Microsoft won’t produce any hotfixes or security updates for these specific versions (Custom Support Agreement customers are the exception)

I encourage you to do a few things to stay “ahead of the game” for the end of support dates for SQL and other Microsoft products in the future:

Two other important points about SQL Server 2005:

  • If you are using a specific Cumulative Update for SQL Server 2005 SP2, I recommend you upgrade to the latest CU for SP3 after you have upgraded to SP3 to ensure you do not lose your cumulative updates. All updates through SQL Server 2005 SP2 CU17 are included in SQL Server 2005 SP3 CU7.
  • SQL Server 2005 SP3 and its CUs are completely supported until the end of the support lifecycle for SQL Server 2005 (which is April of 2011 for Mainstream and April of 2016 for Extended).. See the Support Lifecycle Site for more information. If another service pack is produced for SQL Server 2005, the SP3 and its CUs will eventually be out of support 12 months after the new service pack.

 

 Important Upcoming Windows Support Dates

While not a SQL Server Support policy, end of support for Windows 2000 Server SP4 on July 13, 2010 could affect many SQL Server customers. Furthermore, Windows Server 2003 and 2003 R2 transition into “Extended Support”. The following article has a nice summary of these Windows Support dates:

http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifean36

What is the difference between the “end of support” for Windows Server 2000 and “Extended Support” for Windows Server 2003?

The end of support for Windows Server 2000 is like our end of support above for SQL Server 2005 SP2 and SQL Server 2008 RTM. You can no longer contact CSS for support and no security updates or fixes will be available. The only exception is if you purchase a Custom Support Agreement through your Technical Account Manager.

The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a good resource to read about information on the end of support for Windows Server 2000.

Extended Support for Windows Server 2003 means that:

  • You can still contact CSS for support questions and issues
  • We will still provide security fixes for all
  • But for non-security hotfixes, you must purchase an Extended Hotfix Support Agreement which like the CSA is available to Premier customers through your Technical Account Manager

You may wonder how the end of support for Windows Server 2000 may affect you as SQL Server user? The biggest thing to consider is in order to be supported you need to upgrade to a new version of Windows. You could move to Windows Server 2003 but as stated that version is moving into Extended Support, so that may not be a good choice. If you still want standard hotfix support your choices are Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

The possible problem here you may encounter is if you are running SQL Server 2000 SP4 (the only official supported version of SQL Server 2000 which itself is in Extended Support). SQL Server 2000 SP4 is not supported on Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2. Therefore, if you make this jump to the new OS, you must also upgrade SQL Server to either SQL Server 2005 SP3 or SQL Server 2008 SP1.

One last question you may have. What happens if I stay on Windows Server 2000 SP4 after July 13, 2010 and I try to call in a case to CSS?. The answer depends on what type of problem you have:

  • CSS Platforms Support (which supports Windows) will not take a support case for Windows Server 2000 SP4 after July 13, 2010 unless you are trying to upgrade to a supported Windows OS (or have a CSA)
  • But let’s say you are running SQL Server 2000 SP4 which is still supported and have a SQL Server issue. CSS SQL Support would still take your case for an issue directly related to SQL Server. However, if when working the case, CSS determines the problem is specific to Windows Server 2000 SP4 and not a SQL Server issue (for example some type of disk I/O issue), then the support of the issue would stop as there is no support for that version of Windows after July 13, 2010.

Summary

Here is a summary of actions you should consider:

  • If you are running SQL Server 2005 SP2, you should upgrade immediately to SQL Server 2005 SP3 or SQL Server 2008 SP1 (Next week January 12, 2010 is the cutoff).
  • If you are running SQL Server 2008 RTM, you should upgrade to SQL Server 2008 SP1 very soon (before April 2010)
  • If you are running Windows Server 2000 SP4, you should make plans now to upgrade to Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2 (July 13, 2010 is the cutoff). Your Windows upgrade choice may also require the need to upgrade SQL Server.

Bob Ward
Microsoft

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