That day is here again – another software vendor is ending product support, leaving users with the task of switching over quickly and smoothly. As of today, April 12th, 2016, Microsoft will no longer be offering security updates or support for SQL Server 2005.
This type of transition takes time as well as caution, since risks may come from uncontrolled external access to the product’s database. The time spent continuing to use the unsupported software while transitioning to a new one should be as minimal as possible to lower the risk of security breaches. Migration can be quite the process, and in the case of SQL Server 2005 any apps utilizing it may need to be updated as well, which can be time consuming. Not surprisingly, IT should have this process take priority, and use the following guidelines when managing the migration of end-of-life software.
1. Keep informed on software EOL dates. Software vendors typically warn customers about approaching end-of-life dates, but it’s easy to forget in the daily struggle of keeping the lights on. Store EOL dates in a software asset management system, which will notify you when an EOL date is approaching and provide you with the opportunity to make plans.
2. Discover the size of deployment. Use a network discovery tool to find out the number of installations in your environment. Software metering tools can also tell you the number of users which are actually using the software.
3. Manage compatibility testing. Internal systems which rely on the platform need to be tested for compatibility with the new platform. Ensure that this process is managed by storing any errors in an issue tracking or change management system.