Windows Server 2012 R2 End-of-Life

 In Blog

What Does “End-of-Life” Really Mean? 

The short answer is, after October 2023, businesses still using Microsoft Server 2012 R2 will no longer receive critical security updates and patches. At this point, AhelioTech is recommending any clients using Microsoft Server 2012 R2 update your server operating system now. 

When Does Windows Server 2012 R2 Go End-of-Life? 

Unlike its higher-profile software offerings, such as Microsoft 365, Microsoft has a specific lifecycle for its Windows Server products. 

More specifically, these operating systems are released under what is known as Microsoft’s Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC).  In a nutshell, this means that each product is supported for 10 years: the first five of which are known as  mainstream support, and the second five known as  extended support. 

As of October 2018, Server 2012 R2 entered its “extended support” phase, which will end in October 2023.  

Why is This a Problem for Your Organization? 

Cyberattackers know this timeline too! It is almost certain that cyberattackers will be waiting patiently for the product’s extended support to end, at which point they will do all they can to find exploits. 

If you continue running the server operating system, you are exposing your data and your network to potential breaches. 

What does that really mean?  Mainstream Support vs. Extending Support 

This is a simple breakdown of mainstream support vs. extended support for products such as the Windows Server range of operating systems: 

  • Mainstream support is essentially the glory days of a Microsoft product. It is the first five years of the product’s lifespan, and it is being continually updated with new features, service packs, updates, fixes, and more. Microsoft also offers real-time support (i.e. phone support) during this phase.  The earlier you invest in a product during its mainstream support phase, the more you’ll get out of it in the long-term – up to a decade, if you play your cards right. 
  • Extended support refers to the latter five years of product support per the LTSC system.  It is no longer the focus of the Microsoft team and will likely have been succeeded by at least one more product in the meantime. During extended support, customers will only receive critical security updates and reliability patches. Non-security hotfixes will not be delivered unless the customer has an extended support agreement with Microsoft – and that comes at a cost. 

What happens when Extended Support ends? 

The most important thing to remember about extended support is that, once it is expired, the product will be almost entirely unprotected by Microsoft.  So, after October 2023, Windows Server 2012 R2 will no longer receive any security updates or critical patches for key exploits.  You won’t even be able to pay for support anymore, as you can during extended support – the product is simply unsupported going forward. 

You do not want to leave your organization exposed to cyberattacks.  It is time to upgrade now to prevent any network breaches.    

What are the next steps? 

Start budgeting and planning for either replacement hardware or cloud server option.  Contact AhelioTech at to start planning your server replacement project in 2023. 

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