Legacy software remains at the center of many essential business systems, which is why Microsoft offers such robust Extended and Mainstream Support for its critical enterprise software. For SQL Server 2005, Extended Support ends April 16, 2016, meaning SQL Server 2005 will no longer receive security and other fixes, impacting future performance, security, and reliability of business systems.
The decision to move off legacy software is often dependent on both business and technical criteria.
We recommend assessing the total impact of unsupported legacy software to the application portfolio to determine both the business justification and priority to either upgrade, migrate, or securely maintain affected systems.
The below “SQL Impact Grid” can help you understand the business justification and overall approach to your SQL modernization program.
Discover and Inventory All Assets that Support Your Application Portfolio
Understanding the scope for your program is vital to ensuring all affected applications have been captured. A good starting point is to discover and inventory all the software and hardware assets that support your application portfolio.
SQL Server will connect to a range of business applications and devices that could be at risk of data theft, destruction, unmonitored access, or failure, so it’s critical to obtain a complete inventory.
Business applications that are running on SQL Server 2005 will not receive security updates, so organizations will not be protected against undiscovered vulnerabilities.
Compliance requirements may also require customer systems to be on a supported platform, restricting the ability to do business.
The discovery phase can help determine the number and location of legacy software, and enable your business to work with application owners to decide what should be upgraded, or securely maintained.
Assess and Prioritize Essential Applications
Categorizing applications by type, importance and criticality, as well complexity, is crucial to identify and prioritize candidates for upgrade.
Identifying the use of deprecated features can flag areas of complexity where re-architecting the SQL environment may be required.
At this stage, many organizations will often omit assessing software license compliance to focus on business requirements and metering technical performance.
Assessment of license compliance and effective assignment of license assets is essential to ensure a modernization program also delivers IT cost optimization.
Target Your Future IT Ambitions
In the target phase, new feature enhancements can be mapped to the needs of the business.
Certain workloads and applications will logically lead to certain targets, driven by factors such as cost, functionality, or complexity.
The target phase delivers the ‘future state’ design and should set out your migration roadmap for secure consolidation, cloud server deployments, and workload migration options.
License Your Configured Solution
The licensing design phase plans for when you’re ready to move from legacy software and modernize your environment, whether private, via hybrid cloud, or public cloud services.
Commercial analysis of contract options and global sourcing options delivers a cost optimized licensing strategy. Often critical when evaluating migrating to cloud services or consolidating your SQL environment.
And of course, should you need help configuring your ideal solution, don’t hesitate to reach out to any of our experts by clicking the contact form below with our Microsoft Advisory Services team.