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What You Need to Know about SQL Server 2005's End of Support

Microsoft's support for SQL Server 2005 ended on April 12, 2016. This is not unexpected, as this software is more than a decade old. If you are still using SQL Server 2005, it will continue to function. However, relying on it in the long term might not be the best course of action.

The Pitfalls of Staying with SQL Server 2005

Continuing to use SQL Server 2005 to drive the backend of your business has several drawbacks. The most serious one is that your business will be more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Because Microsoft is no longer providing security updates for SQL Server 2005, your databases will not be protected against new malware or new attack vectors. To make matters worse, many cybercriminals keep track of when versions of popular programs like SQL Server reach their end of support. Once that day arrives, the cybercriminals intentionally launch new attacks that target the unsupported software.

Another downside of sticking with SQL Server 2005 is that it will be increasingly harder to achieve compliance with regulations and standards like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Both HIPAA and PCI DSS call for the protection of sensitive data, which databases often contain. If you cannot protect your SQL Server 2005 databases from new cyberattacks, you might be found in noncompliance with HIPAA and PCI DSS. Noncompliance can result in penalties, higher costs, and even lost business.

Although not as serious as the disadvantages just discussed, continuing to use SQL Server 2005 means that you cannot turn to Microsoft for help. The Microsoft Customer Service and Support staff is no longer able to answer any technical questions you might have about SQL Server 2005 or help you troubleshoot any problems. The only assistance that Microsoft offers is its publicly available online content, such as Knowledge Base articles and support webcasts.

You Do Not Have to Make the Decision Alone

Staying with SQL Server 2005 has some obvious benefits — namely, you do not have the hassles and the costs associated with upgrading to a new version. However, you need to keep the pitfalls in mind. Electro-America's team of Engineers are highly skilled in data migrations and can help you weigh the pros and cons of each course of action.

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