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A million SQL Servers are out-of-date

by on18 June 2024

20 per cent unsupported

Lansweeper has warned about the widespread use of outdated Microsoft SQL Server versions in enterprises.

Its scan of over a million SQL Server instances revealed that 20 per cent are unsupported by Microsoft, with 12 per cent on SQL Server 2014, which will soon lose extended support.

Enterprises can pay for continued security updates for SQL Server 2014, but the issue highlights the reliance on obsolete software. Transitioning from older software versions is a known challenge, both for Windows operating systems and SQL Server.

Roel Decneut of Lansweeper, who has experience with Microsoft and SQL Server launches, notes that application stickiness and backward compatibility issues contribute to the reluctance to upgrade. Some instances are still running on very old versions like SQL Server 7.

The latest release is SQL Server 2022, with 44 per cent of instances on SQL Server 2019. Older versions like SQL Server 2012 and 2008 still account for a significant portion of usage.

The problem isn't unique to Microsoft; open-source databases face similar end-of-life challenges.

Decneut said that for businesses the robustness and simplicity of older applications often outweigh the allure of new features in updated software versions.

He said, "A lot of these basic business applications were built to be robust with little frills. All the new features they offer don't entice anyone because they don't need those things. They need this thing to run.

"But, of course, Microsoft's business model requires that you move to a new version."

Decneut concluded: "It's only when the house is on fire – when there's massive vulnerability – that somebody will go care about that.

"Because already, you know, we're moving to the cloud. We're doing this, we're doing the other, now we're thinking about AI. I think we've got this nasty habit in the world of technology of not really caring enough about what came before.”

Last modified on 18 June 2024
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