Microsoft has announced the start of partner sales of Extended Security Updates (ESUs) for SQL Server 2014. According to the announcement made this month, Enterprise Agreement Reseller partners and Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider partners can now purchase ESUs for legacy SQL Server. As Microsoft continues to support SQL Server 2014 till mid-2024, the company has made ESUs available for purchase from October 1, 2023.
ESUs to Provide Critical Security Patches and Add 3 Years of Support
ESUs, meant for organizations struggling to upgrade their SQL Server instances before the product support expires, exclusively deliver “Critical” security patches. Microsoft has made them available for annual purchase, providing up to a maximum of three years of support. Customers, however, have to purchase ESUs for Year 1 and Year 2 before they can buy Year 3 support. The pricing of the ESUs remains consistent annually, a departure from Microsoft's previous pricing strategy which saw increases in successive years.
Microsoft's Extended Security Update (ESU) program is a service that allows customers to continue receiving security updates for some legacy Microsoft products after their end of support date. The ESU program covers critical and important security updates for a maximum of three years from the end of extended support, depending on the product. The ESU program is available for purchase for customers who need more time to upgrade or migrate their systems, or who run their systems in Azure.
Azure Arc Management Option Offered for ESU Buyers
Microsoft has additionally announced an Azure Arc management option for ESU purchases. This feature allows organizations to discontinue monthly ESU payments when they start their workload migration. Although Azure Arc for ESUs is currently available for Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, and SQL Server 2012, the tech giant has not confirmed if this option will be extended for SQL Server 2014.
The support for SQL Server 2014 will formally end on July 9, 2024, although an “Extended End Date” of July 12, 2027, is also indicated by Microsoft's lifecycle support page. This extended end date is available for organizations that purchase ESUs for additional cost, thus allowing them to utilize the product beyond its official support end date.