Microsoft has extended the Extended Security Updates (ESU) program for Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Embedded Server 2012 R2. The extension allows three additional years beyond the original end of support, now scheduled until October 2026. This measure provides administrators additional time to either upgrade their systems or transition to Azure cloud services.
“You can now get three additional years of Extended Security Updates (ESUs) if you need more time to upgrade and modernize your Windows Server 2012, Windows Server R2, or Windows Embedded Server 2012 R2 on Azure,” Microsoft said.
Options for Legacy Support and Upgrades
For systems still operating on Windows Server 2012, options remain open. Administrators can take this opportunity to migrate to newer versions like Windows Server 2022 or adopt cloud solutions such as Azure Virtual Machines which offer free extended security updates for three years past the end of support. Microsoft emphasizes the benefits of upgrading to current versions for improved performance, efficiency, and ongoing security updates. To assist users, Microsoft also offers the alternative of purchasing Windows Server 2012 ESUs through Azure Arc on-premises and in hosted environments, enabling seamless deployment from the Azure portal.
“If your organization is unable to migrate, you can purchase and seamlessly deploy Windows Server 2012 Extended Security Updates enabled by Azure Arc on premises and in hosted environments without keys, directly from the Azure portal.”
Details and Resources for Administrators
Information about Extended Security Updates, including online and proxy activation scenarios, is provided by Microsoft in-depth. Administrators can find comprehensive guidance on protecting their Windows Server 2012 assets and deploying purchased ESUs. Microsoft highlights the increase in the frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks, underscoring the risks of operating on unsupported versions and the importance of maintaining compliance with security regulations.
Enhancements like Azure Arc not only deploy ESUs but extend Azure's security and governance to on-premises environments. In addition to these resources, Microsoft has shared step-by-step instructions for administrators to follow in order to ensure their systems remain protected against vulnerabilities and cyber threats.