Extended Security Updates (ESU) for SQL Server 2008 – 2012

Update[German]Support for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 has already expired on July 10, 2019. For Microsoft SQL Server 2012, on the other hand, support ended on July 12, 2022, which means that Microsoft has also shut down the SQL Registry Portal. However, it seems that there are still a lot of installations of these SQL Server versions. In an article dated November 19, 2022, Microsoft notes that there are Extended Security Updates for SQL Server via Microsoft Azure services.


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I became aware of the issue via a post by Lien Chieh Kho, which is relevant to Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft SQL Server 2012.

This is because all of these Microsoft SQL Server versions have fallen out of Extended Support and no longer receive security updates (see the following table).

Microsoft SQL Server Extendes Support dates

However, Microsoft provides so-called Extended Security Updates (ESU) for the old SQL Server versions. These ESUs are made available on demand as soon as a security vulnerability is discovered and classified as critical by the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC). Therefore, there is no regular release schedule for SQL Server ESUs. ESUs no longer contain new features, functional improvements or bug fixes.


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In the support article What are Extended Security Updates for SQL Server? dated November 19, 2022, Microsoft states that customers can subscribe to Extended Security Update (ESU) when support for an MS SQL Server version expires. ESU is available for a maximum of three years after Extended Support expires. This requires migration to Azure services. Customers with SQL Server 2012 (11.x) get ESUs for three years at no additional cost and do not need no Software Assurance to get ESUs in Azure.

However, customers with SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 can only get ESUs through July 12, 2023, by migrating to Azure services. Azure services running SQL Server will automatically receive ESUs through existing SQL Server update channels or Windows Update. Administrators do not need to install the SQL Server IaaS Agent extension to download ESU patches on an Azure SQL Virtual Machine.


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