Product expiration is a fact of life. And, no matter how much we love a product or no matter how long we cling to its familiar interface, we eventually have to give up on it.
Such is the case with SQL Server 2005. SQL Server 2005 is the next in a running lot of product expirations, with the end of support date being April 12, 2016. Released 10 years ago, this version of Microsoft's database product is still in use in a huge number of implementations. So, it goes without saying that, just like we've seen with Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, some organizations will have a tough time letting go.
It's worth noting that since this product release the database industry has seen significant and monumental changes – most of which are improvements. More and more data engineers are choosing to split on-premises and Cloud operations to house massive amounts of data. SQL Server 2005, of course, doesn't provide this option. Additionally, the security landscape has been altered so much that it's practically unrecognizable from 10 years ago. Those still running SQL Server 2005 even now are sliding into the trap of severe data exposure, gifting hackers with a data services structure that is unsecure by today's design standards.
Just like other products that have been sent to pasture, SQL Server 2005 will continue to function after its expiration date, but Microsoft will no longer provide hotfixes and security updates.
We'll be covering more of the how-to's for migrating your SQL Server 2005 workloads to a supportable database services version over the next few months (here on WindowsITPro and on SQL Server Pro), but let this serve as a warning. You have less than a year to discover applications and workloads, target your destination product, and make the upgrade. This is a monumental move and while a year seems like a good amount of time, we all know how quickly deadlines can sneak up while trying to serve the needs of the rest of the organization day-in and day-out.