Microsoft’s customer support on SQL Server

Often I work with many customers who run on unsupported versions of SQL Server. This situation is mainly fueled by lack of understanding on support policy or misleading information from various sources. Hence I though to write some quick note on SQL Server support from
Microsoft.

As of January 2011, Microsoft CSS/PSS supports below versions of SQL Server:

  • SQL Server 2000 – No mainstream support. Extended support available until April 2013 provided customers running 2000 SP4 or later.
  • SQL Server 2005 – Mainstream support is available until April 2011. Requires 2005 SP3 or later.
  • SQL Server 2008 – Mainstream support is available until Jan 2014. From April 2010 customer must be running SP1 or later to avail support.

Mainstream support is still the period when Microsoft support the product with fill potential including but not limited to incident support, hotfix support, security updates, etc. But when a product is in Extended Support, Microsoft provides security update to all customers for free and customers can open support request with PSS/CSS using normal routine. However customers can not get any non security hotfix with out extra charge. Typically premier customers have Extended Hotfix Support Agreement with Microsoft which enables them to get such hotfix.

From my experience, it is always risky to run with extended support as you will any way incur significant cost and anyway you will have to do the upgrade sooner or later. Hence it is always great idea not to push behind the migration project and move your servers to latest versions.

To know latest information about the support policy, refer to http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/search/


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