server 2012 patches and advice

crib bar 781 Reputation points

With regards to servers still running windows server 2012, according to the website Microsoft Windows Server | – this version is still covered by "Extended Security Updates" until 13/10/2026. Are "extended security updates" something all customers automatically receive and dont need to do anything to receive, or is this something customers have to sign up for/subscribe to and pay extra for? As the same website suggests general security support actually ended 10/10/2023 (7 month ago).


Secondly, are there any other major risks above and beyond security patching, that would be associated with keeping servers running an older version of windows server 2012? Does the version itself lack now mandatory security features of newer versions of the product, for example, or use unrecommended features/protocols etc etc?

Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2012
A Microsoft server operating system that supports enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications.
1,558 questions
Windows Server
Windows Server
A family of Microsoft server operating systems that support enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications.
12,454 questions
Windows Server Security
Windows Server Security
Windows Server: A family of Microsoft server operating systems that support enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications.Security: The precautions taken to guard against crime, attack, sabotage, espionage, or another threat.
1,766 questions
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Accepted answer
  1. Wesley Li 5,955 Reputation points


    Extended Security Updates (ESUs) for Windows Server 2012 are not automatically received; they are a purchasable option for customers who need to run certain legacy Microsoft products past the end of support. ESUs include critical and/or important security updates for a maximum of three years after the product's end of extended support date. They are available for free for workloads moved to Azure Virtual Machines, but for on-premises or hosted environments, customers with Software Assurance can purchase ESUs. It's important to note that ESUs do not include new features, customer-requested non-security hotfixes, or design change requests.


    Regarding the risks associated with running older versions of Windows Server 2012, there are several to consider:


    Security vulnerabilities: Without regular updates, systems become susceptible to new threats and exploits.

    Compliance issues: Running unsupported software can lead to non-compliance with industry regulations, potentially resulting in fines.

    Operational risks: Any issues that arise post-EOL may impact operations due to the lack of support from Microsoft.

    Limited compatibility: Newer applications may not function correctly on outdated server OS, leading to performance and reliability issues.

    Decreased performance and reliability: Over time, the outdated server may not perform optimally, affecting business operations.


    To mitigate these risks, it is recommended to migrate to a newer version of Windows Server or to purchase ESUs if immediate migration is not feasible.

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