Microsoft recently reminded SQL Server 2005 users that time is running out and support for the product would cease on April 12th, 2016. The announcement came via blog post from corporate vice president of Data Platform at Microsoft, T.K. Rengarajan. It’s not a surprising announcement, as SQL Server 2005 has been in the “extended support” phase of its life for the last four years. Once Microsoft pulls support for the software, the company will no longer release security patches for the project.


Microsoft is making efforts during the remaining year of SQL Server 2005’s life to push hard for organizations who rely on the product to upgrade. Those who are planning to upgrade can do so either by upgrading on-premises to SQL Server 2014 – provided that the former isn’t a 32 bit version of the product, or make the move to Microsoft’s cloud: Azure SQL Database v12. Azure SQL Database offers “nearly complete compatibility” with the Microsoft SQL Server product.

A Microsoft-commissioned, Forrester-authored study explains that it could cost as much as $4 million for an organization to migrate to the newest versions of SQL Server, but the report focused on the overall impact of SQL Server deployment and not the specific costs of upgrading. Forrester claimed the expenses of upgrading could be made-up within a year.

Organizations that choose to upgrade to SQL Server 2014 will find that  SQL Server 2014 is 13 times faster than SQL Server 2005. Migrators can also expect SQL Server 2014 to build on an organization’s work with in-memory databases to take advantage of the speed-boosting benefits provided by database servers outfitted with generous amounts of DRAM.

Microsoft will continue to post a series of blogs about SQL Server 2005 end of support throughout the year in addition to providing numerous tools and resources to help their customers migrate. Interested buyers will also have an opportunity to get their feet wet in SQL Server 2014 or Azure via free trial.