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SQL Server 2008/2008 R2 Extended Security Updates (ESUs)

SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 have reached the end of their support lifecycle on July 9, 2019. Each version is backed by a minimum of 10 years of support (5 years for Mainstream Support and 5 years for Extended Support) including regular security updates. End of support means the end of security updates, which can cause security and compliance issues and put applications and business at risk. Microsoft recommends upgrading to current versions for the most advanced security, performance, and innovation.

For customers that couldn’t get all servers upgraded by the deadline, new options help protect applications and data during the upgrade transition:

  • Migrate your existing SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 workloads as-is to Azure Virtual Machines, and automatically subscribe to an additional three years of Extended Security Updates (if and when available) at no additional cost apart from the VM cost.
  • Purchase an Extended Security Update subscription for your servers and remain protected until you are ready to upgrade to a newer SQL Server version, for up to three years after the End of Support date.

Microsoft recommends applying Extended Security Update patches as soon as they are available to keep a SQL Server instance protected.

Table of Contents

Useful links

What are Extended Security Updates for SQL Server

Extended Security Updates (ESUs) include provision of Security Updates rated Critical by MSRC.

ESUs will be distributed if and when available, and do not include:

  • New features
  • Customer-requested non-security hotfixes
  • Design change requests


ESUs do not include technical support, but customers can use an active support contract such as Software Assurance or Premier/Unified Support on SQL Server 2008 / 2008 R2 to get technical support on workloads covered by ESUs if they choose to stay on-premises. Alternatively, if hosting on Azure, customers can use an Azure Support plan to get technical support.

Note: Microsoft cannot provide technical support for SQL Server 2008 / 2008 R2 instances (both on-premises and in hosting environments) that are not covered with an ESU subscription.

ESU Availability

In Azure: Customers who migrate workloads to Azure Virtual Machines (IaaS) will have access to Extended Security Updates for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 for three years after the End of Support dates for no additional charges above the cost of running the virtual machine. Customers do not need Software Assurance to receive Extended Security Updates in Azure.

On-premises or hosted environments: Software Assurance customers can purchase Extended Security Updates for three years after End of Support date, under an Enterprise Agreement (EA), Enterprise Subscription Agreement (EAS), a Server & Cloud Enrollment (SCE), or an Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES). Customers can purchase Extended Security Updates only for the servers they need to cover. Extended Security Updates can be purchased directly from Microsoft or a Microsoft licensing partner.

For more information, refer to the Extended Security Updates frequently asked questions.

ESU Delivery

Azure Virtual Machines: Customers will receive updates automatically through existing SQL Server update channels, whenever vulnerabilities are found, and rated Critical by MSRC. If an Azure Virtual Machine is not configured to receive automatic updates, then the on-premises download option applies.

On-premises or hosted environments: Customers that buy Extended Security Updates will be able to register the eligible instances and download updates from the Azure Portal to deploy to their on-premises or hosted environments, whenever vulnerabilities are found, and rated Critical by MSRC. This is also the process that customers will need to follow for Azure Stack and Azure Virtual Machines that are not configured to receive automatic updates.

Prepare to register SQL Server instances for ESUs

To create your SQL Server Registry, which will allow you to register your ESU-enabled SQL Server instances, see Create the SQL Server Registry.

Registering SQL Server instances for ESUs

To register your ESU-enabled SQL Server instances, see Registering SQL Server instances for ESUs.

How to download Extended Security Updates

To download a security update that is made available throughout the three years of the ESU subscription, click on Security Updates located in the left menu pane.

  • All available ESU packages available per version will be listed

  • A Download button will appear inline with each available update package, allowing customers to download, to later install in the eligible SQL Server instances.


ESU registration script examples

For example scripts in T-SQL and Powershell that can generate the required SQL Server instance registration information, see ESU registration script examples.

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