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Support Ending for Windows Server 2008: What's Next for Ektron and Episerver Customers

Microsoftserver2008medium

Effective January 2020, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 will reach its end of life. This means that if you’re running on Windows Server 2008, the operating system will stop receiving support, including critical security patches and bug fixes that could expose your organization to security issues or software bugs in the operating system.

This poses a security threat, in particular, for internally hosted websites and their supporting technologies, such as a content management system like Episerver or Ektron. A compromised web server could be a gateway into another system operating in the same environment. As current versions of Windows Server will continue to receive fixes and patches, this can serve as a map, of sorts, for malicious users to exploit security gaps in older versions.

Microsoft had previously announced Windows Server 2008’s end of life in 2015. Since then, Microsoft has provided extended support, including free patches and fixes leading up until the January 2020 date. If your organization has not planned accordingly, it’s now time to act. Customers may be able to sign new support agreements with Microsoft to further extend support, but will likely pay extra as a result.

I'm an Episerver/Ektron customer. What does this mean for me?

Episerver and Ektron customers running on older versions of the CMS are almost certain to be impacted. This means that Microsoft will not support the operating system the Episerver or Ektron CMS is running on.

If you’re an Episerver or Ektron customer running your website on Windows Server 2008, the following versions will be affected:

Episerver

  • Episerver CMS 6 R2
  • Episerver CMS 6
  • Episerver CMS 5 R2 SP2
  • Episerver CMS 5 R2 SP1
  • Episerver CMS 5 R2

Ektron

  • Ektron CMS 8.0.x
  • Ektron CMS 8.5
  • Ektron CMS 8.6

If you’re an Episerver or Ektron customer on Windows 2008, the following versions may be affected:

Episerver

  • Episerver CMS 7.5
  • Episerver CMS 7.1
  • Episerver CMS 7

Ektron

  • Ektron CMS 8.7
  • Ektron CMS 9.0
  • Ektron CMS 9.1
  • Ektron CMS 9.2

What are my options?

Episerver and Ektron customers using Windows Server 2008 have the following options:

Episerver

  • Upgrade: Episerver supports upgrades between versions, so upgrading to a more recent version of Episerver may satisfy the need. However, this will also require a Windows Server upgrade in tandem.
  • Migrate to a Cloud Environment: Migrating the on-premise instance to a cloud-hosted environment will further isolate the CMS to mitigate risk.
  • Migrate to DXC Service: Migration to Episerver’s fully managed, cloud-hosted solution allows customers to take advantage of newer features corresponding to more recent platform releases. The site is also delivered as a fully managed service from Episerver.
  • Nothing: Neither Episerver nor the server running the site will stop working after January 14, 2020. Organizations may continue with increased risk to new threats and attacks on Microsoft software.

Ektron

  • Upgrade: The only version of Ektron supported on the latest version of Windows (2016) is Ektron CMS 9.3. Released in June 2018, this would require the latest version of Ektron to run on Windows 2016 servers by January 2020.
  • Migrate to Episerver CMS: Similar to a self-hosted Ektron site, customers can migrate to Episerver while leveraging their own or a third-party infrastructure. Responsibility for ensuring that systems are maintained falls on the customer or managed service provider in this scenario.
  • Migrate to Episerver DXC Service: This option mitigates the need, resources, and risk associated with maintaining on-prem. servers and managing CMS upgrades by delivering the site as a fully managed, cloud-hosted service. This also unlocks the most recent Episerver features across CMS, ecommerce, email marketing, and personalization.
  • Nothing: Ending support does not mean the server will be shut down. Microsoft 2008 Server and Ektron will continue to operate, though with increased risk to the organization as applications will now run in an environment not receiving security patches, fixes, and updates.

Next Steps?

We advise you contact an Episerver or Ektron partner to discuss your options. As an Episerver Premium Partner and longtime Elite Ektron Partner, C2 and its cloud managed services team is available to assist. You can find our contact information here.