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Windows Server 2016 End of Life: What To Do Next?

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Windows Server 2016 is a server operating system developed, supported, and maintained by Microsoft. Moreover, it is a part of the Windows NT Family of products. The Windows Server 2016 is the successor to the Windows Server 2012 R2 and was officially released to the public on September 26, 2016.

Unfortunately, a lot of users are still using Windows Server 2016, and the fate of their companies depends on it. If you are one of them, you might be worried about the end of life for Windows Server 2016. In that case, don’t worry. We will tell you what you need to do after Windows Server 2016’s end of life. Let’s get started.

Windows Server 2016 Overview

Windows Server 2016 End of Life: What To Do Next?

Windows Server 2016 is from the Windows NT Family. This means that although it is part of the same operating systems as Windows 10 and 11, the Windows Server cannot be run on ordinary personal computers. Instead, this operating system is specially designed to work with a headless version on Server PCs such as companies and organizations.

However, when Microsoft comes up with a new version of the Operating System, even for servers, they decide to bring up end-of-life for the present working version. While this might seem like a petty business technique, it usually brings up new features and support for newer hardware.

Nevertheless, upgrading to a newer version is not always necessary. As the saying goes, there’s no need to fix it if it ain’t broken. Still, because Windows Server 2016 has reached the end of its life and going on extended support, it would be wise to discuss the options left for users and organizations.

What Does End Of Life Mean For Windows Server 2016?

The end of Microsoft’s support for Windows Server 2016 is commonly referred to as the “end of life” for the license, although this term can be somewhat misleading. Regardless of the end of mainstream support, the license remains functional and usable. The end of mainstream support typically occurs five years after the license’s release.

Following the end of mainstream support, users have the option to choose extended support, which continues to provide security updates and bug fixes. For organizations seeking non-security updates, a paid support agreement is also available.

The period for extended support for Windows Server 2016 is set to conclude on 11th January 2027. Essentially, this means that all users of Windows Server 2016 will continue to receive security updates until the conclusion of the extended support period, although this support phase does not cover bug fixes and other enhancements.

When Does Windows Server 2016 Reach End of Life?

Windows Server 2016 has reached the end of its life on 11th January 2022. However, according to Microsoft, looking at the demand and user base of the Windows Server 2016, the support date has been increased to 11th January 2027.

As a result, if you or your organization is using Windows Server 2016, you don’t need to worry right now or for at least 3 years. This phenomenon is common. We have also seen Windows 8.1 reaching the end of its life. Check that guide out if you are using Windows 8.1.

What to Do After Windows Server 2016 Reaches End of Life?

Although Windows Server 2016 is not reaching the end of its life anytime soon, it is always better that you stay prepared. The extended support usually lasts for around 5 more years after the official support ends.

At that time, you will keep receiving security and product updates. However, you won’t receive any updates that will fix ongoing problems are issues. They are mere security updates to keep your PC becoming vulnerable. Nevertheless, you have a few options you can do when Windows Server 2016 reaches the end of life:

Option 1: Keep Using Windows Server 2016

The first and the easiest way to counter Windows Server 2016 end of life is to keep using Windows Server 2016 until you or your organization faces any threat. Even if you do, you can easily contact a server management company, and they will manage to keep you safe.

Unlike ordinary Windows Operating systems, Server operating systems are far less prone to getting hacked or having a virus attack. If you or your company are comfortable, you can keep using Windows Server 2016.

Option 2: Update to Windows Server 2019

The second and possibly the best option to counter Windows Server 2016 end of life is to update to Windows Server 2019. However, unlike the normal versions of Windows, when Windows 10 reaches the end of its life, a free upgrade to Windows 11 is available. But in the case of Server versions, there is no option for a free upgrade.

Option 3: Opt for Linux Server

If you don’t want to keep paying Microsoft to upgrade Windows Servers, you can instead switch to Linux. At this moment, there are many Linux servers available, and most of them are free. They offer equal features, and the dangers associated with them are far less. Linux also has several other benefits over Windows, such as you don’t have any fear about viruses and other vulnerabilities.

Should You Upgrade to Windows Server 2019 or 2022?

Since you already have to pay for the upgrade, it would be wise if you think about whether you should upgrade to Windows Server 2019 or Windows Server 2022 because the latter is the newer one.

The ideal server choice for you and your company depends heavily on your specific needs and requirements. Additionally, considering the end of support for different versions is a crucial factor in the decision-making process.

Microsoft has communicated that it will provide support for Windows Server 2016 until 11th January, 2027, while Windows Server 2022 is set to have support until October 13, 2026.

Here is a functional comparison table between Windows Server 2019 and 2022:

Windows Server 2016 End of Life: What To Do Next?

This information can serve as a valuable resource to assess the features and capabilities of each version, helping you in the decision-making process for your server upgrade.

Well, that’s all we have here and everything you need to know about Windows Server 2016 and its end of life. We also discussed about what you can do next when the extended support ends. If you still have any doubts or queries, make sure to comment below.

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