Mainstream support for SQL Server 2016 officially ended yesterday. If that sounds scary and caught you by surprise, don’t worry. There’s certainly no reason to panic if you’re on SQL Server 2016 and I’m sure many people will be for years to come.
What Does That Mean Going Forward?
While there will still be releases for security bugs or vulnerabilities, there will not be any further enhancements for SQL Server 2016. This “Extended Support” is scheduled to end in another five years on 7/14/2026.
If you are on SQL Server 2016 and haven’t been planning to upgrade, now might be a good time to at least start looking towards the future. I say that because in my experiences the time between planning to upgrade and actually upgrading is quite long. Like any production change, you should want to do plenty of testing before flipping the switch for live clients.
If the best time to look into upgrading was a few years ago, the second best time is now. Go to https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=53595 to grab the latest version of the Microsoft Data Migration Assistant and get started. This tool can reveal compatibility issues with your current version of SQL Server compared to future versions and make some recommendations that are beneficial for any SQL Server version that you’re running. Even if you’re planning to stay with SQL Server 2016 for the foreseeable future, you can get some tips on improving your current setup.
One Service Pack Left
You shouldn’t drop everything that you’re doing with SQL Server 2016 and there is still one last service pack scheduled to be released. SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 3 is scheduled to be released in September 2021.
One piece of SQL Server trivia is that SQL Server 2016 SP3 should be the last service pack released for SQL Server. With SQL Server 2017 and up, only cumulative updates and GDRs are to be released.
Thanks for reading!