Thinking about End-Of-Life?

What’s that you say you haven’t? Ignoring your back office software can lead to some very unpleasant consequences, especially if you fall under governmental regulatory controls such as HIPAA.  In short, failing to keep your back office software up to date can needlessly open your organization to a malicious attack that can compromise your organization’s ability to conduct business and lead to loss of customer trust (read revenue) or even litigation.Furthermore, regulated activities such as healthcare processing and credit card payments require proper software safeguards, with failure to do so opening you up to further litigation or fines.

So how does End-of-Life in the software world impact the above? In Microsoft parlance, “End of Life” means that no more security updates or bug fixes will be issued for the software, meaning any new security flaws that are found will not be fixed and therefore leave the software vulnerable to attack. Being open to an attack in and of itself should be a compelling reason to upgrade given the potential cost to your business for downtime, lost revenue, lost customer trust, etc… that can come from security breaches. However, in order to continue to run outdated software safely, your IT expenditures will actually have to increase to provide for higher-end intrusion detection, advanced firewalls and such, money that could be better put to use advancing your business needs.

In the Microsoft Dynamics NAV realm, we primarily just think of NAV itself, but there is much more involved than just NAV.  In order to stay as safe (and in compliance) as possible, we need to consider at a minimum all of the following:

  1. Dynamics NAV version

  2. Server OS version running or database and NAV server tiers

  3. SQL Server version

  4. Client OS version

NOTE: Ideally, you should review all of your back office software such as file and domain servers, firewalls, vpn, etc…as well.

Microsoft adheres to strict policies for each of the above types of sofware with lifespans as short as one year up to as long as 10 years.  It is near impossible to keep track of the various dates so Microsoft has created a webpage titled “Microsft Support Lifecycle” that allows for searching the lifespan/cycle of virually every Microsoft product. Here is an example for Dynamics NAV 2009:

Did you realize that NAV 2009/2009 R2 is already off of Mainstream support?

To look up your software’s Support Lifecycle go to:

For anyone in the “I don’t like to upgrade” camp, the below software has already or soon will be at End-Of-Life:

  1. Windows XP – 4/8/2014

  2. Windows Server 2003 – 7/14/2015

  3. SQL Server 2005 – 4/12/2016

  4. Dynamics NAV 5.0 – 4/11/2017

If you are running any of the above, it is high time to begin planning your upgrade!

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