Things turn over so rapidly now, it would seem, and as we iterate forwards with new releases of ConfigMgr using the Servicing channel, we suddenly get hit with an announcement that support for something important or at least popular has been dropped, making us feel that things are moving too quickly, after a pace that hasn’t changed much for a decade.
The following comes from the What’s new in Version 1702 documentation on the Microsoft website:
One of the more popular legacy Microsoft Windows Server Operating Systems out there has to be Windows Server 2008 R2 !
I know a lot of folks rolled the dice when Server 2003 was taken out of support and put to pasture, and that they did a quick jump to Server 2008 R2, either due to licensing or timing, instead of getting up to at least server 2012.
Well, the time has come to stop putting it off, if you want to upgrade and continue benefiting from the feature growth of the ConfigMgr product in the form of Build 1702, you are going to have to do an in-place upgrade of the OS, or backup\restore ConfigMgr onto at least Server 2012 and possibly upgrade your SQL version.
The lesser burden is for those running SQL Server 2008 R2, you are going to have to upgrade to at least SQL 2012.
If I am honest, handling the above two upgrades isn’t that big a deal, it just requires a bit of reading, web searches and planning before its undertaken. The really important announcement for deprecated features for Build 1702 is Windows XP Embedded, as these are running on devices with massive penalties for storage space and OS upgrade restrictions due to the software they run, and are not as easy to deal with.
For customers running embedded devices using Windows XP Embedded, upgrading will depend on the vendor of the hardware and software, and if the device can handle at least XP Embedded SP3, which ultimately should really just be about whether the devices running it have enough storage and the LOB software can handle the upgrade, otherwise upgrading to SP 3 won’t be that difficult to deal with, so as to upgrade to Build 1702.
I see these devices mostly in retail and banking, and it is costly for them to be replaced, they are not seen the same way as a PC, which can be recycled after a handful of years, Embedded devices are often an investment that the customer wants to get the last out of.
However, it may be time to take a look at these legacy Windows XP Embedded devices, and finally try to get them rid of them, as support won’t last for more than a few more years by the look of how things are panning out, not from some inside information that I have as an MVP, just how time trots on, licensing changes, and new hardware comes out, and replacing them will replace a lot of time and motion, better to start it now.