Does Windows Server 2012 reaching end-of-support impact your Unica Platform?

Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 end-of-support

Towards the end of last year, Microsoft announced the end of the extended end-of-support for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2, with support officially ending 10th October 2023.

The end of support for Windows Server 2012 means that Microsoft will no longer provide technical support for this product and may no longer provide security updates. This could have several impacts on your business, including:

  • Increased Risk of Security Breaches: If you continue to use Windows Server 2012 after the end of support, your business will be more vulnerable to security breaches. This is because bad actors may be able to exploit known vulnerabilities that Microsoft has already patched.
  • Compliance Risks: If you are required to comply with certain regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), you may not be able to do so if you are using an unsupported operating system. This is because unsupported operating systems are unlikely to be able to meet the latest security standards.
  • Increased Costs: If you do upgrade you are likely to need new servers, be that hardware or virtual with associated operating systems, but you will also be removing your old servers from your stack that will over time require more and more specialised support staff as their operating systems will be out of normal usage, so you save on more common skill sets needed and the new server costs cancelled out largely by the removal of the old ones costs.

If you are concerned about the impact of the end of support for Windows Server 2012 on your business, you should take steps to mitigate the risks and consider is it time to upgrade your operating system.

Impact on HCL Unica

It will be time to check which version of the technology you are using, as Unica versions 9 and 10 listed Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 as the latest versions of the Microsoft Operating Systems in their supported environments guide. So, it may be prudent to take the opportunity to upgrade to a later version of Unica at the same time to maintain an environment that is supported by HCL.

At the time of writing (Q2 2023), all versions of Unica from V11 onwards list Windows Server 2016 as the current supported Microsoft Operating System. Other Operating Systems such as Linux flavours AIX, RHEL and SUSE are also listed as supported environments. The supported version of each will depend on the version of Unica being installed. The benefits and features of a newer version of Unica needn’t cost more as licenses typically relate to the product set in use, regardless of which version is being used.

If you do decide to upgrade there are two main upgrade options:

  • In-Place Upgrade: This is the traditional way of upgrading Unica. It involves installing the new version of Unica over your current on the same server as the old version.
  • Fast Upgrade Process: This is a newer option designed mainly for when migrating servers, which allows you to upgrade Unica without having to manually migrate the data and settings from the old version. Instead, the Fast upgrade process will help you migrate the data and settings for you.

Ultimately, the best upgrade option for you will depend on your specific needs and circumstances, but typically if you’re staying on the same server and changing versions of Unica, then an In-Place upgrade will likely be the best option for you. If, you are changing servers, (as you are likely to be doing when upgrading your operating system that we are talking about here), then the Fast Upgrade will be the better option, as this can be built and tested in parallel, minimising impact on production environments.

We recommend that using a newer rather than older version of Unica to take advantage of the latest features, functionality and security enhancements that are often delivered with newer releases.

If you want to know more about how server changes may affect your environment or to discuss upgrade options in more detail, get in touch we would be happy to guide you through it.

 

By: Ryan Bartlett – Senior Consultant and Robert Jones – Senior Architect

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