Operating System Support for SQL Server Versions

Introduction

There are currently three major versions of SQL Server (SQL Server 2016, SQL Server 2017, and SQL Server 2019) that are still fully supported by Microsoft, along with five older versions that are either out of Mainstream support or out of Extended support. There are also four relatively recent major versions of Windows Server, only two of which (Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2019) are still fully supported by Microsoft.

Ideally, you want the newest supported version of Windows Server that you can use with your version of SQL Server, but sometimes this is not possible.

Only certain combinations of SQL Server and Windows Server are officially supported by Microsoft, but tracking down this information is a little tedious. I have done the work for you, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: SQL Server Version vs. Windows Server Version

If you are getting ready to deploy a new instance of SQL Server 2019, SQL Server 2017, or SQL Server 2016, then you should prefer Windows Server 2019, even though they are all also supported on certain older operating systems.

For a new instance of SQL Server 2014 or SQL Server 2012, you should prefer Windows Server 2016, even though they are both also supported on certain older operating systems. Both SQL Server 2012 and SQL Server 2014 are out of Mainstream support.

If you are getting ready to deploy a new instance of SQL Server 2008 or SQL Server 2008 R2, then you should prefer Windows Server 2012 R2, even though they are both supported on certain older operating systems. Both SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 are out of Extended support.

Final Words

Finally, if you are getting ready to deploy a new instance of SQL Server 2005, then I feel very sorry for you! SQL Server 2005 is out of extended support, and it is missing so many useful features that were added in newer versions of SQL Server. If you simply must deploy a new instance of SQL Server 2005, then you should prefer Windows Server 2008 R2.

Update: Randolph West did some great work trying (and succeeding in many cases) to get some extremely old versions of SQL Server to work on Windows Server 2019. Very interesting stuff!

If you have any questions about this post, please ask me here in the comments or on Twitter. I am pretty active on Twitter as GlennAlanBerryThanks for reading!

Categories SQL ServerTags ,

1 thought on “Operating System Support for SQL Server Versions

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close