Is Your Microsoft CA Running On Windows 2012 R2 Servers? Be Prepared To Migrate

On October 10, 2023, Microsoft will stop providing support for Windows Server 2012, and 2012 R2. Windows Server 2012, which was released in October 2012, reached its original EOS date on October 9, 2018, more than three years ago. Microsoft will discontinue offering bug fixes and technical support for newly found problems that could affect the reliability or usability of servers running the two products.

Dangers of Running on Windows Server 2012 R2

After 10th October 2023, if your company continues to use Windows Server 2012 R2, you run the risk of being subject to compliance issues and cyberattacks. Executives in charge of the security of your digital infrastructure are at considerable organizational and personal risk as a result of this. Without a strategy for an upgrade, responsible IT parties risk missing a deadline and leaving their organization and management responsible for the danger posed by unsupported servers. Environments that are no longer supported or updated are prime targets for attacks by hackers.

Public key infrastructure (PKI) offers a simple yet efficient way of provisioning, managing, and securing machine identities. If you are currently running your Microsoft CA on Windows Server 2012 R2, the time is now to either upgrade your servers or start planning on a new PKI migration plan. This is due to the manufacturer’s decision to stop providing support, updates, and security patches for operating systems that are nearing their EOS. Your PKI system and the sensitive data and information it safeguards can be exposed as a result of security risks and other potential vulnerabilities. Your system becomes susceptible to exploits, malware, and other security concerns if you don’t apply regular security updates.

Buyer’s Guide for PKI-as-a-Service (PKIaaS)

Ask the Right Questions to Assess Your PKI Needs

Forced decision points, like the Windows Server 2012 R2 EOS event, present a unique opportunity for you to consider the state of PKI environments in your organization going forward, weigh your options, and choose the PKI strategy best suited for you. Asking the right questions, as mentioned below, will help you understand where your organization stands on its approach to PKI.

  • Do you have in-depth knowledge about the state and components in your PKI architecture?
  • Is your existing PKI architecture worth keeping or should you migrate?
  • Does your Microsoft PKI support the evolving PKI use cases?
  • Should you upgrade your servers and continue to run a Microsoft CA that requires you to manage and maintain the infrastructure?
  • Have the business use cases changed since the time the PKI was deployed in your organization?
  • Have you tested your migration plan?
  • Have you designed a backout plan?
  • Should you move to cloud-based PKI or PKI-as-a-Service?

It Is the Perfect Time to Re-Think Your PKI Strategy

Any organization still using Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 must implement a migration strategy as soon as possible. Windows 10 will also reach End of Support (EOS) on October 14, 2025. Depending on the number of servers and the size of the business, migrations can take a considerable amount of time, resources, and budget to accomplish.

Although Microsoft Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS), a traditional PKI solution, may have been the obvious choice for legacy IT environments, today’s IT infrastructure is far away from conventional. The call-to-action here is to re-think your PKI approach, and implement a new cloud-based PKI strategy (PKI-as-a-Service), driven by:

  • Windows 2012 R2 EOS
  • Deployment complexities of on-prem PKI
  • Increasing number of modern PKI use cases
  • Perimeter-less hybrid multi-cloud environments
  • Shorter certificate validity and lifecycles
  • Dynamic workloads and DevOps agility

With cloud-based PKI, the entire CA hierarchy for issuing various private trust certificate types can be created in the cloud via the PKI service provider with minimal effort in less time. There is no PKI expertise required and no hardware or software to buy or manage. This framework not only eliminates the challenges of setting up and maintaining complex infrastructure but also improves operational efficiency.

How AppViewX Can Help in Your Migration Journey

AppViewX PKI+ is a ready-to-use, scalable, and compliant PKI-as-a-Service (PKIaaS) that simplifies the complexity of operating a private PKI. AppViewX PKI+ combined with AppViewX CERT+ provides a centralized solution for modern private PKI and end-to-end certificate lifecycle management automation.

Leveraging the AppViewX CERT+ integration with native Windows Auto-enrollment, customers can seamlessly provision certificates from AppViewX PKI+, replacing certificates issued from a Microsoft CA, without any additional client footprint. The AppViewX PKI+ lift-and-shift feature works directly with Group Policy and native Windows Auto-enrollment to streamline the migration from a legacy PKI such as Microsoft CA to AppViewX PKI+. AppViewX handles the heavy lifting, while you shift from on-prem PKI to a modernized PKIaaS in minimal time.

October 10, 2023, is much closer than you think! Schedule a call with an expert or register for a Live Demo Session to start your PKI migration journey today without disrupting your business continuity.


  • cloud-based PKI strategy
  • DevOps agility
  • Microsoft CA
  • PKI as a Service
  • PKI migration plan
  • Windows 2012 R2 Servers

About the Author

Debarati Biswas

Senior Specialist- Product Marketing

A content creator and a lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity. She pens insightful resources to address the pain points of the readers and prospective buyers and help them make well-informed decisions.

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