One area where there is often a lot of confusion is the Microsoft product support lifecycle. There is a common misconception that a product is supported for 12 months from the release of the last Service Pack. However, this is not always the case, as it depends on the release dates – a case in point is SQL Server 2005.
The Mainstream Support End Date for SQL Server 2005 is the 12th of April 2011 and Service Pack 4 for SQL Server 2005 had a General Availability on the 13th of December 2010. Despite the fact that Service Pack 4 for SQL Server 2005 will be released a little over 4 months prior to the Mainstream Support End Date, support for SQL Server 2005 will still end on the 12th of April 2011.
The support policy is that support ends 12 months after the next service pack releases or at the end of the product’s support lifecycle, whichever comes first. In the case of SQL Server 2005, the Mainstream Support End Date for the product is prior to 12 months after the release of the latest service pack. For more details on the SQL Server product support lifecycle refer to here or phone WARDY IT Solutions on 1300 SQL DBA (927 394).
So, if you have not started thinking about migrating from SQL Server 2005 then now is the time to do so before there is no longer Mainstream Support.