HIDDEN AWAY from view is your organisation’s Server – the hub of your business’s IT infrastructure. And probably the most popular operating system for Servers used by businesses large and small is Microsoft’s Window Server 2003. However, from the 14th July 2015 this operating system, used by over 10 million companies worldwide, reached its ‘end of life’.
What does ‘end of life’ mean? Simply, it means there will be no more patches or updates from
Microsoft. Think of it like owning an obsolete car. It might still be a perfectly good car that runs well, but because there are no new ones being made there is potential for big problems in the future because there are no new parts available.
In the case of Windows Server 2003/R2, Microsoft will cease supporting the old technology, and if there are any future security or stability issues, your data will be vulnerable. Yet, a recent survey from IT social network Spiceworks has found that 61% of businesses were still using Windows Server 2003/R2 just a few months before Microsoft pulled the plug on support.
Urgency and opportunity
Any business operating Windows Server 2003/RS needs to make migration to a new solution a priority if they are not to put at risk their data and IT security. It’s simply too critical to just turn a blind eye.
Upgrading your Windows Server 2003/RS brings with it the opportunity to review your IT needs and consider options that could bring about a step change improvement to the way you work and how your business performs – whilst also potentially reducing costs in the longer term.
The main options are to replace with another ‘on premise’ Server solution, potentially taking advantage, of virtualisation, or move to the Cloud, or do a mix of each.
THE NEXT STEPS
A recommended 4-step approach to preparing for Windows Server 2003/R2 end of life is as follows:
Step 1: Discover – assess what software and workloads are on the Server. Having a good understanding of where processes and programs are located is crucial before moving forward. This is best completed by your IT provider.
Step 2: Assess – review the findings from Step 1 and categorise the applications and workloads into one of the following: type of application, criticality, complexity, risk, and infrastructure type. This should reveal any potential issues or opportunities and help establish a priority for migration. Anything deemed ‘critical’, for example, should be high priority.
Step 3: Target – again, working with your IT provider, decide the best fit for the business, whether cloud-based, on-premise, or a hybrid option, and what type of technology is going to support that infrastructure. Finding the best end result is going to be a factor of speed, ease of migration, desired functionality and cost.
Step 4: Migrate – finally, after establishing what is running on Windows Server 2003/R2 (the priority of each process and program and where it’s going to go) it’s time to migrate to the new destination. If you haven’t already established whether you use Windows Server 2003/R2, then it is strongly advised that you take action now. The potential to lose your company data is too high to contemplate and trying to ‘muddle through’ is almost certainly something that will come back to haunt you.
Contact us for a free consultation about migrating from Windows Server
Tel: 0330 2020 340