Windows Server 2003 End of Life – Time is Running Out
If you’re currently running Windows Server 2003, do you have a migration plan yet?
On July 14th, 2015, Microsoft is officially ending support for Windows Server 2003. End of support means that users and businesses still on the platform will no longer receive security updates for any version of Windows Server 2003. If you are still running Server 2003 in your business, you need to take steps now to plan out a migration plan to protect your IT infrastructure and more importantly, your business.
On the bright side, updating your server will provide tangible benefits such as: improved performance, reduced maintenance costs and requirements, and increased efficiency and speed in response times for business operations. If you do not have a plan yet, call Fuse today and one of our specialists can begin assisting your company with a plan as well as determining what costs will be associated with upgrading your systems.
Windows Server 2003 End of Life Implications
In 2013, there were 37 critical updates for Windows Server 2003 R2; as of July 14th these critical updates will no longer be provided by Microsoft, and can leave your systems vulnerable to cybersecurity dangers. While your systems will not suddenly stop working on July 14th if you are still on Windows Server 2003, you can expect other risks and costs from utilizing an unsupported operating system.
Impacts to Server 2003 Users after End of Life:
- No More updates or patches from Microsoft
- Maintenance Cost Increase
- Issues with Industry Wide Compliance Regulations
- HIPAA, PCI, SOX & Dodd-Frank all require a supported operating system to remain in compliance.
- Compatibility Issues with Software and New Devices
- Physical & Virtual Instances of Server 2003 Effected
If your organization happens to be on Server 2003 when support ends, you can expect maintenance costs to go up for system support, additional hardware purchases necessary to secure systems, compliance issues that could close an organization or result in non-compliance fees, compatibility issues with hardware and software that will not be addressed by Microsoft or 3rd party companies, and regardless of a physical or virtual server, your information and systems will not be supported, secure, or stable.
As you can tell, that’s a laundry list of reasons to switch off of Windows Server 2003 before the support ends. The process of migrating can seem overwhelming, but we’re here to help make this as simple as possible!
How to Migrate from Windows Server 2003
According to HP, there are more than 11 million systems still running Windows Server 2003, and because of this, Microsoft is providing a wealth of resources to help companies migrate to a new server operating system. If you have an IT professional, Microsoft’s guidelines will assist in ensuring that you have all the bases covered.
Microsoft’s Four Step Migration Process
Regardless of whether your organization migrates to cloud based services, moves software/workloads to another local server, or replaces the Windows Server 2003 machine, Microsoft has provided resources and guidelines to help migrate off their 12 year old platform.
- Discover: You’ll want to start by cataloging all software and workloads that are running on Windows Server 2003 presently. (Download Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit – support documentation – should be completed by an IT Professional)
- Assess: Once you have a list of all software and workloads, begin categorizing based on type, importance to business operations, their complexity, and risk associated with migrating software to a new system (i.e., will the software be compatible with the new operating system?)
- Target: Now that you have categorized everything, it is time to determine where each application and workload will go. Microsoft solutions could include:
- Migrate: Once everything has a designated destination, plan and choose the migration paths. If you need help with this step, call Fuse today to get a quote on having our technicians migrate applications or workloads to a new service.
An Opportunity to Move to the Cloud
This is perhaps a fantastic opportunity to move different applications and services that you had on your Windows 2003 Server to the cloud. One of the greatest benefits to cloud computing is the ability to minimize upfront costs. When you purchase a new server to replace your current 2003 machine, the costs can jump fast, and with little time left until the End of Support, these costs may be preventative to upgrading before the end of support deadline.
There are cloud services for just about anything that you would want to host on a local server. Call us to find out more about cloud services and which options will meet your organization’s needs. Some examples include:
- Email: Hosted Exchange
- Applications/Software: CRM (Customer Relationship Management), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), EHR/EMR (Electronic Health/Medical Records),
Business Intelligence Software, and more located on offsite servers.
- Cloud Servers: Able to rent servers that are located offsite and can host your applications
- Microsoft Office: Microsoft 365 includes online and offline versions of office for a low monthly price.
- Backups: Remote Backup Solutions that store your data both redundantly and off site.
All of this can seem very daunting, but now is the time to begin the planning phase if you have not already. Fuse is happy to help support any organization plan their migration off of Server 2003; Call us today and get the ball rolling before it’s too late! We’ll make the process as easy as possible, while providing all the information you need to make the best decision.
Download Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit – support documentation– should be completed by an IT Professional.