Server 2003 End of Support. Are your applications ready?
The clock is ticking: the End of Support for Windows Server 2003 arrives this July 2015, as in sixty days from this posting. Don’t let it sneak up on you and don’t wait until the last moment!
What’s the big deal? Many Information Technology specialists have many reasons to believe that the Windows Server 2003 end-of-life is the biggest security threat of this year.
What this could mean for your business if you are still using Windows Server 2003. There will be no more patches or security updates and your applications and business will be at risk. New threats won’t be addressed and Windows Server 2003 systems will be a security risk and compliance nightmare—which can result in a heavy compliance burden and could put you at risk of accruing penalties and fines. If you are an organization that store sensitive data and are obligated to use supported operating systems per local or national laws, you must migrate your servers to a currently-supported operating system.
With the end of support of Windows XP, and soon Windows Server 2003, there is reason to believe that the number of critical vulnerabilities will increase. When patches for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2012 are released, hackers can see where the fixes are made, which then reveals the vulnerabilities in the Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 editions. This is why many in the tech industry believe that there will be a significant increase in the risks of continuing to run on Windows 2003 after July 2015.
But have no fear. It’s never too late to protect yourself. You have options.
The pressure from Microsoft to perform a server migration to a more modern platform might feel overwhelming, but if you remain on Windows Server 2003 after July 14, 2015 you risk being exposed to security vulnerabilities as well as a lack of future updates and support from Microsoft. Saalex Information Technology, LLC (SaalexIT) is a Microsoft Certified Partner and we are more than happy to help you with Microsoft Windows Server 2003 questions and navigate you through these changes.
So what are your options?
- Migrating and Upgrading
- Upgrading the Server
- Staying Put (SaalexIT does not recommend choosing this)
Migrating and upgrading. The average migration will take 200 days. SaalexIT urges that you start thinking about migrating if you haven’t already. Migrating and upgrading your server is your best option. Contact SaalexIT or check out our website for a full list of our offered Migration Services.
Our migration services will include the four steps for a successful migration:
- Discover. This step involves determining which applications and workloads in your IT environment are running on Windows Server 2003. After documentation, we will also determine the file storage needs for your migration.
- Assess. We will categorize your applications and workloads by type, importance, and degree of complexity
- Target. We will choose a migration destination for each application and workload, either in the data center or in the cloud, and
- Migrate. SaalexIT will build your migration plan and assist your business with the migration.
Upgrading the Server only. This option is risky unless:
- You are certain that you will not encounter application errors upon the server upgrade,
- You can withstand an outage of 48 hours or more, and
- You want an economy/budget solution
Staying put: What if you cannot perform the Windows Server 2003 migration yet?
If you really still need to run Windows Server 2003, you should at least ensure that the servers are running healthy. You can only achieve that by creating a performance baseline and checking various performance counters. SaalexIT is a Microsoft Certified Partner and we are more than happy to help with questions that you may have around which performance values are important and at what values they should be, according to your workload.
If you are considering not upgrading due to cost reasons. Keep in mind that applications, database products, and management tools, all of which may be approaching or already past their supported life cycles, will leave customers at even further potential risk should a problem arise if you stay on Microsoft Windows Server 2003. Maintenance costs of running a legacy server are expensive and the costs will increase as you continue to use aging hardware.
Saalex Information Technology (SaalexIT) is a Microsoft Certified Partner that can help you figure out the right IT solution for your organization. Contact one of our IT regional offices, California (805) 222-4977 or Florida (321) 604-6165 or check out our website for a full list of our offered Migration Services.