By Scott Gosling, National Practice Manager – Microsoft Solutions
What does end of support mean for customers still running Windows Server 2003? After July 14, Microsoft will no longer issue security updates for any version of Windows Server 2003. If you are still running Windows Server 2003 in your datacentre, you need to take steps to plan and execute a migration strategy to protect your infrastructure. By upgrading to Windows Server 2012 R2 (albeit on-premises or out of Microsoft Azure) you can achieve material benefits, including improved performance, reduced maintenance requirements and increased agility. It will also address your compliance issues in terms of a supported server platform.
The reason that compliance becomes an issue is the support of the software application. When the application support ends, bug fixes or security updates are no longer developed (hence the unsupported term) by the application vendor. To quote Microsoft from the Server 2003 end of life site; Knowing this, developers of malware and viruses then target these applications as they are at the mercy of these potential compromises.
Data#3 recommends that customers should start planning now in terms of assessing their applications on Server 2003 and develop migration strategies to avoid this issue. We can advise on ways to implement Microsoft Azure for development and test environments to support this remediation should there be a lack of capacity in your current environment. We recommend that production systems should be migrated to a supported operating system before July 2015, as risk to the enterprise rapidly increases after that date.
To successfully transform from Windows Server 2003 it is imperative our customers undertake a pragmatic approach, with clear deliverables. The Data#3 Windows Server 2003 Transformation is broken into four main phases as below.
Our team are using this approach working with large commercial customers and state government agencies right now to provide their compliance and support requirements are met.
You can use your Deployment Planning Services (DPS) days towards Data#3 services to assist you with this planning and process. For more information, please contact your Data#3 Account Manager – or complete the contact form to receive a call from a specialist.
By partnering with Data#3, customers are choosing a proven provider of Microsoft services recognised nationally by Microsoft as an industry leader whose success is driven by:
While there is no set path for customers to migrate from Server 2003, it’s essential that customers engage a specialist partner that can guide them through the process and ultimately reduce the costs and minimise potential risks.