Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows Server 2003 in July 13th 2010, but will continue to offer extended support until July 14th 2015.
Extended support recognises that a product is being widely used and provides a significant period of support, but that all ends in July next year.
When extended support has ended, the level of support that Microsoft will provide to a product is exactly … nothing! No updates or patches, no technical support (paid or free), no product-specific information – it all ends.
You might wonder if the lack of updates from Microsoft for an older, proven, product even matters, but consider that Microsoft released 37 critical security updates for Windows Server 2003 in 2013 alone – after extended support ends there will be none at all.
So, if you are still using Windows Server 2003, and if you have more than ten servers in production there is a good chance that you are, what does this mean for you?
Well, the first thing to plan for is to act well in advance of the deadline. It takes time to properly plan and then upgrade or migrate applications to a new operating system, and you do not want to be forced to rush the process or make a premature decision.
The second thing is to consider combining the update with other changes to your systems. Perhaps the applications you hold on your 2003 servers can be upgraded to obtain new functionality or better performance? Perhaps you can consolidate and reduce the numbers of servers altogether?
No one wants to be forced into a project with no tangible benefits, especially with a fixed deadline, but businesses that have upgraded already report several key benefits including:
- Cost Savings – businesses are able to reduce their capital expenses through virtualization and consolidation.
- Simplicity – businesses are able to simplify their IT management across on premise and cloud environments.
- Peace of Mind – business can rely on enterprise-grade security on premises and in cloud environments.
If you treat the need to update as an opportunity to improve your systems, you can automate, simplify and modernise your infrastructure and reduce your operating costs in the process.
We have extensive experience in migrating applications and functions from Server 2003 systems to a variety of platforms, including on premises and cloud environments and varying operating systems.
Contact us today to discuss your requirements and to get a strategy in place.