Microsoft will end its extended support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015, meaning users running Windows Server 2003 will be vulnerable and no longer receive any more security patch.
Windows Server are systems that help run key functions of a company like accounting, finance, manufacturing and more.
According to Microsoft, a 2013 survey of 1000 IT pros by AppZero showed that more than half are using Windows Server 2003.
However, many are still delaying moves to migrating their servers to newer versions. According to Nick East, chief executive of Zynstra, a leading IT provider, a small percentage have completed their migrations, 10-20 percent are still in the process, and 50-60 percent are still at the talking stage.
This isn’t limited to small, under-funded companies, but also large well-funded corporations across a variety of segments worldwide.
Normally, a complete migration takes nine to 15 months, which includes research, upgrading, testing and rollout. Meaning even if companies start now, they will still miss the July 14 deadline, leaving their servers at risk.
The reason many companies are resisting the upgrades is because Windows Server has grown into a huge and complicated system. Certain applications, like email servers and file serving, may already be upgraded to Windows Server 2008 R2, but backbone systems like ordering, supply, customer support and logistics are so interconnected that moving one will require moving others as well.
Change in systems architectures like 32-bit Windows Server 2003 to 64-bit Windows Server 2012 only makes the migration more difficult.
IT departments also face problems budget-wise. Microsoft ended extended support for Windows XP which ran on millions of computers back in April 2014. And barely a year later, another upgrade for Windows Server 2003.
Experts expect a rush to migrate systems within the second quarter of this year. Even then, many are opting to move individual apps instead of major systems.
There is a complacency among Windows Server 2003 users that no major security breach happened on Windows XP after its support deadline. The only two options after July 14 is to continue with no support or pay Microsoft for custom support, which it did for Windows XP users at $200 per client. But there has been no commitment from Microsoft that they’ll provide custom support for Windows Server 2003. If they do, expect to pay two to three times more.
Microsoft wants you to buy its latest software, instead of wasting resources on supporting older systems.
So if you are consider migrating systems now, the main thing is to identify the type and number of apps you’re running, then decide which ones should move.
Then consider your options, whether it be virtual servers, new physical servers or move into the cloud. Experts expect big companies to move into more new physical servers, while one-third of users will move into the cloud. However, using the cloud is like outsourcing a part of your IT infrastructure to a third party, so make sure to evaluate your options properly.
Working with MessageOps ensures your organization a simple and seamless migration from Windows Server 2003 to 2012.
Have Questions? Ready to get started? Fill out this Windows Server 2003 Migration Request Form and we will contact you immediately to help you deal with Windows Server 2003 end of support.
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