Much like Windows XP reaching end-of-life this past April, the end is here for the server counterpart — Windows Server 2003 — which concluded extended I.T. Support on July 14, 2015. Unlike the end of IT Support Services for Windows XP, the install base of Windows Server 2003 is lower as a total percentage of deployed systems, with an estimated 11 million systems running the now 11-year old OS, according to HP.
Inaction is not a solution
Custom IT Support by Microsoft after the July 14, 2015 deadline is estimated to run at a relatively steep $200,000 per year, a cost too high for many organizations to simply throw money at the problem. Calls to extend Computer Support for Windows Server 2003, comparatively, are less urgent in contrast to the end of support for Windows XP, in which the Chinese government attempted to pressure Microsoft into continuing support for the aging OS.
Accordingly, organizations that store sensitive data and are obligated to use supported OSs per local or national laws, such as HIPAA in the US must migrate their servers toward a currently-supported OS. According to Steve Brennan, the Microsoft Business Development Manager at QA, the average migration for Windows Server takes 200 days. As such, there should be particular urgency in starting migrations from Windows Server 2003 now.
Drawing your own roadmap
A migration of this scale requires a great deal of coordination and careful planning. Any migration, according to Microsoft, should consist of four steps: discovering the existing environment, assessing workloads, determining where those workloads can be moved to, and the actual migration of the workloads.
As technology and business software have advanced a great deal in the time since the introduction of Windows Server 2003, it is possible to do more with less hardware than before, and to offload some or all of a workload into the cloud — whether that is a private cloud on your own premises, a public cloud operated by a third party such as Google, Amazon, or Microsoft, or a hybrid cloud, which combines the strengths of both private and public cloud options.
What is your path forward?
How is the end of IT Support Services for Windows Server 2003 affecting your business? Have you already completed the upgrade process, or are you just getting started? Will you move some of your workload to the cloud? Let us know and we can help! Contact Symmetric Group today to discuss your upgrade path!