End of Life for Windows Server 2003

From the desk of DAN BOZICEVICH

Dan Bozicevich is Director of Infrastructure Strategy at Parallel Technologies focusing on helping clients reduce risk and increase value through the unifying of technology infrastructure, M&E, and structured cabling in the data center. He has over 18 years of I/T experience running global data centers for the enterprise, colo and cloud ventures.

On April 8, 2014, after a 12 year run, Microsoft ended support for Windows XP.  As evidenced by the multiple news stories that week, it was a hard move for the consumer as XP was a dependable product, but for the enterprise it was an expensive move.  A move in which many people were asking, “What did I get for my upgrade?”

For the enterprise, what the security departments and C-suite understood is that they were buying risk reduction.  In 3Q13, according to Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report (SIR), infection rates were 4.5x higher for Windows XP as compared to Windows 8.  This increased threat makes the enterprise very conscious of the cost of downtime, brand protection, and data loss.  That threat rate will only continue to rise as the bad guys continue to find new vulnerabilities and exploit them as there are no new defenses in place.

So, What’s Next?

July 14, 2015, is the end of life for Windows Server 2003. Microsoft will treat Windows Server 2003 and its affiliated products just like Windows XP. No support and no security updates. Not as big of a deal for the consumer, but for the enterprise, in which according to the IDC upwards of 20% of deployed server OS’s are still running Windows 2003, it’s a big deal. Security issues at the desktop are one thing, but security issues where business critical applications or worse, applications where people have forgotten about and now are neglecting, can create enormous risk and compliance issues for the enterprise.

Are You Ready?

There are a number of variables to consider and all have a cost, quality and risk vector. Are you ready?

  • Are you thinking of migrating that application to the Cloud?  To Linux? 
  • Do you have the data center capacity to run a parallel server while you migrate? 
  • What are the application challenges in upgrading or migrating? 
  • Is the OS virtualized or on physical hardware? 
  • What about the virtualization capacity including server, network and storage?
  • What licenses do I need to consider when migrating? 

We understand it’s not as simple as just “migrating” the server.  In a tactical sense, there are application, licensing, infrastructure, security and sometimes even data center issues to work through. In a strategic sense, do you even want to host that server? Is the application ready to be moved to the Cloud?

Time is Your Enemy!

Most importantly, if you haven’t started your planning, get started!  

Depending on when you’re reading this we have approximately 365 days to finish migrating. If you are in operations, that’s a maximum of 52 weekend outage windows. Divide that by the number of OS’s you need to move (along with all the other work you need to do) and you’ll know how many you need to migrate each weekend to make it.

Whether you’re working with us or another partner the clock is ticking and it’s imperative that you have a 1-year plan in place.  At Parallel Technologies we’ll work to understand your strategic goals and objectives, then identify options based on your specific circumstances for remediating the risk.

For help with any of your planning and risk remediation needs, contact your Parallel Technologies account manager or call today at 952-920-7185 or toll free at 800-899-1652. You can also go to our Contact Us page and send a request for information using the form.

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Dale Klein

Dale Klein is the president and owner of Parallel Technologies. He has more than two decades of experience in technology and business leadership. He transformed Parallel Technologies from a cabling services company into a high-growth technology company by helping clients with their reliable data center and intelligent building strategies.