Microsoft recently announced an end to product support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14 2015. Updates to patches and security will finish after the July cut-off date, creating the risk of infrastructure instability and viruses.
Microsoft surveys indicate that almost 94 per cent of organisations using Windows Server 2003 are evaluating the migration of applications to a newer versions of Windows Server (Technet 2014).
Any organization failing to upgrade by July 14 faces a number of future challenges including:
• No updates: Updates are required to fix security risks (new vulnerabilities will not be actioned) and incompatibility problems with software and applications. For example in 2013 alone there were 37 critical updates for Windows Server 2003.
• Cost: Maintenance costs for aging hardware can spiral out of control. Customized intrusion detection, advanced firewalls and network segmentation are expensive to maintain.
• Compliance Issues: Outdated hardware and software can make passing audits and maintaining industry accreditations significantly more difficult (Microsoft Corporation Windows Server 2003 Datasheet).
• Lack of Application Support: Software Applications have already started to stop support for Windows 2003 – this will continue.
Migration from Server 2003 is an intensive process requiring a careful planning process. Contacting an outsourced IT provider with extensive experience in upgrading from Windows Server 2003 is a smart choice in ensuring a smooth and painless migration.