A warning for Server 2003 datacenters:
Elevated risks are coming to businesses still operating Microsoft Windows Server 2003 as end-of-support nears in July 2015. Although upgrades may not make business sense for some organizations in regards to budget, the Department of Homeland Security seriously warns any IT departments still running these servers of elevated risk, hardware compatibility issues and possible compliance concerns. Microsoft outlines the 4-step process to migrating your Windows Server 2003:
- Discover: determine which apps and workloads are running on Windows Server 2003.
- Assess: categorize these apps and workloads by type, importance, and degree of complexity.
- Target: choose a migration destination for each application and workload, either in the datacenter or in the cloud.
- Migrate: build your migration plan- do it yourself, collaborate with a viable Microsoft partner like HP and VLCM, or use a service.
Some IT managers believe they can virtualize instead of migrating Windows Server 2003 and still be safe, but according to Scott Woodgate, director of product marketing in Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise team, “There is nothing you can do to secure fundamental security issues on something we’re no longer supporting.” (The Wall Street Journal Blog). Secure your business and mitigate risk by beginning your migration process, now. For those organizations that will not be able to justify the migration by the deadline, many security vendors such as VLCM can provide tools to help secure the platform and minimize risk for these end-of-support servers like app control and network isolation. However, these security tools are still not the recommended option.
Custom support by Microsoft after the July 14, 2015 deadline will come at a very high cost estimated to be $200,000 per year. After an extension earlier this year, it is unlikely that another extension will occur for those overworked IT departments. An average migration to Windows Server 2012 takes 200 days, cutting it close to the deadline if your datacenter is just starting the process. Still, the Server 2003 migration may be worth the lower costs of unnecessary hardware.
With the advancement of technology since the introduction of Windows Server 2003, it’s possible to do more with less physical hardware- offloading some or all workloads into the cloud, whether public, private or hybrid. Your organization may be able to use this benefit as justification to migrate from the end-of-life system. According to leaders in the industry such as HP, this migration should not be an option, rather a necessity for your datacenter. See how HP and Microsoft are collaborating the effort to get all organizations on board for migration and download the white paper below to understand Five Thing You Need to Know about Migrating from Windows Server 2003.