One of the Windows Server focused sessions I attended at WPC this month was on the server upgrade opportunity. While a great deal of the Windows Server 2003 End Of Support information was similar to what I have covered previously, both in this blog as well as in the roadshow events, there were a few additional things raised that are worth mentioning.
First up – this session was delivered one day post EOS, a coincidence due to the timing of WPC.
While it's not obvious from the title, upgrading Windows Servers isn't just about upgrading Windows Server, which we know, but that lead to some different conversations to what I was expecting.
During this slide there were several references to just how much things had changed, even in on-premises capabilities before even taking the cloud integration requirements into account.
This is a variation of a slide I've been delivering, but the message is clear. No more updates, and it's not compliant for those that need to go through industry or security audit requirements.
As I travelled the country there were many stories being shared about industries and government departments that would not deem 2003 worthy, and this was coming through loud and clear during this presentation.
This is where the conversation started to branch off versus what I was expecting, with SQL 2005 EOS becoming part of the conversation.
Some new slides followed, but the message was staying similar.
Next up was a discussion of some of the different methods and migration tools available.
Again, the message was consistent with what we've been saying for a while now.
Obviously these tools are just the tip of the iceberg as far as cataloguing tools are concerned, and as you would expect, MAP was mentioned as a great starting point for Microsoft technologies.
Again, similar content to what we've seen before, but different presentation.
Again, no surprises. Pick what works best for your customer, but MS technologies happily work across on-prem and cloud scenarios.
A somewhat simple set of workload mappings, but these are designed to be conversation starters, not prescriptive.
Line of Business applications often require the co-operation of several partners for some projects, and an example of that type of relationship was discussed.
Some more details on upgrading LOB applications.
Database upgrade benefits, especially important considering the SQL 2005 EOS approaching early next year.
While Office 365 was the focus here, Exchange 2013 is a valid option, and Exchange 2016 is coming as well for those that provide to host it themselves.
Externally facing web sites apps really do benefit from being moved to a hosted environment if the customer has been running in house previously.
Improvements ins storage technologies and performance were highlighted.
Improvements with hybrid AD identity with Azure Active Directory is an obvious target here.
This reflects a common conversation – the OS upgrade path may be easy, but it's what runs on top that gets complicated quickly.
Using EOS conversations as door openers with new customers, to keep engaged with existing customers.
How to approach the conversation with customers.
Different MS activities in market.
And that was it. While I wasn't sure what would be discussed after the EOS drum had been beaten so loudly for so long, it was great to see the message continuing and being extended.