Windows Server 2003 Migration Resources!


It’s hard to believe that it's been 12 years since we released Windows Server 2003!  On March 28th 2003 I received a ship-it award for the role I played in helping to make Windows Server 2003 ready for enterprise customers.  We did a lot of work around reliability, setup and performance inside Microsoft IT to make sure we had a solid release.  Given it’s been 12 years and customers still are running Windows Server 2003, I think we did a pretty good job!

But as they say all good things have to come to an end and this month on July 14th we will end support for Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2 as part of our normal support lifecycle policies.

I know many of you have already migrated from Windows Server 2003 which is great, but for those that still have some workloads hanging around I wanted to provide you with some resources to help you out.  These tools not only help with moving from Windows Server 2003 but also other deployment projects that you may be involved in.

First port of call is to check out the official website for Windows Server 2003 which has a bunch of resources to help with migration.  The first of those that are highlighted on the website is the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit.  The current version of the toolkit is version 9.2 and its our essential tool to help you with assessing inventory of your current systems.  MAP allows you to scan your environment to quickly get a snapshot of the servers, clients and other devices on your network so that you can assess the readiness of legacy systems to be upgraded to a currentlegacymap operating system.  The great thing about MAP is it’s an agentless deployment so there is nothing you need install on your systems to get good information about what you have.

As you can see from the example picture MAP has scanned and told me how many legacy servers I have.  I can then assess how many are ready move to a current operating system like Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2012 R2.  If you haven’t had a look make sure you download the current version!

Migration Tools

In Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 we added a new feature called the Windows Server Migration Tools.  These tools, which get installed on the source and destination allows an administrator to migrate certain roles, features, shares, operating system settings and other data from previous operating systems such as Windows Server 2003.  Not all features and roles require these tools and our migration guides will clearly state which ones do.  I highly recommend you check out our migration guides along with this guide on how to Install and use the tools.  No matter what your scenario is for migration we should have a guide to help you out!

Another tool that might help you is the Microsoft Migration Assistant.  The Microsoft Migration Assistant provides a four step process that helps you to analyse your Windows Server 2003 workloads and generate a summary report of recommendations for migration options for each workload along with relevant Microsoft partner offers on hardware, software, services and more. Check it out here.

Lastly make sure you check out the Windows SysInternals tool Disk2VHD.  Disk2vhd is a utility that creates VHD (Virtual Hard Disk - Microsoft's Virtual Machine disk format) versions of physical disks for use with Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs). The difference between Disk2vhd and other physical-to virtual tools is that you can run Disk2vhd on a system that’s online. Disk2vhd uses Windows' Volume Snapshot capability to create consistent point-in-time snapshots of the volumes you want to include in a conversion. You can even have Disk2vhd create the VHDs on local volumes, even ones being converted (though performance is better when the VHD is on a disk different than ones being converted).

Courses and Videos

And we also have a bunch of videos from various sources which I’ve listed below which can help you out.

Microsoft Virtual Academy

  • To learn the details about Windows Server 2003 End of Support, watch this on demand course.  After an introduction to the tool and process options, learn how to migrate with AppZero, and get an AppZero demonstration.   Experts explore considerations when moving apps versus machines, methodology around the process, and best practices. They also look at app compatibility statements, vendor supportability, and AppZero usage requirements. Finally, they discuss Microsoft Dynamics GP 10, SQL Server 2005, Windows Server 2003 -> Windows Server 2012 R2, in-place upgrade options, and migration to Azure.
  • Watch this demo-rich Jump Start video showing the capabilities and new features in Windows Server 2012 R2. Microsoft Senior Technical Evangelist Rick Claus and Lead Architect and President of holSystems Corey Hynes demonstrate the newest Windows Server features via numerous scenarios and demos.

I’ve been harping on about migrating Windows Server 2003 servers from some time now because it’s important and you should prioritize this task as we are getting so close to end of support.  So with that I want to leave you with a quote from the Windows Server team Blog that says it all!

Although 75% of IT professionals are aware that support for Windows Server 2003 is ending July 14, 2015, there are still a lot of questions about just how urgent the need to move is. Deprioritizing migration is not uncommon when there are other technology projects that are perceived to more directly benefit business groups. However, although while perhaps not as glamorous as other projects, Windows Server 2003 migration can make a big impact on your business.

Check out the link for more!



Comments (3)

  1. Jeffadude says:

    There were later versions of SBS after SBS 2003 and customers should have migrated to those and then to Windows Server 2012 Essentials. I think this notion of keeping servers on premises in small businesses is becoming outdated with the advent of cloud
    computing. I understand the reasons for keeping old servers around but surely the risks should outweigh that?

  2. rod says:

    Most still running 2003 are running SBS 2003 – they would have upgraded already if there was still an SBS version available. Crazy idea to do away with that.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If you missed it, or don’t follow Jeffa’s blog , Jeff Alexander posted some great resources

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