|Where were you in 2003? I remember a few things. Joy at my first colour screen Nokia 1100… Despair as the All Blacks exited the World Cup… Frustration as that darn paper clip popped up on my Word documents offering friendly advice…
Like cell phones, the All Blacks and Clippie (RIP), IT has changed a lot since then. It’s a little startling then to realise that there are still many NZ businesses using a piece of technology that first appeared in 2003 – Windows Server 2003/R2.
However, like any industry, IT has moved forward and so has the Windows Server operating system. So much so as with Windows XP reaching its end of life, Microsoft has determined that July 15, 2015 will mark the end-of-support (EOS) date for Windows Server 2003/R2.
It is important to understand what the risks are to your business in not upgrading to a modern version of Windows Server before this deadline.
- No updates – After the deadline date, Windows Server will no longer receive updates to help protect your server from malicious software as well as updates to improve the reliability of Windows Server, new drivers for your hardware and more.
- No compliance – Lack of compliance with various standards and regulations can be devastating for business (e.g., PCI DSS). Without compliance, the new cost of doing business could include paying penalties and astronomically high transaction fees.
- No safe haven – Post-EOS, both virtualized and physical instances of Windows Server 2003 will not pass a compliance audit. Ultimately, staying put will cost more in the end, as maintenance costs for ageing hardware will also increase.
As business IT requirements grow, the flexible option for keeping up with that growth is by accessing cloud capacity. This is has never been truer for businesses that run Windows Server 2003.
Where do I start?
Amongst other steps, you should choose a migration destination for each application and workload. These Microsoft expert delivered courses, are available for free right now and they're perfect for detailed guidance:
Windows Server 2003 End of Support is one of the largest IT moments of this decade. I encourage you to visit the Windows Server 2003 end-of-support website. Here you will find a number of additional resources to help your planning and decision-making. It’s a big move and can be a lot of work, but it’s also a great opportunity. It’s time to transform your datacenter.