Windows Server 2003 End of Life: How to Prepare

With the average Windows Server taking over 200 days to migrate, now it is the time to act and start planning for your migration.

– Steve Brennan, Microsoft Business Development Manager

Windows Server 2003 Support Ended July 14, 2015

The complete end of support for Windows Server 2003 ended July 14, 2015. Hopefully you’re business has already migrated to a newer version, but if not, you should start this process very soon.

What does end of support for Windows Server 2003 mean?

No updates. No compliance. No applications support

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What does this mean to businesses who choose to ignore?

  • Less secure infrastructure
  • Higher maintenance costs for aging hardware
  • Higher costs for additional security measures (intrusion detection systems, better firewalls, etc)
  • Potential loss in business due to failure to meet industry-wide compliance standards. Lack of PCI Compliance could mean that VISA and MasterCard will no longer do business with your organization
  • Will not pass a compliance audit – read more information on Microsoft’s audits

What are your options?

  • Recommended: Windows Server 2012 with Software Assurance
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Azure
  • Cloud OS Network
  • Office 365
  • Take the risks and do nothing

Windows Server 2016: Coming Soon…

Microsoft is working on releasing a newer version of Windows Server in 2016. Buy the latest version now with Software Assurance (SA) and you can upgrade to 2016 when it releases at no extra cost!

What are the Benefits of Software Assurance?

  • Latest Technologies – access to new product versions that are released during your term at no additional cost
  • E-learning – offers self-paced interactive online learning for end-users and IT professionals
  • Home Use Program – provides employees with the latest version of Microsoft Office for their home computer, via low-cost download (around $10)
  • 24×7 Problem Resolution Support – around the clock phone and web support
  • Extended Hotfix Support – provides specific product fixes on a per customer incident basis, beyond the standard product support
  • Backup for Disaster Recovery – for each licensed instance you run under qualifying licenses with SA and related CALs, you may run one instance of the software on a backup server for disaster recovery purposes

Drawing Your Own Roadmap

A migration of this scale requires a great deal of coordination and careful planning. Any migration, according to Microsoft, should consist of four steps: discovering the existing environment, assessing workloads, determining where those workloads can be moved to, and the actual migration of the workloads.

Industry experts estimate that there are more than 10 million machines still running WS2003 that are soon-to-be stranded.  Especially for those in regulated industries, this will cause a heavy compliance burden. Sys-admin Trevor Pott wrote recently in The Register, “To run a secure IT infrastructure – and increasingly to meet the legal and regulatory requirements of many jurisdictions – you will have to pour resources into monitoring and shielding any servers running Server 2003. You will also have to work on separating the data and applications from the operating system so that you can nuke the server back to “known good” when the system falls to the inevitable.”

Buy These Products & Get Windows Server 2016 Once Released

Windows Server 2012 r2 Standard – 2 Processor License & SA – Open Business

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Windows Server 2012 – User CAL & SA – Open Business

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Windows Server 2012 – Device CAL & SA – Open Business

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Windows Remote Desktop Services 2012 – User CAL & SA – Open Business

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