As organizations increasingly require access for a growing number of mobile devices, new workloads are required on back-office servers to integrate tablets and smartphones with existing applications, files, and functions. Organizations still running Windows Server 2003 may find they are unable to support the mobility functions that end users now demand to maintain a competitive edge.
Think about it – in 2003, a Harvard student began developing Facebook, and smartphone screens were about two square inches. Windows Server 2003 was introduced to address the needs of enterprise computing, but those needs have changed a great deal since then. Mobile applications have gotten dramatically more functional and ubiquitous, and mobile devices have gotten more powerful and become an essential part of the business world.
Windows Server 2003 will reach end-of-life on July 14 when Microsoft ceases issuing software updates and security patches. Legacy deployments will no longer receive new releases and will remain exposed to security threats, and it will be nearly impossible to ensure compliance without investing in additional hardware to protect the legacy servers. While evaluating migration options, it’s important to make sure the servers you select are up to the mobility challenges facing your organization.
Many organizations wrestle with whether or not to support bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives, in which employees gain the flexibility to select their own mobile devices for accessing enterprise resources. Making sure the enterprise can secure the mobile devices is crucial.
If you choose to upgrade to Windows Server 2012 R2, you’ll find Active Directory Domain Services and Active Directory Federation Services that support Mobile Device Management (MDM). They now work together to provide access to enterprise resources based on user and device combinations as well as access policies that are defined by IT. BYOD is enabled by the Active Directory Workplace Join. Once a mobile device has been validated as trustworthy, IT can grant conditional access to the user/device combination. This enables single sign-on so that authorized smartphones and tablets can securely access enterprise resources.
Windows Server 2012 R2 also offers Dynamic Access Control (DAC), which simplifies mobile access and makes it easier to enhance authorization and authentication by applying better security, risk management, and auditing policies in Active Directory.
Mobility places greater demands on server infrastructure, and scalable, feature-rich virtualization via Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 R2 provides the enterprise with greater flexibility in supporting rapidly increasing mobile demands to support QoS and performance requirements.
In 2003, terms like cloud computing, big data, and BYOD were not yet in the IT lexicon and dial-up remote access was still a factor in many enterprise networks. Windows Server 2003 adapted as best it could to the new developments in business technology along the way, but it wasn’t designed for today’s applications. It had a remarkable run and served enterprises worldwide for over a decade, but the security, compliance, maintenance costs, and risk are too great for most organizations to withstand once service end in July.
Advances in mobility management in Windows Server 2012 R2 provide the enterprise with tremendous flexibility in supporting mobile users while protecting enterprise resources.
With the end of support date for Windows Server 2003 fast approaching, there’s never been a better time to plan your data center transformation. Our experts have designed this helpful tool to get you started on the right upgrade path for your unique environment, applications, and workloads.