July 14, 2015 is the date to remember. Windows Server 2003 is going end of support, and like thousands of others, your organization must consider the best path to upgrade. For most, the greatest benefit can be derived by examining the entire server infrastructure (including hardware, operating systems, and application modernization) all at once. For the four key steps to this critical process, read on.
Upgrading your data center OS can be summed up like this:
1. Discover – Get a better understanding of the Windows Server 2003 environment. This is the time to identify workloads that are currently running on the server.
2. Assess – Your comprehensive understanding of your current workloads will present an opportunity to retire under-utilized applications, consolidate licenses across the company, and update older applications to access the benefits and new features to their full potential.
3. Target – Consider and lock your sights on the deployment options for each workload. Some applications might be moved to new hardware running Windows Server 2012 R2 while others may benefit from a hybrid cloud solution or even Microsoft Azure.
4. Migrate – Use the previous phases in the process to prioritize critical applications and workloads so that they are moved in a timely fashion. This will eliminate disruptions and risks.
Most companies will find that they have instances of Windows Server 2003 powering old applications that they do not even know about. A recent study found that 61 percent of businesses are still running at least one instance of Windows Server 2003 somewhere in their organization.
Part of this process includes migrating foundation services such as DNS, active directory, file/print, and DHCP associated with an operating system upgrade to Windows Server 2012 R2. It is always helpful to reach out to a trusted technology partner when taking on efforts such as these. Connection offers resources, migration expertise, and solutions to get you through the process.
To get started, check out our Windows Server 2003 End of Support page. This will give you the basic information from Microsoft that you will need to begin your migration process. Our server assessment tool can be found here. By answering a few questions about your current workloads, the tool will help create a migration strategy that optimizes performance and maximizes value for your business.
With about a couple months left, if you haven’t started thinking about your Windows Server Migration, the time to do so is now. Windows Server updates are undoubtedly a complex project that will require lots of upfront planning. Luckily, Microsoft helped make this process slightly more manageable by outlining a four-step process and designing this helpful tool to get you started on the right upgrade path for your unique environment, applications, and workloads. The Microsoft Practice Team, within Connection, is also here to help!