Migrating From Server 2003 The First Step

Planning Makes Perfect When Moving to Server 2012

Contributing Writer
Data Center

As you no doubt know, support for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 is coming to an end. It’s been a great 12 years, but it’s time for a change – and a change to Server 2012 will keep your organization safe under Microsoft’s watchful eyes for years to come. But it’s not as simple as just pushing a button.

Experienced IT pros know that the key to any successful large-scale project is planning – and migrating from Microsoft Server 2003 to Server 2012 is no different. Otherwise you’re just winging it, and the end result will be no better than if you had stayed with 2003. However, there’s a crucial first step within that first step.

Before you sit down and get started, it’s important that you have an accurate inventory of servers running Server 2003 and the applications they’re running. It sounds simple, but if your organization owns hundreds – or even thousands – of servers stretched over multiple locations, the task of discovery can become exceedingly difficult and frustrating.

This is especially true if you haven’t conducted a careful inventory in some time. Just think about how hard it can be to find anything in your home that you haven’t used in a couple of years. Now, throw in a looming deadline and you have a recipe for potential disaster.

Here’s where you need to ask yourself, “Do we have the resources, know-how, and time to conduct an accurate server inventory?” If the answer is “no” or even “maybe,” calling in the experts might not be a bad idea. Remember, this step right here is what gets you the detailed server data upon which the entire migration rests – and you only have one chance to get it right. Missing just one server could leave you vulnerable to Server 2003’s security flaws. And those aren’t ever going to get fixed.

Once your server inventory is nailed down cold, it’s time to do the same thing with the applications running on all those servers. Which apps are running on which servers? And who (within your organization) “owns” the app? Here’s a good example. If you’re migrating the accounts payable software, it’s best if you include the chief financial officer in the migration planning. If tasks like this (and there could be several) seem overwhelming, again, it’s worth considering getting an expert to do it for you.

This initial process of precisely determining server locations and server apps, as well as identifying the chief stakeholders for each business app, should offer the raw ingredients you need to make your migration path into a recipe for success.

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.