Out with the Old: Support Ending for Microsoft Server 2003

It IS Broke—Time to Fix IT

Bill Virtue
Data Center

Tens of thousands of enterprises around the world rely on Microsoft Server 2003 to power their businesses. However, on July 14, 2015, Microsoft officially will end support for Server 2003: no more patches, no more fixes, no more technical help. Got a problem after that date? You’re on your own.

So it makes sense that migrating to Windows Server 2012 should be at the top of your to-do list for 2015. And it makes sense to get started now, because major server OS migrations can’t happen overnight.

Unless you’ve installed the “Migrate Now” switch, moving to Windows Server 2012 from any earlier version or other server platform requires careful thought and preparation. Otherwise you run the risk of common migration mistakes like insufficient planning and assessment or underestimating the impact on your users and organization.

Another possible pitfall: an inconsistent – or non-existent – “coexistence” strategy. That’s the ability to keep both migrated and non-migrated employees working and productive during the actual migration. And of course you’ve got to be sure your data is adequately protected.

If you’re looking to move to Windows Server 2012, you really need a solid migration plan. The goal: help you prepare, migrate, coexist, and manage your environment and ensure success.

Dell Software’s ZeroIMPACT migration methodology can help guide you through a major server OS migration by establishing a framework for managing the process from the initial assessment through post-migration management.

A real advantage of ZeroIMPACT: It sets out four clear and distinct components for your migration:

  • Preparation–Planning a migration to Windows Server 2012 must begin with an assessment of your current environment. Understanding your existing Active Directory environment, testing for application compatibility, and discovering dependencies help set the stage for a successful migration.
  • Migration–During the server transition, you need to mitigate the risk of data loss and downtime by implementing a high-fidelity migration of Active Directory and file server data. A plan should be in place to recover any lost objects, attributes and forests from a single console.
  • Coexistence–An enterprise server OS migration means you’ll live in two worlds for a while. So you’ve got to assure access to the network and resources (printers, SQL servers and SharePoint sites) by both migrated users and those still on the old server. Otherwise you could face unanticipated migration costs such as loss of productivity or even revenue.
  • Post-migration management–A new server OS is a chance to create and put in place a management strategy aimed at reducing the burden on administrators. Automation is your friend here. Routine AD-related tasks and mobile access routines, for example, can be automated to save time and free up resources. Also, the new server environment can be made secure and compliant with change control implemented, and automating mundane tasks like reporting, auditing, managing access, setting permissions, and monitoring user activity.

Thanks to migration solutions like those from Dell, IT professionals can get going with migration tasks during normal working hours if needed, and monitor migration progress with detailed status reports, making the move as seamless as possible.

Preparing for the transition to Windows Server 2012 is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure a successful migration. Dell Software’s ZeroIMPACT migration methodology can provide the roadmap for creating a Windows Server 2012 environment that enables the growth, flexibility, security and compliance you must have–all while keeping your business running.

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.