Server 2003 EOS: A Migration Path for Small and Medium Businesses

Stay Agile, Competitive with Windows Server 2012

Sarah Senftle

For large enterprises, migrating to Windows Server 2012 before Microsoft officially ends support for Server 2003 on July 14, 2015 is a massive project. Hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of servers might have to be replaced as part of the move to a modern, cloud-enabling server OS – all while keeping both migrated and unmigrated employees connected to the network and the business running without any downtime.

For small and medium businesses, a Server 2003 migration may be less complex, but it is no less critical. Once Microsoft pulls the plug, Server 2003 will be on borrowed time.

That means bugs will go unpatched, updates will cease, and Microsoft tech support will vanish. It means the ancient, pre-cloud servers and applications that run on them – you know, the technology that supports your entire business – will be increasingly vulnerable to security breaches, functional glitches, compliance failure, and obsolescence. Not exactly a recipe for success, whether you’re a multinational corporation or a chain of regional clothing stores.

In the modern digital economy, survival goes to the most agile and adaptable, the organizations that best leverage mobile, cloud, and big data. And none of them will be staying on Server 2003.

Since it’s only a matter of when and not if, getting a plan in place early is key. Here are some EOS tips and tricks from real IT Directors discussing their preparations for EOS.

  • Make this an opportunity not a burden
  • Reevaluate your data center needs from hardware to applications
  • Get feedback within your IT community
  • Look at Windows 2012 features and find a reason to move
  • Gain executive support, scale properly, and forecast
  • Setup a test environment, and test the server and applications
  • Give yourself a timeline and develop a process – it won’t happen overnight

Watch this video to hear directly from IT Pros.

Without a large (or sometimes any) IT staff, migrating to Windows Server 2012 can be a real challenge. Which makes it all the more important that businesses adopt best practices in the planning and execution of a Server 2003 migration. Practically, this requires working with an experienced migration software and services provider.

A qualified migration software and services vendor can walk businesses through the essential phases of migration planning, including determining the scope of the project, how many and what resources to allocate, a migration action blueprint, and the estimated cost.

HP offers a Windows 2003 Migration Program specifically designed to help reduce the difficulty, duration, and risk of a move to Windows Server 2012. The program includes support for Server 2012, which offers enterprises virtualization, private cloud, modern data center, and modern applications functionality.

Companies that cling to legacy server hardware and software are doing more than taking a great risk: They’re ensuring their eventual doom because the rest of the world – including their competitors – will be leveraging modern servers and server platforms. By migrating to a server that cloud-optimizes their business, they can stay flexible, agile – and alive.