Weather the Migration Storm

To Defend Against Threats, Make Communication a Priority

Seth Mitchell
Data Center

On July 14, 2015, Microsoft will end support for Windows Server 2003. There are still an estimated 22 million Windows Server 2003 instances deployed worldwide. In the not-so-distant future, those 22 million Server 2003 deployments will be in jeopardy, and IT departments across the globe must prepare their entire technology infrastructure for migration.

Remember what happened earlier this year when Windows XP reached its ultimate demise? Widespread pandemonium instilled fear into enterprise IT. Okay, so that’s a bit of a stretch. The world did not end – just like it did not end with Y2K back on December 31, 1999. We made it then. We made it through Windows XP migration, and we will make it through the end of Windows Server 2003.

Server 2003, admittedly, will have a much broader impact. So let’s make sure to treat this one more seriously. Windows Server 2003 is, after all, a workhorse data center platform that has driven and defined business and innovation for more than a decade. Its proverbial plug is being pulled. Updates will stop. Security will be compromised. Compliance will disappear. Once Microsoft ends support for Server 2003, there will be no safe haven. Is your IT team outfitted with the paddles to navigate up this creek?

You only have a hundred plus days left until Windows Server 2003 reaches end of support. It sounds like plenty of time, when in fact, it may be too late to fully migrate all those applications and servers – and their data – from Windows Server 2003. Microsoft determines an average 300-day timeframe to move apps, and 200 days may be necessary to shift servers. These periods suggest the ultimate schedule to appropriately discover, assess, target, and finally migrate these workloads from Server 2003. Data center migration is an extraordinarily timely and complex process. It turns out, you may already be behind the eight ball!

So where should your servers and apps – and your data – reside? Is your organization best-suited to continue hosting on-site and upgrading to Windows Server 2008 or 2012? The whole cloud idea sounds awfully tempting. Or how about a combination of the both? Fortunately, at Connection we’ve developed another terrific assessment to help.

Enter the Windows Server 2003 Migration Assistant

Our unbiased, intelligent, custom Server 2003 assessment tool measures simple data input by you. Based on your specific usage requirements and preferences, our Server 2003 Migration Assistant points IT to: Upgrade, Cloud, or Hybrid. The result is not always, “Buy Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Today!” Our tool is fair and balanced. Sorry, Microsoft. We’ll help you understand Server 2012 and Azure – if those are the considerations – but we’re not going to push additional Microsoft server licenses in every case. If, for example, the assessment tool recommends a hybrid cloud deployment, we won’t use high-pressure sales tactics for new Microsoft server licensing solutions by default.

Should your assessment steer you towards an on-premises upgrade, feel free to browse Lane Shelton’s Windows Server 2012 blog. Lane has also written about this very same Server 2003 EOS topic.

To learn more about Microsoft Azure, visit Patrick Renzi’s blog, which showcases Microsoft’s cloud solution.

It’s the grassroots mission of Connection’s Microsoft Software Practice to educate and assist you, while providing clarity and control. Please take advantage of our tools. Engage our expert account management teams to spearhead an informational, consultative Windows Server 2003 migration conversation with our Microsoft Practice. We look forward to chatting with you.

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.