How not to fear the Operating System end-of-life experience:
Plan your Windows Server 2003 migration.

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Windows Server 2003 is no longer supported!

A mere few weeks is all the time you have left to organise windows server 2003 migration before support for the operating system is ended. If your business is yet to do anything about its migration, now is certainly the time to get moving.  It’s not just for the simple matter of operating on the latest, reliable systems – but a matter of corporate governance. If your business is not secure and non-compliant, you may one day have a knock at your door.

Support for Windows Server 2003 ends on July 14th 2015, and almost one in four business servers still operate on the 12 year old software. Industry surveys suggest that only 15% of businesses using Windows Server 2003 have already made the switch. The implications of this are massive, as any businesses that have not migrated run the risk of hardware failure, infrastructure collapse or susceptibility to hacking by third parties – none of which will be supported or remediable by Microsoft. Similarly users won’t have access to any fixes for security, reliability or performance issues – potentially stopping respective businesses in their tracks if something were to go awry. Your Windows server 2003 migration couldn’t be a higher priority.

Similarly, cybercriminals may soon be having a field day at the expense companies who haven’t migrated to a contemporary operating system – as the unsupported and well known system will offer very little resistance. Chances are that many illegal-orientated software fanatics will have a plethora of exploits that will be unleashed after Microsoft stops patching Windows Server 2003.Once their exploitative code is in place – you will likely have to move mountains to remove the insurgent software, costing you a fortune. It’s an industry guarantee that Windows Server 2003 will be specifically targeted due to this inherent vulnerability. Putting off your windows server 2003 migration puts everyone in your business at risk.

An appropriate analogy is that businesses still using Windows Server 2003 have built a palace on outdated foundations. The palace, or business, may look phenomenal, be successful and continue to grow – contributing additional strain, or weight, to the structures foundations. After July 14th, every builder and construction worker on the planet will refuse to work on the palaces foundations, so if / when they collapses, bringing the palace down with it, all business owners and employees can do is watch.

 

Compliance (or the lack of) – what does it mean?

Compliance will become a critical issue for businesses who haven’t undertaken a windows server 2003 migration after the July 14th. Depending on which vertical sector your company is operating, or which clients it sells to, your own security bug tolerance (no matter how effective they are) may not be relevant. This is especially true of companies bound by third-party rules that affect system security.

Many business sectors (such as financial institutions and payment card processors) are routinely called to obtain, test and automatically deploy patches and updates to ensure systems are up-to-date and reliable. If these requirements cannot be met (which, surprise surprise, they won’t on an unsupported Windows 2003 server!) it should be no shock to find all respective compliance tests failed in spectacular fashion.

Failure to upgrade to software that can be supported will result in compliance failure. Simple as.

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Planning your migration

What should you do to secure your windows server 2003 migration?

Step One – The first step is a discovery – in which experienced Application Intelligence specialists create a complete inventory of the systems your business uses. This assessment process requires the categorisation of your applications and upgrading of hardware – both of which benefit from the improved service management accomplished with our experienced Application Intelligence team.

Step Two – Following this assessment, a full, comprehensive review will help the IT team to understand the implications and risks specific to your business if you don’t migrate. By the end of this process, they will understand which users use which applications, who owns those applications, and the risk factor associated to that application before, during and after a migration.

Step Three – The third phase is targeting, which involves deciding where your workloads will move to and then preparing those workloads for your windows server 2003 migration to the new servers. Deciding where these workloads will move to provides the opportunity to optimize your current IT Infrastructure during the migration, addressing another problem your business may be facing too.

Step Four – Finally, the last stage is the push of the metaphorical big red button – pulling the trigger, and going live.

 

Moving to the Cloud

Windows Server 2012 works with Azure, making it simpler and easier than ever before the move applications into the cloud, saving you time and money. As mentioned before, an Azure orientated migration especially provides a great opportunity to see how you can develop and enhance your existing infrastructure – tackling two issues in one fell swoop – driving efficiency for your IT Management and improved services for users.

Ultimately, a windows server 2003 migration isn’t just a requirement for both compliance and efficiency, but a chance to propel your business and respective applications to the foreground of Cloud IT.

At 848, we take the stress out of migration and guarantee a painless, seamless experience throughout. Whether you’re unsure, on the brink of a decision, ready to go or have unanswered questions – get in touch with our experts today and achieve complete peace of mind.Plan your windows server 2003 migration today.

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