Windows Server 2003 Support is Ending – Are You Ready?

Blog Post created by lawrence.latif Employee on Jul 24, 2015

Q&A with Lane Shelton, VP of Software Business Development at PC Connection


lane_shelton.jpgHow many organizations have migrated off Windows® Server 2003? How many are still on it?


There’s a lot of Windows Server 2003 users still out there. We see it first-hand working with customers doing deep-core licensing analysis because we have to know where all the VMs, clusters, and servers are to determine the best ways to pay for it all. We’ve all read the statistics, and our work with customers confirms it—Windows Server 2003 is still a workhorse, even in today’s modern datacenters.


January 2015 survey by Spiceworks showed that 15% of respondents had fully migrated their environment while 48% had partially migrated and 28% percent remained in the planning stages. That said, 8% of respondents had no plans to migrate from Windows Server 2003, even though the vast majority of these dead-enders (85%) cited concerns about security.


Of the organizations still on Windows Server 2003, how many are using other legacy software and hardware? What are some of the common obstacles preventing these orgs from getting current?


We don’t quite know how many organizations are both still on Windows Server 2003 and using other legacy software and hardware. If the survey mentioned above is any indication, 22% of the IT pros who responded cited lack of time and budget constraints as the key barriers to fully upgrading, which are often obstacles to upgrading software, hardware, OS, anything really.


What are the risks of not migrating?


The first and most obvious danger associated with an abandoned server platform is that the manufacturer no longer will issue fixes and patches for vulnerabilities that could be exploited by viruses, spyware and other malicious code. This can spell serious trouble for all businesses running Windows Server 2003 but especially those in heavily compliance-dependent industries. But other dangers aren’t quite as obvious. For instance, Windows Server 2003 servers aren’t equipped to run the advanced virtualization tools that enable cloud integration, so failure to migrate could mean lost business agility and lost opportunity.


On the other hand, what are the benefits of migrating to Windows® Server 2012 R2?


Taking action can pay back big time, and quickly. According to the Forrester Research report titled “The Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2”, businesses can expect to see a whopping 270 percent return on investment (ROI) with a six month payback for their investment in migrating to this new OS. What’s more, the report cited a 35 percent reduction in ongoing server management costs and further savings due to reduced need for expensive SAN gear to integrate with new server features and functionality. I’d add that 30% of the Spiceworks survey respondents said they planned to purchase new physical servers and operating systems as part of the Windows Server 2012 R2 migration process, which can enable Windows Server 2012 R2 to perform even better.


For organizations still on Windows Server 2003, what steps would you recommend to get current?


Since Windows Server 2003 is leaving the picture, it’s the perfect time to take a step back and think about the future. What should the next revision of your information infrastructure look like? There are real long-term advantages to migrating to Windows Server 2012 R2 and its worth considering server upgrades at the same time for optimal cloud integration and performance. The PC Connection team has designed this helpful tool to get you started and we recommend checking out to see how upgrading your servers can boost performance and efficiency even further. Windows Server 2003 EOS is happening regardless of how you act, so why not plan wisely and invest in proven performance?




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