This week, Microsoft officially started the one-year countdown to the end-of-support date for Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2 that will happen on 15 July 2015. First announced by Microsoft in 2010, organisations still running on Windows Server 2003 now have less than 365 days to migrate their servers in order to avoid security, compliance, additional costs and compatibility risks.
The globally popular and trusted 11-year-old server operating system powers IT infrastructures of many organisations in New Zealand, providing computing workloads for all kinds of enterprise applications supporting email, web and Line of Business applications.
In accordance with Microsoft’s Product Support Lifecycle Policy, assisted support, including updates and patches, from Microsoft will no longer be available after 15 July 2015. While companies can continue to run Windows Server 2003 after this date, this leaves servers and applications vulnerable to security threats and downtime, and may no longer meet compliance requirements. Maintenance costs for aging hardware will also increase along with costs for intrusion detection systems, firewalls and network segmentation.
Frazer Scott, Director of Marketing & Operations for Microsoft New Zealand, says, “For some time now, Microsoft has been proactively communicating to its customers directly about the impending end of support date for Windows Server 2003. While it’s very common for customers to manage a mixed environment of old and new, with a year to go, now is the time for Kiwi businesses to accelerate their move to the cloud.”
Scott says the technology landscape has changed dramatically in the 11 years since Windows Server 2003 was first released.
“The advent of cloud computing enabling trends like mobility and big data have put huge demands on IT infrastructure. Add that to the need to be agile while still managing costs and it is clear that Windows Server 2003 is not optimized to meet current business needs.”
Scott says organisations can upgrade to Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 where Microsoft’s investments into new technologies like compute, storage, management, network virtualisation, access and information protection, web and application platforms are available. In addition, customers have access to the scalability and flexibility of Microsoft Azure and Office 365 services which will ensure they can significantly optimise cost and drive agility of their IT services.
“CIOs today need a modern cloud-based IT infrastructure to power the rising demand for apps, mobility and data insights to deliver in the mobile first, cloud first era. Microsoft is unique in our vision, which is based on providing choice of on-premise, hybrid or a full cloud platform based on customer needs,” says Scott.
“While a typical server migration takes 200 days and an application migration can take over 300 days, the good news is that there is a clear path for migration to a Microsoft cloud-enabled platform whether it is an on-premise private cloud, public cloud or through service providers like Datacom, Revera, Fujitsu, Dimension Data and others.”