Less than six months until support of Windows Server 2003 ceases

Sean Dudley
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley on 04 February 2015
Less than six months until support of Windows Server 2003 ceases

12 years on from its initial release, Windows Server 2003 has entered its final six months of support.

When it was launched, Windows Server 2003 was the first server operating system launched after the Trustworthy Computing Initiative was unveiled, and reached unprecedented levels of adoption at the time.

However due to the proliferation of things like mobile devices and the rate of enhancements within technology in general, the decision was taken to end support for Windows Server 2003 and announced to the public back in July 2014.

“We believe the end is an exciting new beginning for our customers,” said Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise Marketing division, in an official blog post. “Many customers, from large enterprises such as Aston Martin, to smaller businesses such as Karen M. Hazleton, CPA have already upgraded to newer versions of Windows Server or Microsoft Azure. These customers are seeing real benefits, including improved performance, higher reliability, and increased flexibility in responding to business needs.”

“If you are still running Windows Server 2003, I want to remind you that now is the time to migrate,” he added. “Support for Windows Server 2003 will end on July 14, 2015.”

Numoto advises that a good migration strategy should include a number of key elements, such as identifying any remaining instances of Windows Server 2003, analysing which workloads are running on those instances, and choosing the right migration path. Depending on customers’ specific requirements, Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft Azure and Office 365 could all be viable migration options.

Not only does running unsupported software present a host of security risks, but a number of important financial and healthcare regulations include provisions around security.

“Upgrading servers is not just a maintenance task,” said Numoto. “It provides an opportunity to deliver significant business value. Business users expect mobile connected applications that were barely on the horizon with Windows Server 2003. Additionally, technology capabilities have also evolved dramatically in the last decade, with the emergence of cloud and new standards for manageability and security.”

More information on the options users have with regards to migration can be found on the Microsoft Cloud website

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