There cannot be a server administrator in the world who’s not aware of the deadline. Windows Server 2003 will reach end of life in less than three months’ time, so if you’re still using it, consider this a red alert. For your data, and your network security, it’s now or never.
Many businesses are facing the very real possibility that their systems are not going to be migrated before the deadline of 14th July.
Risks of Continued Use
From mid-July, Windows Server 2003 will be considered unsupported software, since Microsoft will essentially cut it from its moorings and leave it without any updates at all.
Fortunate users may simply see performance degradation or incompatibility with different peripherals or hardware. This is likely to worsen over time.
For other users, incompatibility may be the least of their problems. We are certain to see increased hacking attempts on Server 2003 machines, not just because they’re unsupported, but because hackers know these machines are likely to be running on autopilot – long since forgotten.
Businesses that carry compliance responsibilities should be well rid of Windows Server 2003 before the cut-off date arrives. Those that continue to use it could face serious compliance problems, leading to fines, penalties and audits.
Yes, it’s late in the day, but you can still do something about your Windows Server 2003 machine.
Isolation is one option. You could, in theory, cut that machine off from the wider world. But is non-migration even practical, and is it a long-term solution that is worth spending money on? Windows 2003 support is going to become a legacy product within just a few months, and it doesn’t make sense to throw more money at it when better alternatives exist.
You could organise a custom support agreement for your ageing Windows 2003 servers. However, be prepared for a hefty monthly bill to keep those servers online. This is the only way you can guarantee that your server will be secure going forward, yet it could bankrupt the IT budget in the long term.
The best way forward is an upgrade to a newer server, most likely Windows Server 2012, either on-premise or in the cloud. On-premise migration could be a tall order, particularly given the short deadline, but that depends on the resource you have available for testing and deployment.
A cloud move could be the most sensible way to control operational expenses and keep upfront expenditure to a minimum. And while there are going to be costs and hurdles to plan for, it’s going to be cheaper than ringfencing an ageing server, or retaining the necessary knowledge to maintain it.
In need a quick exit from the world of Windows Server 2003? We can help migrate your servers safely, securely and without unnecessary downtime. Whether you need a single hosted server or a complete IaaS package, our support will get your data off Windows Server 2003 as soon as you’re ready to migrate.
Get in touch to find out how our scalable, affordable servers could soothe your Server 2003 headache.