Windows Server 2003 is nearing the end of its supported life after a near 11-year run. July 14, 2015 will mark the final day of support from Microsoft.
The app and OS will continue to function for as long as users wish, but the world has moved too far, and the criminal world has become much more advanced at exploiting security holes in servers. As such, all users of Windows Server 2003 should upgrade to Windows Server 2012 R2 in the coming months.
Packetworks provides internet services and wide area network solutions to small businesses in the Kitchener-Waterloo area and are experts with Windows Server 2003, as well as with all newer solutions. Click here to contact us today.
Why is Microsoft Ending Support for Windows Server 2003?
Microsoft is ending support for their 2003 server software due to it becoming a legacy software that is too complicated and costly to keep updated to modern standards. The computing and internet world has changed considerably since 2003, and as such standards and compliances have changed as well. Users and IT managers are also demanding more and more advanced features from their servers that Windows Server 2003 simply cannot accommodate.
All of these reasons add up to the conclusion that Microsoft must end support for Windows Server 2003. All Windows Server 2003 applications and servers will continue to function after that date, but they will be at risk of exploitation due to falling behind in security updates. Microsoft made a very similar decision last year to end support of Windows XP.
Guide on What to Do Next
Transitioning to a newer server platform (such as Windows Server 2012 R2) should be done in a three phase process:
Phase I: Identify Windows Server 2003 Workloads - In this phase an inventory of the workloads your server is currently responsible for is undertaken to get a better idea of what is necessary in a new server.
Phase 2: Planning - This is the largest and most important stage. The information gained in phase 1 is applied, and a full solution is planned that will be able to accomplish all existing workloads, as well as be future proof for workloads coming in future years.
Phase 3: Execution - This is the stage where the new server is installed and brought online. When this stage is complete, you will be fully transitioning the new system and can take your Windows Server 2003 offline.
Each of these phases has a number of steps that must be carried out to ensure proper migration to a new server platform. For more information on this guide, visit the Complete Guide to Windows Server 2003 End of Support from the Petri IT Knowledgebase.
Going Forward: Windows vs. Linux Server
Both Windows and Linux servers offer a wide range of functionality that will fit many business environments. Both server architectures also offer several different choices when it comes to features and scale. Read our article next week to see a comparison between many of the popular server solutions.