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Softchoice finds 21% of servers still running on Windows Server 2003

Toronto, ON – June 17, 2015 – Organizations have less than one month to go before Microsoft pulls the plug on support for Windows Server 2003, but most are still running a significant portion of their data center resources on the outdated operating system. Recent TechCheck™ assessment analysis by Softchoice, a leading North American IT solutions and managed services provider, found that 21 percent of servers scanned in the first half 2015 are still running on Windows Server 2003 – down just 11 percent from the same period in 2014. 

“With less than a month to go until Windows pulls support for Windows Server 2003, it's surprising that there still isn’t a greater sense of urgency among organizations to modernize and upgrade their systems,” said David Brisbois, Softchoice’s Senior Manager of Assessment and Technology Deployment Services Consulting. “Failing to upgrade in time will only add to costs, complicate the transition, and result in serious business risk after July 14th when Microsoft is no longer providing support or security updates.”

Softchoice's TechCheck™ analysis of nearly 90,000 servers at more than 200 organizations also found just 7 percent of those organizations have fully migrated to newer operating systems and have no instances of the old server operating system in their environments – up from 3 percent in 2014. Apart from being more vulnerable to cyberattacks, there are several serious business risks for organizations still running Windows Server 2003 after July 14th. This includes being non-compliant with industry or government regulations, which could result in fines, loss of business, and the inability to process credit card transactions, among other issues.

Brisbois recommended all organizations still running Windows Server 2003 take immediate action to replace or upgrade their systems now, starting with:

1. Discovery: Take account of the number of Windows Server 2003 instances in your IT environment, whether or not these instances are virtualized, and the age and state of the supporting hardware.

2. Understanding: Determine what applications and virtual instances are running on each of these servers and what dependencies they have.

3. Planning: Once you have a full view of the environment, evaluate your options, and roadmap your migration or upgrade plan. This could include simply upgrading the hardware and software, moving workloads to the cloud, or implementing a hybrid IT solution.

4. Testing: When you begin your migration from Windows Server 2003, implement rigorous testing to ensure that systems are running and capable of guaranteeing uptime for mission critical applications.

Research Highlights

• Softchoice’s TeckCheck™ analysis comparing enterprise Windows Server installations finds the transition away from Windows Server 2003 is slow. In the average environment, 21 percent of servers are still running Windows Server 2003, compared to 32 percent in 2014, and 43 percent in 2013.

• Organizations are choosing to upgrade to Windows Server 2008 in favor of Microsoft’s newest offering, Windows Server 2012. 66 percent of servers are now running Windows Server 2008, up from 63 percent in 2014 and 54 percent in 2013.

• Businesses are still experimenting with Windows Server 2012, but deployments are picking up steam. Just 12 percent of servers are running Windows Server 2012 today, up from 4 percent in 2014, and 1 percent in 2013.

• Very few data centers are completely free of Windows Server 2003 instances. Fewer than 7 percent of businesses are Windows Server 2003-free, compared to 3 percent for the same period in 2014.

About Softchoice

As a leading North American provider of IT solutions and managed services, Softchoice combines the efficiency and reliability of a national IT supplier with the personal touch and technical expertise of a local solutions provider. Softchoice's holistic approach to technology includes solution design, implementation, asset management and cloud services, as well as access to one of the most comprehensive and cost-effective technology distribution networks in North America. With over 1,200 employees, Softchoice manages the technology needs of thousands of corporate and public sector organizations across the United States and Canada.

Media Contact

Joel Hoidas
Communications Manager, Softchoice
Phone: 416-588-9002 ext. 222590
Email: joel.hoidas(at)Softchoice(dot)com