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Running on empty with Windows Server 2003? How to start your migration

Servers, Storage and Networking | Posted on September 8, 2015 by Debbie Stephenson

It finally happened: in July this year Microsoft discontinued support for its enduringly popular Windows Server 2003. If they weren’t before, the alarm bells should be ringing now for organizations still running on this now-outdated and vulnerable platform – especially because critical patches and fixes for new vulnerabilities will no longer be provided.

Fortunately, there’s help at hand.

You already know what’s at stake

If you’re an IT professional in a WinServer 2003 environment, you likely understand the risks you’re facing, and the need for a solution as quickly as possible. While some organization have made the decision to stay put for now, there are some pretty compelling reasons to migrate away from WS2K:

  • You’re exposed to new security vulnerabilities – The bad guys will continue to devise clever new malware, rootkits and other attacks, putting your sensitive data at risk of theft and exposure.
  • Custom support agreements will be costly Sure, there’s likely to be specialized WinServer 2003 support available, for a price. But why invest that kind of money in a platform that is actually past its end-of-life phase?
  • Workflows will be affected – Customers in banking, healthcare and other information-sensitive industries cannot fall out of compliance with regulatory standards such as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley. What happens to those relationships in the next compliance audit when you cannot demonstrate adequate data security to protect their data?

Continuing to run Windows Server 2003 not only exposes you to real dangers, it also holds you back from new opportunities and advantages.

For example, consider your lost performance potential: servers four years or older contribute vastly lower performance compared to their modern counterparts, but consume much more energy. And Windows Server 2012 R2 delivers significant security improvements. What’s more, those aging servers are preventing you from enjoying the full potential of new technologies such as virtualization and cloud computing that your customers (and competitors) might already be leveraging.

The question is: where to start?

Before you pay for a no-longer-supported platform, it’s wise to explore all your options. Softchoice is ready right now to help you take the necessary steps to a migration you urgently need:

It starts by evaluating your current situation. With our Windows Server 2003 End of Support TechCheck, Softchoice will help you understand the current state of your Windows 2003 infrastructure and strategically plan the transition. We’ll help you evaluate alternative migration paths, taking into account modernizations within the data center and use of public cloud. This includes helping you develop a cost/benefit analysis for each alternative.

If you decide to move forward, Softchoice will then help start your migration to the newest-generation Intel® architecture, with servers based on the Intel® Xeon® processor E5 v3 product family running Windows Server 2012 R2. You’ll enjoy an instant performance dividend that will pay off handsomely for years to come.

It’s time to get going

If you’ve managed to avoid trouble since the end of WinServer 2003 support, terrific. Now let’s get busy on your fast-track migration to a much more secure, easily managed platform – one that’s built for today’s cloud-based environments.

This Windows Server* 2003 Hardware and Software Migration Guide from Intel details the importance of changing platforms and provides a handy checklist to get started.

Be sure to connect with Softchoice about our Windows Server 2003 End of Support TechCheck, and see how we can support your end-to-end migration.

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