On July 14, 2015, Microsoft is officially retiring Windows Server 2003. As Windows Server 2003 comes to the end of its life, businesses all around the world will feel the effects. Microsoft recently estimated there are 24 million instances of Windows Server 2003 running on 12 million physical servers! There are an estimated 9.4 million Windows Servers 2003 instances running in North America. Worldwide Windows Server 2003 accounts for 39 percent of all Windows Servers. As you can see, the installed base is massive, making migrations an important security issue for the entire IT industry.
With Windows Server 2003's retirement party seven months away, and Microsoft’s estimation that a typical Windows Server planned migration can take as much as 200 days, its time to plan your next steps! I am writing this blog to make certain my readers are well aware that you need to be proactive when it comes to removing Windows Server 2003 from your company servers. Microsoft isn't the only company ditching Windows Server 2003. Not only will Microsoft wash its hands of Windows Server 2003 support, so will all the custom software and Line-of-Business application companies that once supported Windows Server 2003.
Assuming those software companies stopped actively developing for the 2003 Operating System years ago; they are likely still supporting the applications that run on it. After Windows Server 2003 end of life on July 14, 2015, they'll have no reason to continue to support that version of their software. The implications of this reality run far and wide. Your Line-of-business software is surely affected, as are any other random software applications you are using.
Honestly, when was the last time you called any support company regarding Windows Server 2003? It’s not that you will no longer be able to call and get technical support from Microsoft that really matters. What really is cause for concern is that Microsoft and security software vendors will likely stop patching, updating and supporting their software. And conversely all the hackers in the world can’t wait to attack the soon-to-be vulnerable server operating system!
Let me be clear -- I love Windows Server 2003; we have been running the reliable server operating system here at ANP for 10 years. Still, it's now past the time to put Windows Server 2003 out to pasture. The bottom line is that running Windows Server 2003 in your organization is an outright liability, bordering on irresponsible; you must insure that any virus cannot attack your servers and that means you need to stop running Windows Server 2003 operating system by July 14th.
With any business risk comes opportunity and the same holds true for Windows Server 2003. This is a great opportunity for you, as a business owner, to assess if you need to keep running physical servers at your office, should you move to the Cloud, or should you virtualize your applications into a redundant server cluster? ANP has created a limited time free Windows 2003 Survival Assessment Kit to help you inventory the risk, and assess what is the best path for your company and your applications to take. The bottom line is that you're running out of both time and options when it comes to removing Windows Server 2003 from your company. But, whatever you do, make sure that Windows Server 2003 is off your network by July 14, 2015.
Get Started Right Now: If you would like to learn more about what your next steps as a business owner should be sign up for my 30-minute educational webinar below where I will describe the risk in detail and lay out the most common upgrade/migration paths for a small business owner. Or sign up for our Windows Server 2003 Survival Kit and begin to actively assess your server exposure.