How to Make the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 End-of-Support Easy.

Windows Server 2003 EOSMicrosoft has announced the official end of extended support for Windows Server 2003.  Microsoft believes there are over nine million instances of Windows Server 2003 in production today in North America!  The deadline for End-Of-Support (EOS) is July 14, 2015 and I suspect Microsoft will not move that date because they didn’t extend the Microsoft XP EOS date.  Essentially on July 14, 2015 Microsoft will stop patching the Windows Server 2003 operating system and they will no longer issue security updates. What should an IT Manager do? Hackers all over the world will be focusing on attacking an unprotected operating system. Needless to say, IT managers must get all of your Windows Server 2003 instances discovered, documented and migrated.

In addition to upgrading the server operating system, many companies also have their Windows Domain running under Windows Server 2003, so a Domain migration is thrown into the mix.  Plus many companies have taken the plunge into Virtualization and are using Hyper V or VMware with Server 2003.  So many older Windows Server 2003 instances need to be upgraded and virtualized.  Almost everyone is migrating to the current Server Operating System Windows Server 2012 R2.  So what’s the best way to go about assessing your IT server environment?

Microsoft to the rescue: Microsoft has written a free downloadable piece of code to assist an IT manager with all aspects of a Windows Server 2003 migration.  The Microsoft assessment tool is called the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit or (MAP). You can download a free MAP COPY HERE. The MAP toolkit makes it easy to assess your IT infrastructure in order to migrate away from Windows Server 2003.  You will receive an inventory of hardware, software and a migration plan.

The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit is an agentless, automated, multi-product planning and assessment tool for server migrations.  MAP provides detailed readiness assessment reports and executive proposals with extensive hardware and software information, and actionable recommendations to help in the IT infrastructure planning process. MAP also provides server utilization data for Hyper-V server virtualization planning identifying server placements, and performing virtualization candidate assessments.

If you subscribe to Microsoft TechNet (and you should be) you can also find great MAP RESOURCES HERE.  Microsoft has documented a 4-step migration process:

  1. Discover: The first step is to discover and catalog all of the software and workloads running on Windows Server 2003/R2. There are several self-service tools that can help with this process, such as the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP)
  2. Assess: Once you have a catalog, you will need to assess what’s in it. This means categorizing and analyzing your cataloged applications and workloads based on type, criticality, complexity, and risk.
  3. Target: Choose a migration destination for each application and workload. Available options include Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Azure, Cloud OS Network, and Office 365.
  4. Migrate: Choosing the right migration plan may require some additional analysis and assistance. Several vendors offer do-it-yourself tools to assist in the decision-making process and in the migration itself, including Cisco and Dell.

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 has been an extremely stable and reliable server operating system; ANP has been using the product for over ten years. Its always sad to say good bye to a great friend, but I can share, that if you haven’t worked with the new Windows Server 2012 R2, you will be amazed with some of the slick new features!

Feel free to download and play around with the new Microsoft MAP toolkit.  If you are too busy and would like the help of an expert, ANP is offering a free Windows Server 2003 Survival Assessment.  Please CHECK HERE TO REGISTER

Windows Server 2003 Survival Assessment

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