Windows 2003 Server Is Nearing End Of Life – Are You Ready?

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When a desktop operating system goes end of life (like Windows XP did earlier this year), it’s a big deal. However, when a Windows server operating system goes end of life, it’s not only a big deal, but a big project, sometimes taking months to properly plan and execute. Servers are a central and integral piece to a business and migration projects require careful planning to minimize downtime and interruption to your business. If you’re currently using Windows Server 2003, you’ll want to start planning as Windows Server 2003 is no longer going to be supported in July of 2015. Let Weston help with your migration planning.

When an operating system goes “End Of Life,” it means that no more security patches are going to be released for the operating system. As servers are typically opened up to the Internet from the outside world (so things like email, remote access and VPNs can work properly), it’s even more critical that you have current protection and patches in place to avoid your data being exposed to the wrong people.

To quote Microsoft: Microsoft will no longer develop or release any updates after ending support. To put this in perspective, 37 critical updates were released in 2013 for Windows Server 2003/R2 under extended support. Imagine what impact zero updates will have on your infrastructure.

Weston has been around over 20 years and has been around the block a few times (our CEO still has his Windows for Workgroups certification hanging proudly on his wall). We’ve done countless migrations, and know what it takes to make sure your office productivity does not grind to a halt.

There are several things you’ll want to think about to get you moving:

  • Hardware: Generally speaking, if a server is running Windows 2003, it’s long out of warranty and should be replaced versus upgraded (and in-place upgrades of server operating systems never work as smoothly as claimed). Modern operating systems require more resources, but they give you more features. We can also help you size the hardware appropriately based on current and future plans for your environment.
  • Email: If you’re using Windows Small Business Server 2003 Small Business Server, your email is likely being hosted on your server using Exchange. Windows 2012 does not include Exchange built into it, and we generally recommend our clients migrate to Office365. We’ve done quite a few migrations to Office365, and the process is normally smooth with minimal interruption.
  • Legacy Apps: If you’re running server-specific apps, you’ll need to make sure those apps will work with a new server. We can help do the research and come up with a plan for those applications.
  • Licensing: Current Windows server operating systems are licensed differently and have different versions depending on the size of your environment. Let us help you wade through the appropriate versions so you don’t spend money on a version that you don’t need.
  • Compliance: If you’re running in a regulated industry (HIPAA, SOX, etc…), you may be out of compliance with those regulations if your server is not up to date with security patches. We know a thing or two about HIPAA, and can work with you to incorporate the security guidelines recommended by these compliance rules.

If you’re looking to start the planning process for this, call us today. One of our engineers can come up with a fully engineered solution for you, and you can purchase the hardware now and plan for the migration next year (if you’re looking to spend end-of-year capital to avoid tax issues later). We also can finance the project time and materials into a monthly lease for you.

Contact us today and let Weston help you with your next migration project.

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