Companies that have wrestled with a Windows Server 2003 migration know that the hardware and operating system are the easy part. Applications are the real headache. If you own some of the estimated 2.7 million servers that will not be migrated before Microsoft ends support on July 14, 2015, you're in for a challenge.
Microsoft said there were roughly 23.9 million instances of Windows Server 2003 worldwide, both physical and virtualized, at this time last year. AppZero, a vendor that specializes in Server 2003 migrations, estimates that there are still 11 million to 14 million instances running today.
Tuesday marked the end of "extended support" for Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2. Starting on July 14, Microsoft will no longer patch either product when something's amiss, nor issue security updates for them. In addition, Microsoft announced back in January that it was planning to stop issuing anti-malware definitions designed for Windows Server 2003 on this day.
Missing the end of support date for Windows Server 2003 may not bring immediate dire consequences, but there are good reasons to get off Windows Server 2003 soon.
Microsoft will end support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14. Experts estimate that 23.8 million total instances of the operating system are running on both physical and virtual servers. Those that fail to migrate in time invite a host of IT challenges that affect security, compatibility and compliance.
If you're still running Windows Server 2003 on any of your systems, it's time to take an urgent look at your options, because as of July 15, 2015, you're not going to be getting patches and security updates any more (unless you're paying for the extremely expensive direct support), and you'll no longer be able to get phone or online support. July 14 is the last Patch Tuesday that will cover Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2.
Would you step into an old but functioning lift that is no longer maintained by its manufacturer? That's the question that CIOs should also ask themselves when looking at IT inventory that is obsolete but still working.
AppZero has partnered with Microsoft and Unisys to help enterprise customers migrate their Windows Server 2003 applications into Microsoft-built cloud computing technologies.
Solution partners that have customers with mission-critical applications that are unsupported by Windows Server 2012 have options. Windows Server 2012 R2 offers a compatibility mode to run such applications, but it's not foolproof.
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