End-of-support is headache for CIOs, because it means replacing and/or upgrading hardware and software with minimal to no return on investment. IT departments tend to stall on the process to delay the inevitable of disruption, expense and replacement, but it has to be done.
As all support for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 ended on July 14, 2015, there remain millions of servers in the United States and worldwide running this venerable operating system, according to IT World. For some businesses, the lack of in-house IT support has led to this inertia; for others it’s the lack of IT budget and an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality.
It’s not just support for Server 2003 that finished a few months back. Vendors are unlikely to support applications running on OS unsupported by the vendor.
Just because you can run Server 2003 on current virtualization platforms doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do it in the future. In the distant past, upgrades were driven not only by capability of new software, but the failure of old hardware. One of the many reasons that Server 2003 has so stubbornly remained within organizational datacenters is that Server 2003 was the first Microsoft server OS that was run heavily as a VM, and VMs don’t suffer from failure of old hardware.
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Government auditors have blasted the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for missing deadlines to upgrade Windows XP PCs and data center servers running Windows Server 2003, both of which have been retired by Microsoft.
In the last post I mentioned people perhaps migrating from Server 2003 to Server 2008 R2. One of the comments, perhaps anticipating this post, was that it was a better idea to migrate to Server 2012 R2. I couldn’t agree more.
Businesses have until December 2015 to make the most of the tax relief given for major investments, BNP Paribas has warned. The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) is set to be cut from £500,000 to £200,000 from the end the year. Businesses claimed £79.7bn in capital allowances for machinery and IT equipment in 2013/14 – the highest total since the 2008 recession and up by 19% on the £66.9bn of capital allowances claimed the previous year.
I haven’t met an IT Pro who is happy that Windows Server 2003 is still in their environment. When I ask why it is still there then, they reply that management doesn’t want to provide the resources to make it go away.
It’s not really a surprise that a significant number of organizations are still running Server 2003. What all of them must realize at some point is that Running Server 2003 is not a long term proposition. At some point in time those servers are going to need to be decommissioned. The sooner the better.