Time running out for Windows Server 2003

egg timer and stopwatch

Like Windows XP before it, Windows Server 2003 is living on borrowed time.

Come July 14, 2015, Microsoft will be switching off support for Windows Server 2003. The End of Support/Days is upon us.

What does this mean?

Past this cut-off date, Microsoft will no longer issue patches and security updates to address system vulnerabilities. If you choose to stick with Window Server 2003, you will be your applications and business at extreme risk.

Once the deadline has passed, Windows Server 2003 will no longer be an asset; instead, it will become a legal threat and financial sinkhole for your organisation. The clock is ticking, and every migration hour delayed, is one closer to opening Pandora’s Box which will become Windows Server 2003 unsupported.

What’s in Pandora’s Box if you don’t migrate

  • Security issues – Once final support ends, you’re on your own. No more patches, no more bug fixes and your system will become a serious security risk. Unpatched systems are vulnerable to attacks from cyber criminals. A single data breach could cost you upwards of a £1m.
  • Compliance complications – When running out-of-date software you are legally obliged to undergo regular independent audits, which, in some cases, cost more than upgrading your systems. Not meeting these standards can have a devastating effect.
  • Application support difficulties – Support for numerous applications, including all Microsoft apps running on Windows Server 2003 will also be discontinued.
  • Rising costs – Keeping outdated systems operational costs money, you will need to invest tens of thousands of pounds into more advanced security, such as firewalls and intrusion detection no there are no more bug fixes from Microsoft. Microsoft say custom support costs post WS2003 EOS are upwards of $200,000+ /year!

Is anyone else still running Windows Server 2003?

According to survey results by AppZero, approximately 10 million machines are still running Windows Server 2003. But with time ticking you better get started, Microsoft MVP Aidan Finn believes the Windows Server 2003 case poses a much bigger challenge than the end of Windows XP. He said: “You’re not dealing with standardised builds… almost every one of those servers has a complex bespoke build that cannot be dealt with using the same levels of automation that we can bring to the desktop. And then there’s the processor architecture challenge.”

Do not be fooled, a few months will not be enough to upgrade, initial estimations for migrating Windows Server are around 200 days.

What are the benefits of changing to Windows Server 2012

Upgrading your IT infrastructure to Windows Server 2012 you’ll benefit from the following:

  • Reduced costs
  • Better security
  • Improved resource management
  • High scalability
  • Better performance
  • Virtualisation and cloud support
  • Official Microsoft support

So what are you waiting for? Get planning right away!