Microsoft has announced that they will officially sunset Microsoft Windows Server 2003 as of July 14, 2015, so what exactly does this mean? After July 14, 2015 Microsoft will no longer issue security updates for any version of Windows Server 2003, meaning Microsoft is going to stop patching the operating system, including both security patches and functional patches. This is very similar to the Windows XP end-of-life (EOL) cycle that was recently experienced by Microsoft users. If you are currently running a Microsoft Server 2003 in your datacenter, now is the time to take the necessary steps to avoid vulnerability to your systems.
There are many consequences that your company may face if timely action is not taken and the EOL date is missed. Within one year of the EOL date a Server 2003 can have over 100 security vulnerabilities, which can lead to catastrophic consequences for your company. Also, many software manufactures follow suite with sunset products and make updates and / or new software unavailable or incompatible with the sunset product, which leaves many companies in a situation of not being able to meet new demands. In order to avoid these scenarios now is the time to decide what the next logical step for your company is. Will you choose to move to the cloud? Will you replace your existing server with a new server?
Server Upgrade Options for Getting Your Business Out of Server 2003:
- Microsoft Windows Server 2012 – Currently the direct upgrade from Server 2003. This option would afford security and newer features such as remote access to your in-house applications with a user experience since they are being hosted in the cloud. This would allow users to access any of their applications via smart phone, tablet, or laptop.
- Server 2012 Essentials (WSE) – A newer alternative that we highly recommend, especially for business with 25 users or less. This options gives companies the power of integrating cloud services into an in-house server. Also, this allows companies to have an in-house server at the price point of a high-end PC, typically starting around $1,000.
- Hosted Services and Azure – The next alternative that companies are utilizing is using services or having a server hosted offsite or “in the cloud”, which is a fancy way of saying Internet. With secure connections through the Internet businesses can have some of their resources onsite and the remainder in the cloud. This option allows for easier remote access / support as well as disaster recovery since resources are held offsite in redundant data centers. Typically resources are spread out in different areas around the country or world.