Windows 2003 Server End Of Support: What IT Needs To Know - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Cloud
News
6/25/2015
07:06 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

Windows 2003 Server End Of Support: What IT Needs To Know

Many systems administrators will look at migrating from Windows Server 2003 as a daunting task. It should instead be seen as a chance to review your hardware, software, and deployment options. Here are seven things you need to know.
Previous
1 of 9
Next

(Image: Wikimedia)

(Image: Wikimedia)

Microsoft support for Windows Server 2003 ends on July 14. According to the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT), there were an estimated 12 million servers running Windows 2003 as of one year ago. And while this number has likely decreased, there are still millions of impacted servers – some possibly in your enterprise environment.

There are all kinds of reasons why systems administrators haven't bothered to upgrade from Windows 2003 yet. While some have the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude, others run into budgeting constraints or compatibility issues with legacy applications. And while admins can technically continue to run Windows 2003 server beyond the end-of-support date, cybersecurity risks will dramatically increase. In enterprise-class environments, this is something that simply cannot be tolerated.

The good news for IT is that upgrading from Windows Server 2003 to either 2008 or 2012 isn't nearly as onerous from a software compatibility standpoint as what you may have experienced in a Windows XP migration. But, there are a few compatibility issues with legacy applications that may need to be addressed in your particular environment. Typically, this means the legacy application must be upgraded to run on a newer server OS prior to upgrading the OS itself.

On the following pages, we discuss what effect the end of Windows 2003 Server support has on your systems, and potential migration paths that can be taken to remove an unsupported OS from your network. We'll cover topics such as what you actually lose when a Microsoft OS goes end-of-support – such as security/bug fixes and new hardware and software compatibility. Additionally, we'll look at migration possibilities, including upgrade options to newer versions of Windows Server, virtualization, and the possibility of migrating to the cloud.

If you're still supporting Windows 2003 Servers, we'd love to hear your concerns and learn about your migration strategy in the comments section below.

Andrew has well over a decade of enterprise networking under his belt through his consulting practice, which specializes in enterprise network architectures and datacenter build-outs and prior experience at organizations such as State Farm Insurance, United Airlines and the ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 9
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
MartinFife
50%
50%
MartinFife,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/19/2015 | 2:06:26 PM
Re: Automated tools
Zinstall doesn't offer the same level of flexibility that AppZero does, and their product isn't as mature. In order to use Zinstall, you need to install it on your production server. AppZero allows you to perform a migration over the network using Windows authentication mechanisms and doesn't require modifications to the production server. AppZero also allows you to choose what you want to migrate, whereas Zinstall just copies the entire hard drive.


I only heard of Zinstall when I was googling for a particular article on AppZero. I noticed they were using the AppZero brand to advertise their company in Google Ads. Can't imagine that will be allowed to continue for long.
SaneIT
50%
50%
SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
7/7/2015 | 8:18:55 AM
Re: Slow server migration
This is more common than MS would like you to think.  I ran NT servers well past their supported life span and pulled hardware from other servers as we upgraded those so that we had spare parts for the NT boxes, not only had we lost OS support but hardware support as well on some of them.  If I had anything like a VM manager back then we would have been incredibly happy, eventually we did have to move but only because hardware was getting harder to come by and a failure would have meant a lot of scrambling.  I keep hoping to see MS go to more of a services based model so that they can ease up on the nearly impossible to decipher licensing models.  I wouldn't ask them to stretch support out for any OS because I can count on one hand the number of times I've ever had to call them about an OS issue but I would like for it to be less juggling when trying to figure out which OS version we really need to be compliant.
hho927
50%
50%
hho927,
User Rank: Ninja
7/6/2015 | 12:40:10 PM
Re: Slow server migration
If we run NT, 2003, XP, we will receive no support from MS, Which is fine for us.

If windows (machine) is isolated from the internet, there is nothing to worry(our case). Lots of our machines don't need to connect to the internet.

We have 2003 VMs. We have so many VMs backups that we can go 3 years back if we need to.

We have industry machines that are using Dos.
SaneIT
50%
50%
SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
7/6/2015 | 8:18:59 AM
Re: Slow server migration
I know this is going to sound bad, but I'm sure if I could have had the same VM capability a decade ago I'd still have NT 4 boxes running today.  For internal processes that just need to work and don't require a lot of hand holding an OS's life could be incredibly long if the hardware holds up.  With VMs this problem almost goes away, your biggest hurdle now is support for your OS in your VM manager.
JN_ITservices
50%
50%
JN_ITservices,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/3/2015 | 10:37:21 AM
Automated tools
In the "technological advacements" category, we now have more automated options to do the migration itself. In my experience, I've used AppZero (they do app virtualization, worked well for common packages), and Zinstall's WinServ (they do actual native migrations, which was very impressive) - see their tutorial here: www.zinstall.com/winserv
batye
50%
50%
batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/3/2015 | 4:22:47 AM
Re: One for all and All for one
@hho927 it reality of today world... gov. do get hacked... scarry...
hho927
50%
50%
hho927,
User Rank: Ninja
7/2/2015 | 1:01:34 PM
Re: One for all and All for one
yet US govn't get hacked more :-)

I think people are more important than software. If you give a cluess guy the best software, somehow he'll find a way to break it.
hho927
50%
50%
hho927,
User Rank: Ninja
7/2/2015 | 12:32:39 PM
Re: One for all and All for one
You're almost correct.

Part of the deal is: if there is a security issue(during that time frame) the support team from MS has to patch it.

Again, it makes sense. They can't migrate over 10,000 windows xp,2003 machines in a few months. There is nothing wrong with that. The rest of us can move on. Buy new machines(upgrade) may be cheaper than buying the extended support from MS.

 
DDURBIN1
50%
50%
DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
7/2/2015 | 10:38:55 AM
Re: One for all and All for one
@hho927, These contracts are in addition to existing contracts and are for support not migration assistance.  Once a system is replaced that sysem falls under the on going MS maintenance agreement. 
batye
50%
50%
batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/2/2015 | 1:13:54 AM
Re: One for all and All for one
@hho927... yes, but in Canada our gov. have IT/hardware/software from 1999... as everything get hacked from MP office to Revenue Canada... and our spy agency... sad reality... we are good few years behind USA...
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
2018 State of the Cloud
2018 State of the Cloud
Cloud adoption is growing, but how are organizations taking advantage of it? Interop ITX and InformationWeek surveyed technology decision-makers to find out, read this report to discover what they had to say!
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
The Next Generation of IT Support
The workforce is changing as businesses become global and technology erodes geographical and physical barriers.IT organizations are critical to enabling this transition and can utilize next-generation tools and strategies to provide world-class support regardless of location, platform or device
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll