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Windows Server 2003 EOL: Will You Keep Up?

As Windows Server 2003’s end of life (EOL) draws closer, many business run the risk of being left behind – according to Microsoft and Gartner, between 8 and 11 million servers around the world still rely on W2K3 for many of their applications; and roughly 20% of these will likely miss the July 14 deadline. You probably have several important questions about this development – why this is happening, what it means for your organization, and how to prepare. Well, have no fear – this article answers those questions.

Why is Windows Server 2003 being discontinued?

Microsoft released Windows Server 2003 to a vastly different market than the one we know today – many of the media applications that enjoy widespread use now were in their early stages; and 45% of all households had no internet access.

Fast forward to over a decade later, and times have changed – we have vastly more applications and much higher rates of internet connectivity, resulting in increased workloads that require 24/7 reliability. The newer, up-to-date Windows platforms are better tailored to serve this modern market.


What does this mean for you?

Migrating and upgrading to a new platform is the only viable option, as continuing to run Windows Server 2003 after its EOL would either be cost-prohibitive, non-secure, or (most likely) both. Continued support for W2K3 after EOL could cost you $600 per server for the first year, with costs likely rising with each passing year. For companies running W2K3 on several servers, costs would quickly become astronomical.

Running W2K3 without Microsoft support isn’t a smart choice, either – when support ends, bug fixes and security patches end along with it. This can introduce a whole host of security risks and vulnerabilities – analysts predict an unprecedented wave of malicious attacks and malware, leaving any applications still running W2K3 completely unprotected. Basically, if you’re still running Windows 2003 at this point, you need a solid migration strategy to make sure your organization doesn’t get left behind.


What can you do?

One of the most important rules for a smooth, hassle-free migration is this: Don’t wait until the last minute. Last-minute migrations typically don’t allow for enough lead time to address potential issues created by the server upgrade itself, resulting in costly and unnecessary downtime.

NetFire offers a reliable migration plan that will help your organization keep performing to the high standards you’ve come to expect. Our engineers can help you move to a new, fully-supported platform as soon as possible – using a simple four-step strategy (Assess-Organize-Plan-Act), we consult with you to create a customized migration strategy that gives you all the concrete benefits of up-to-date software, with plenty of lead time for a smooth transition.

Read more about how we can simplify your migration process.