The End of Service date for Windows Server 2003 is July 14, 2015. If any of the servers in your organization are still running 2003, a server migration plan should be at the top of your IT to-do list.

Servers that continue to use this operating system after the End of Service date will be exposed to security risks as Microsoft will no longer provide patches to fix security problems or any bugs in the code. This is a big deal — in 2013 alone, there were 37 critical updates released for the operating system.

Beyond the potential security problems, it’s 12-year-old technology. The last full service pack was released in early 2007. If your organization is subject to auditing or regulatory requirements, continuing to run Windows Server 2003 will likely prevent you from meeting minimum IT requirements.

The first step in planning a server migration is to do a comprehensive audit of your current server configuration and the rest of your network to see if there are other systems that will be affected by this change. Take a close look at any custom applications written specifically to work on Windows Server 2003.

Once you’ve finished an inventory of your applications and workloads, the next step is to determine the mix of technology will be used to create your new IT environment. This is likely your opportunity to move your organization into a cloud or virtualized design to reduce costs and provide greater flexibility for your IT needs.

If you decide a migration to a new physical server or series of servers makes sense, these projects require a great deal of planning to prevent potential data loss and company downtime. The Project Team at Marathon has extensive experience with a wide range of server migrations. We would love to learn more about your project.

Making the change will be worth it. A modern server operating system on new hardware (that is in-house or in the cloud) will give you noticeable increases in speed and performance.

Photo credit: vcr by Brad Montgomery (CC by 2.0)

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