What does the Windows Server 2003 end of life mean?
If your company’s servers are running any version of Windows Server 2003 (WS2003) and you don’t yet have a plan in place to upgrade your servers, time is running short. Microsoft ended mainstream support of WS2003 in 2010 and established an officical end of date of July 14, 2015 for all versions of Windows 2003.
And so, we ask you: Are you still running important business applications and websites on Windows Server 2003?
End-of-life (EOL) means that Microsoft will no longer provide patches or security updates; the software will continue to operate but without these patches and updates to security, your business will be vulnerable. Any new threats that arise after the EOL date will not be addressed, creating a security risk and compliance nightmare for your systems.
What to do
Migrating your systems from WS2003 to a new system can be time-consuming, particularly for businesses with applications that run on WS2003. Upgrades to some applications may not be available, leaving your business to seek out an application that is comparable to those currently in use. If you don’t have plans in place to migrate to a new system, the impending end-of-life date can feel like approaching doom.
Fortunately, Microsoft has laid out a four-step approach to migration to help you prioritize your steps:
- Determine which applications and workloads are running on Windows Server 2003
- Categorize the applications and workloads by type, importance, and complexity
- Choose a migration destination for each application and workload
- Create a migration plan
The size of your system may not give you enough time to migrate everything before the July 14 Windows Server 2003 end-of-life date, but don’t panic. End-of-life is merely end of support by Microsoft, and your systems will continue to operate as before. However, you will want to make the necessary upgrades to your servers as soon as you can. Every day that you continue using WS2003 after July 14, 2015 is a day that puts your business in peril. Make no mistake – the security and integrity of your business’ servers is among the most important issues facing your company. Try to imagine how you would continue to operate if your server software failed and there was no fix available. Do you want to take that risk?