Windows Server 2003 support has ended

As of today, Windows Server 2003 support has come to the end of the line. What are your options? Should you upgrade? Go virtual? Datacentreplus can help you with this decision and in this article we hopefully will.

“Industry estimates indicate that upwards of a fifth of servers are still running this version of Windows Server” ComputerWeekly

Where to go now?

Businesses from this point will have hopefully decide, if not already decided. They can adapt and move on or brave the seas and see if they come out on the other side. Business who decide to continue running windows 2003 on their computers will still function. However, they will increase their exposure to security threats such as viruses. Using unsupported software could lead to a confidentiality, business asset and system resource stability issues.

Upgrade to a newer server

This is probably one of the first thoughts when asked the question. The next question is then Windows 2008 or 2012? Upgrading to 2008 may be less disruptive than 2012 but you have this same problem come around again quicker. Migrating to 2012 could be more expensive as it can require changing applications.

Extend its life using virtualization

Virtualization can separate the server hardware for the operating system (OS), meaning Windows 2003 can live longer on a new server. Virtualization can decouple the OS and the hardware, resulting in the OS not having to be upgraded. Virtualization can allow users to run 16 & 32 bit OS with the latest 64 bit OS.

Krishna Raj Raja a founding member of cloud physics posted on his blog “VMware’s support for legacy OSes is excellent. It is possible to run a legacy OS like Windows NT on modern processors that Windows NT natively wouldn’t even recognize. Also, the virtual devices in VMs provide encapsulation and prevent device driver compatibility issues.”

Placing it in a DMZ

Ringfencing your server may reduce the usability and accessibility, but that is certainly a better alternative than letting it brave the weather and leaving the server vulnerable.

Switching to Linux

As mentioned earlier upgrading to 2012 has costs involved, but so will migrating to 2008. Linux could be the cheaper option while still keeping your business operating as normal.

Going up in the cloud

Cloud as always is a viable option, now with Windows Server 2003 support coming to an end it gives businesses the chance to assess their options. Application servers could be more cost efficient than your current solution, giving you the opportunity to reach for the sky and remove the hassle of running your own server.

Whichever option you decide, Datacentreplus can assist you in making a decision that is right for your business. Datacentreplus can provide services for all these options, but it is worth contacting us so we can help you make an informed decision. Making an informed decision is the reason you are in the first place, Right?

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