Planning for Windows Server 2003/R2 end of support
Understand what end of support means
End of support for Windows Server 2003/R2 can have a dramatic impact on your business. It will mean no more updates or patches from Microsoft, which can result in a less stable and less secure infrastructure for your organization.
Microsoft will no longer develop or release any updates after ending support. To put this in perspective—37 critical updates were released in 2013 for Windows Server 2003/R2 under extended support. Imagine what impact zero updates will have on your infrastructure.
The costs of maintaining your legacy servers can add up quickly. Maintenance costs for aging hardware will likely increase, and you will have to deal with added costs for intrusion detection systems, more advanced firewalls, and network segmentation—all simply to isolate 2003 servers. Staying put will likely cost more in the end.
After support ends, your organization will likely fail to meet most industry-wide compliance standards and regulations. This could result in lost business or dramatically increase the cost of doing business, in the form of high transaction fees and penalties.
No safe haven
Without continued support from Microsoft, your virtualized and physical instances of Windows Server 2003/R2 will not pass a compliance audit. Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 will also be affected.
End of support for Windows Server 2003/R2
Transform your datacenter
The end of support for Windows Server 2003/R2 could signal the beginning of a new stage in your organization’s evolution, and taking advantage of the Microsoft datacenter transformation vision can help you reach that next stage.
A datacenter without boundaries gives you the ability to go beyond the resources you have on-premises by more easily accessing cloud resources when you need to. You can take advantage of cloud resources to build new applications or websites that require global scale in a snap; scale infrastructure at a moment’s notice to meet the most demanding business requirements; and reduce storage, backup, and recovery costs.
Once you see what’s possible with cloud capabilities, your organization will want to take advantage of cloud innovation everywhere. The innovations built into Microsoft datacenter products—especially in storage, networking, and identity—are the result of the deep experience and expertise Microsoft has gained from working with massive-scale enterprise cloud deployments.
Your organization can take advantage of Microsoft’s world-class infrastructure with dynamic application delivery, so your IT professionals can respond to business needs with greater speed and agility. Enhanced automation enables them to provision, deploy, monitor, and manage applications and infrastructure from a consistent platform across clouds.
Follow a migration process
Your migration should ideally follow a process to make the transition from Windows Server 2003/R2 to the cloud as smooth as possible. That process will include discovering, assessing, and targeting workloads and software before choosing the right migration plan.
The first step is to discover and catalog all of the software and workloads running on Windows Server 2003/R2. There are several self-service tools that can help with this process, such as the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit, a free tool that helps you collect and organize system-wide information from a single, networked computer. Other third-party discovery offerings include Dell ChangeBASE, Lakeside Software SysTrack, JumpStart for Windows Server 2003 from Microsoft Services, and a number of other options from system integrators and Microsoft partner service providers.
Once you have a catalog, you will need to assess what’s in it. This means categorizing and analyzing your cataloged applications and workloads based on type, criticality, complexity, and risk. After completing your assessment, you can prioritize workloads and applications for migration. This helps identify issues and opportunities.
Choose a migration destination for each application and workload. Available options include Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Azure, Cloud OS Network, and Office 365. Different workloads and applications will logically lead to certain targets. Others could offer the possibility of migration to one or more of these destinations. The choice will be driven by factors such as speed, ease of migration, cost, and desired functionality.
Choosing the right migration plan may require some additional analysis and assistance. Several vendors offer do-it-yourself tools to assist in the decision-making process and in the migration itself, including Dell ChangeBASE, Citrix AppDNA, AppZero, and JumpStart for Windows Server 2003. Other migration services are also available through system integrators, including several Microsoft partners.