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Microsoft will soon cease to offer support for Windows Server 2003.  The deadline for security patches, technical support and software updates is coming soon (this July 2015) – now mere weeks away. Although the operating system will continue to operate following end of support, those running the aging system will be susceptible to cyber attack, run compliance risk, and face compatibility issues.

In fact, Windows Server 2003 poses what is estimated to be the most significant security threat for global organizations in 2015.

However, according to US-Cert, approximately 12 million physical servers worldwide were still running Windows Server 2003 in July 2014. If widespread use continues, and the necessary steps towards migration aren’t enacted, many organizations will expose their operations to unnecessary risk.

Timing couldn’t be worse, with threats and attacks on the rise. Organizations of all sizes need to assess their exposure to this risk.

How Windows Server 2003 EOS will Impact IT

When compared to the recent Windows XP end of life deadline, Windows Server 2003 end of support has not received nearly as much attention, yet it carries equivalent risk.  To avoid security breach, migration is imperative. Furthering the urgency for migration, hosting service providers will soon require customers to transition to supported platforms. When these factors are compounded, along with the additional cost that organizations will incur if they do not meet the migration deadline, it’s clear there is urgency for organizations to evaluate the workloads that are currently running on this expiring operating system.

Windows Server 2003 Migration Options

With that in mind, if you are still running Windows Server 2003, it’s time you evaluate your options.

Do Nothing

Those who choose not to migrate will leave their infrastructure vulnerable. Not only will these organizations face security risk, and compromise compliance, the aging system could also affect business continuity.

Upgrade Server Hardware

Organizations have the option to upgrade to Windows Server 2008, an aging OS in its own right, or the more current Windows Server 2012 R2. Either move will require an upgrade to server hardware, except for those going the virtualization route (which will be explored next).

Upgrading server hardware will resolve the immediate issue; however, legacy infrastructure will be left vulnerable in the long-term. Those who go this route will have to resolve any resulting errors in a live environment. Ultimately, this high cost, high-risk option lacks flexibility.

Migrate To The Cloud

For many, cloud is the most viable migration path.  When compared to traditional server hardware, virtual servers offer scalability, improved availability and enhanced architecture.

Organizations can move beyond the interim step of solely virtualizing servers running Windows Server 2003, with the option to migrate their entire infrastructure to a virtual private data center. This strategy will help negate future end of support mandates and allows organizations to scale in the future as needed with instant, self-service provisioning.

For additional value, those choosing the cloud migration path stand to reap additional benefits of the cloud including decreased costs, improved monitoring and business agility.

Why dinCloud?

Ready to move to the cloud? dinCloud can help plan and execute your cloud migration. Our cloud specialists can help spin up a private virtual data center with dedicated firewall, virtual servers and storage. Included in dinCloud’s private virtual data center stack are Virtual DesktopsVirtual Servers, and Virtual Storage, which can be configured to meet your organization’s unique needs. On an ongoing basis, dinCloud  manages maintenance of your infrastructure, offering peace of mind with built-in threat protection, so you and your IT staff can focus on other strategic initiatives. For more information about leveraging the cloud for your Windows Server 2003 migration, watch this video.

dinCloud Windows Server 2003 Migration to Cloud Promotion

Those running Windows Server 2003 can also benefit from a limited time offer to facilitate the cloud migration path. Through this incentive, organizations can save more than they would normally through a virtual infrastructure, while modernizing their operations. If interested in learning more about the limited time Windows Server 2003 Migration to Cloud promotion, read on for the next steps.

Windows Server 2003 Migration to Cloud – Next Steps

If you are running applications on Windows Server 2003 and would like to review your migration options, please complete our request information form, and one of our cloud specialists will contact you for a custom assessment.