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Less than 100 Days to Windows Server 2003 End of Support: Balancing act or unprecedented opportunity to modernise?

Vasily Malanin, Datacenter Lead, Microsoft Asia Pacific | April 8, 2015
Vasily Malanin, Datacenter Lead, Microsoft Asia Pacific, shares how organisations can move on to embrace new opportunities by choosing to modernise and minimise risk.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

While most CIOs are likely to be aware of the imminent end of support deadline for Windows Server 2003, what some might not realize is that the deadline - set for 14 July 2015, is only less than 100 days away and will not be extended.

Through my conversations with IT leadersmany are still struggling with balancing the need for innovation while not wanting to rock the boat with old technology like Windows Server 2003. The concern -  according to Spiceworks, a global professional network of more than 5 million IT Professionals, 59.8% of organizations which use its tools in Asia Pacific are still running at least one instance of Windows Server 2003 as of March 2015. That said, there's still a sizeable number of instances at risk of being unsupported.

WinServer 2003
 Click on image for a larger chart.

We all know running unsupported software increases one's exposure to security risks and software failures. In fact, running even a single instance of unsupported server operating system has a higher risk than a desktop operating system, as any compromise will have a significant amplification effect on those who rely on it.

Some might argue that they are being asked to do more with less and refreshing old technology that's not mission critical or that the new skills required to support it can't be justified.

I would argue, as would this IDC study commissioned by Microsoft and Inteltitled "Understanding the Business Value of Migrating to Windows Server 2012[i]" that staying on Windows Server 2003 will likely cost more in the long run. Aside from the security and compliance risks, organisations which choose not to migrate in fact suffer from reduced efficiencies, increased data centre operating costs and more resources spent on devising costly workarounds to support newer software.

Glass Half Full 
There's so much to gain from modernising your infrastructure with Windows Server 2012. SMBs saw improved virtualisation density of up to 16.6% while larger organisations saw 12.5% after migration. Organisations which used its automation capabilities were able to operate up to 50 tasks and its augmented manageability of modern operating systems, not just Windows, also translated into cost-effective management of systems and devices. These are especially important when resources are limited, like in SMBs.

It is no surprise then that the study also revealed that about a quarter of those who migrated cited positive outcomes in at least one of the following areas: security, compliance, manageability of the IT environment and performance of applications and resources within the IT environment.


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