It doesn't matter whether businesses are thinking about the security implications, the legal ramifications, or simply the problems of applications compliance; given the closeness of the deadline, this number remains a significant point for concern.
What is the best "next step" following on from Server 2003?
For the most part Camwood has been moving companies either to Server 2012, Server 2012 R2, or to the cloud. All of these technologies have their own merits, but it really just depends on what your particular business is trying to achieve. Moving to the cloud has obvious benefits in terms of scalability, offsite protection and stability/cost ratios, however some legislation-heavy sectors (such as banking and finance) are still reluctant to host their servers in the cloud due to potential compliance and security concerns.
For those reluctant to move to the cloud, an on-premises Server 2012 offers a number of benefits. These include significantly improved security and Dynamic Access Controls, as well as providing a single view of the server health and remote server management.
In certain instances, some of Camwood's clients have opted to make the switch to Windows Server 2008, if only as a temporary cost saving measure. While we consider it advisable for businesses to make the leap to 2012 in order to 'get ahead of the game', 2008 can provide a useful stepping-stone.
A lot of businesses have actually been using Server 2008 to allow them to move away from Server 2003 (ahead of the deadline) and then look at transitioning the rest of the way over a longer period of time. From an application management point of view, this also gives them time to get their estates in order before making the full switch to Server 2012.
What is the likelihood of businesses missing the July 14th deadline?
Given the sheer number of businesses that are yet to make the transition, we expect that the migration process will carry on well into 2016. Considering that we are still helping some businesses move away from Windows XP more than a year on from the official end date, we expect similar levels of non-compliance for Server 2003. We would like to think that most organisations would be off Server 2003 in late July early August, however based on the current figures this seems unlikely.
Most of our clients are well underway in terms of making the move, yet even if they've successfully completed 90 percent of the migration ahead of the deadline this will still leave a lot of applications unsupported or failing to meet compliance standards.
In a lot of instances, certain applications don't have a designated upgrade path; they will simply never migrate effectively away from Server 2003. In these cases we've done what we can to offer viable alternatives or search for functional equivalents.
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