By Sarah Morgan
In just 364 days, support will finally end for Windows Server 2003. As of 14th July 2015 Microsoft will no longer be providing patches and security updates for the 10-year-old software. Many applications will cease to be supported and you’ll also risk losing your compliance with important industry standards and regulations.
Image courtesy of jchandler
One year may sound like a long time, but according to Microsoft’s initial estimations, it could take you 200 days to migrate.
How failing to upgrade could cost you over £100,000 a year
Every day you use the unsupported software, you run a massive risk:
- Custom Support costs - Support costs money and you’ll have to do plenty of it. You can expect to spend tens of thousands on more advanced security. Without updates to Windows Server 2003, you’d have to spend your own cash on firewalls and intrusion detection. Custom support will cost upwards of £115,000 a year, according to Microsoft.
- Security insecurities – Without support, you’re on your own. The end of all patches, bug fixes and updates puts your system at a dire risk. Unpatched systems pose a huge vulnerability, they just can’t adapt to ever changing technology standards. Cyber criminals will view you as easy prey - and rightly so. It’s not cheaper either; the average cost of a data breach rose to £2M in 2013. Not to mention the reputational damage you’d face getting hacked.
- Application woes - It’s officially End of Support from
Microsoft and that means it’s unofficially end of support for third party
developers. Developers around the world won’t keep their programs optimised for
dead software, so support for numerous apps will end. Microsoft are doing their
part too and discontinuing support for all apps running on Windows Server
- Compliance Issues - Running unsupported software is a hassle, and an expensive one at that. When running out-of-date software you are legally obliged to undergo regular independent audits. In some cases, these audits could cost more than upgrading your systems.
Don’t have a plan to upgrade?
(Un)fortunately you’re not alone. 62% haven’t planned to upgrade or migrate, a survey by App Zero found. Despite strenuous efforts by Microsoft to make customers aware, analysts estimate there are more than 10 million machines still running Windows Server 2003.
End of Support for Windows Server 2003 poses a greater challenge than the retirement of Windows XP. “It’s not just what applications and services you have, it’s also the relationships between them that are important,” Tony Lock, programme director at analyst firm Freeform Dynamics explains.
“Because of the length of time they have been deployed, the way that some of these applications and services feed off each other might not be in people’s heads any more. Getting a clear picture of what you have is vital.”
But it’s not all bad, as Lock points out, you might find that there are servers deployed which no one is using. In such a case, reacquainting yourself with your server infrastructure could also prove to be a cost saving exercise.
Get ready to implement Windows Server 2012 in just 9-days
As well as the basic advantages of owning supported software, Windows Server 2012 is a massive improvement. You’ll benefit from reduced costs, virtualisation and cloud support, better performance, increased security, and of course, official Microsoft support.
Make sure your migration to Windows Server 2012 is a smooth one - get Windows Server 2012 certified with official Microsoft Training. You’ll learn the fundamental set of skills needed to develop and manage your Windows Server environment.
You must be planning your migration over the next few weeks so don’t waste time. Take the Firebrand course, in only 9-days, you’ll learn everything twice as fast as traditional training.
|Don't neglect this upgrade|
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Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.