Showing posts with label End Of Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label End Of Life. Show all posts

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Windows Server 2003 End of Life is now!

By Sarah Morgan

Microsoft’s Windows Server 2003 support ended today. If you haven’t made preparations, we’re going to give you some critical advice on how react to the security risks and impending costs now facing your business.

What does Windows Server 2003 End of Service mean?

End of service essentially means that Microsoft will not be releasing anymore updates or fixes. This means existing or new security vulnerabilities will not be fixed. Should you wish to stick with Windows Server 2003 you should consider the following:
  • You'll now need maintain the security of  your server independently. This is likely to cost £1000s. A TechNet post from Alex Fu estimates up to a hefty £120,000 a year cost for custom support.
  • Windows Server 2003 no longer complies with PCI Security Standards. VISA and Mastercard require PCI compliance. This means any websites currently running on Windows Server 2003 will no longer be able to process MasterCard and VISA payment services from today 
  • Future software and tech releases are unlikely to be backwards compatible, leaving your server with little options for progress.

Image courtesy of jchandler

Where to Migrate?

To avoid security issues and PCI non-compliance, it is best to migrate as soon as possible to a different platform. There are multiple pathways available to you:

  • Windows Server 2012 is the standard upgrade from the 2003 version (and of course the 2008). With the ability to switch between server core and server GUI and a redesigned server manager interface, it makes it far easier to manage multiple servers. Further, detailed information can be found here 
  • Microsoft’s cloud technology offering is Azure. Its benefits include increased flexibility and protection, with the ability to be able to buy virtual servers on a large scale at the click of a button. There are also reduced setup costs because operations are up and running immediately after purchase. 
  • It is perfectly viable to have a combination of the two technologies, having some servers located locally, whilst also investing in Azure and cloud technology. 

Get the Skills you need for Windows Server 2012 or Azure

For those looking for guidance on migrating away from Windows Server 2003, Microsoft now offers a “migration planning assistant service” that can guide you through the whole process.

Once you’ve made your new platform choice, there are a series of Microsoft certification courses to bring you up to speed on the latest technology. The two most popular options:

MCSA: Windows Server 2012

For those migrating to Windows Server 2012, this course will teach you the skills required to make the most of the platform. You'll learn vital skills like:
  • Deploying and managing Windows Server 2012
  • Configuring advanced Windows Server 2012 network and file services
  • Implementing a range of relevant software including IPv6 and Hyper-V

Microsoft Specialist: Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions

This course is for those who have gone down the Microsoft Azure route. Once you've migrated your on-premise service loads to the cloud, learn key skills like:
  • Planning and creating Azure virtual machines
  • Implement, monitor, backup and monitor storage solutions
  • Deploy and configure websites, as well as publishing content

What are you waiting for? Cyber criminals across the globe could already be targeting your unsupported system.

About the Author:        
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. 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Windows Server 2003 Support to end: you don’t have much time


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 2003.
  • 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
Image courtesy of click/morgueFile

About the Author:       
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.