Showing posts with label Windows Server 2003. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Windows Server 2003. 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.

RIP
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. 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Windows Server 2003 – How to start planning your migration today


Rest in peace
_

Just like Windows XP before it, Windows Server 2003 now too faces its end of life. On July 14th 2015, Microsoft will be ending extended support for all versions of Windows Server 2003/R2.

But despite constant warning from Microsoft, many organisations have yet to even begin their
migration. These businesses will continue running the outdated software at their peril: huge financial costs and security risks are estimated for those running Windows Server 2003 past end of life.

11 million systems are still running Windows Server 2003, HP estimates. Clearly, many view it as an issue for next year. This could be a crippling problem when considering the estimated time for migrating a datacentre of 100+ servers can take from 3 to 18 months.

If you’re amongst that 11 million, now is the time to begin planning your migration. Here’s a birds-eye view of your migration process.

What does end of support mean for Windows Server 2003?

As of July 14th 2015, Microsoft will no longer be providing patches and security updates for this now 10-year-old software. You can expect the following:

No updates

Once end of life hits you’ll be on your own. Don’t expect any more updates, bug fixes or patches of any size.

Software like this needs continual work and even after 10 years, Microsoft are still working on critical updates for Windows Server 2003. In fact, 2013 saw Microsoft complete 37 of these critical updates.

Without the maternal care of Microsoft, critical issues and bugs affecting Windows Server 2003 will stay unfixed. You’ll be left open to cybersecurity vulnerabilities and will be more at risk of malicious attacks and data breaches.

Compliance loss

Your business will almost certainly fail to meet your existing compliance standards. HIPAA, PCI, SOX & Dodd-Frank require regulated industries to use supported platforms. Once end of life hits, Windows Server 2003 will lose its status as a supported platform and your business will lose out as a result.

In particular, adherence to PCI is required for businesses that want to host Visa and MasterCard transactions on their websites. Lose it and your crippling your businesses ability to make money online. For other standards, lack of compliance could result in high transaction fees and penalties which in itself could massively increase your costs.

Maintenance costs

Running legacy software is inevitably going to be expensive. Without Microsoft’s support, you’ll have to implement your own intrusion detection systems, advanced firewalls and network segmentation.

A TechNet post from Alex Fu cites a hefty £120,000 a year cost for custom support. Plus, practice director of Microsoft Solutions, David Mayer, estimates the price tag to be £900 per server, per year.

Compatibility woes

Without Microsoft’s support, new software and hardware products will not be built to be compatible with Windows Server 2003. You’ll likely run into compatibility issues from the outset and as time passes, these issues will only grow in scale.


How to migrate your Windows Server 2003

Migrating is hard work and takes time. However, Microsoft is on-hand to deliver resources to ease the passing of Windows Server 2003. Take a look at Microsoft’s Endof Service section before you plan your migration. 

Microsoft’s recommended four step migration process is as follows:

1. Discover

Your first step is to determine which applications and workloads are running on your Windows Server 2003. Download the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit to help assess your current infrastructure and migration project.

2. Assess

Next, categorise your applications and workloads by their type, importance and degree of complexity. During this process you should be keeping a look out for migration issues.

3. Target

Choose a migration destination for each application and workload in your data centre or in the cloud. Microsoft are clearly focusing on cloud technology. Their public cloud solution, Azure, currently comes with a one month freetrial – now’s the time to migrate to the cloud. 





Microsoft also offer destination for each application or workload, including:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • System Center 2012 R2 (Private Cloud)
  • Microsoft Azure (Public Cloud)
  • SQL Server 2014
  • Office 365

4. Migrate

Choose a migration plan and get going. Microsoft do provide a quality Migration Planning Assistant which covers in-depth the previous 4 steps. If that’s not enough, you can attend official training courses, from training providers like Firebrand, designed to teach you everything you need to know about the platform you are migrating to.


Migration resources to get started with

Microsoft Virtual Academy – curated and built by Microsoft, these well-made guides can be an invaluable source of knowledge.

We recommend studying:

Windows Server 2003 End of Life: Infrastructure Migration – this Channel 9 video (1 hour, 17 minutes) digs into the process of migrating your infrastructure. The demo-intensive session explores workload migration and foundation services like DHCP, DNS and File/Print.

Windows Server 2003 End of Life Migration: Planning for Your Workloads – watch this Channel 9 video (1 hour 8 minutes) for an organised and systematic view of migration strategies and destinations.

Migration Deployment Toolkit – this collection of processes, tools and guidance for automating desktop and server deployments may prove invaluable during your migration.

Time is certainly running out for the 11 million who haven’t yet migrated. This isn’t a problem for next year and if you treat it like that, you'll certainly regret it.


By 

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. 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Is your business safe from the Visa & MasterCard Backlash?


By 


Visa and MasterCard will suspend your ability to process online payments if you are using Windows Server 2003.

When Windows Server 2003 End of Service hits in July 2015, any business running the software will no longer adhere to the PCI compliance standards. Without updates and support, the integrity and security of the Windows Server 2003 platform cannot be guaranteed.

Adherence to PCI is required for businesses that want to host Visa and MasterCard transactions on their websites. Lose it and your crippling your businesses ability to make money online.

Microsoft states that “Payment Card Industry (PCI) policies will not be met with an operating system that is EOS”.
With just under a year to go until Microsoft cuts all support for the outdated software, businesses could be risking far more than they realise.

You don’t have much time - Upgrade now

When Windows Server 2003 loses all support on July 14th 2015, you can’t afford to be caught unawares.  Continue running the software at your peril – failing to upgrade could cost you £100,000 a year.

What’s more, according to Microsoft’s initial estimations, it could take you 200 days to migrate, so you’re going to have to act fast.

But, updating to Windows Server 2012 doesn’t have to be a trial. If you’re amongst the 62% of businesses who haven’t yet planned to migrate – you can still make sure your transition a smooth one.  

Avoid those frustrating first-time software mistakes. Become a Windows Server 2012 expert in just 9-days and make your upgrade an easy one. Plus, you’ll be Microsoft MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certified – your first step to earning the advanced MCSE certification.

What percentage of your revenue comes from online payments? This could disappear come 2015.

So, start making your migration plans now, you don’t have long!

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


By 


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.

RIP
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.