Here we go again first Windows XP in 2014 now Windows 2003 in 2015. Microsoft has again chosen to cease all support for an operating system that many are still using. The reasons behind the decision make sense to Microsoft allowing them to free up resources to support more current projects but they leave many small companies in a bit of a pickle. to view the ominous countdown clock go here.
What does it really mean for those still running 2003? First you need to review your infrastructure documentation and/or systems to see if you are affected. If you have any Windows servers with versions prior to 2008 (3.1, NT 4.0, 2000, 2003) you are affected.
What questions do you need to answer if you have servers that need updating? Review the roles that server is performing (AD, DNS, DHCP, Web, FTP, Email/Exchange, File and Print services). Can these roles be performed on other servers in your office? How old is the hardware? Are there custom applications that cannot be installed on a new OS? Do you have older licensed software with expired maintenance that won’t install on a new OS or the vendor/publisher went out of business long ago?
Are there any benefits to upgrading my systems? Yes and they actually will improve your business productivity. New servers now are significantly faster, can handle more client connections, improve your Internet/email performance (If DNS, WINS, Exchange or Proxy services are performed on older servers) and there are significantly more collaboration features now.
Do I need to buy new hardware? Depends on each case. In some organizations you will receive greater benefit from new hardware. In some instances in my make sense to move some services to the cloud. In some instances you may be able to reuse hardware however it is likely that the hardware you have is well out of warranty if you are affected by this news. New servers are actually a lot less expensive now than when you made your initial investment. There are also small purpose built appliances that are often very cost effective. Cloud services require little up front cost and small recurring monthly subscription fees that will get you out of owning, maintaining and replacing hardware.
These are the areas that we can help you with book us now and we will work with you to create a continuity plan to deal with this OS end of support.