Windows Server 2003 End Of Support: Why the July Deadline Means Action Now

8 Oct 2014 by Insight Blog

Windows Server 3000

As of July 14, 2015, Microsoft will end its support (EOS) for Windows Server 2003. It’s a date that may seem a long way off, but the implications of not making the upgrade are enough to persuade many to begin their migration to more modern support immediately.

The reason for this is that EOS for Server 2003 comes with significantly increased security risks. This is especially true in industries such as healthcare and government. This version of the technology is still frequently used, due to requirements from legacy applications whose vendors have not modernized with the release of newer technologies.

Wall Street Journal article sites a healthcare CIO who notes that a hospital may have 100-500 different applications that still require Windows Server 2003. Recent news of major breaches of patient data highlight the urgency for the health industry — in particular — to plan for migration in order to protect patient health information.

In July 2014, Microsoft released an estimate of 23.8 million physical and virtual instances of Windows Server 2003  run by businesses globally. The volume of servers that will need to move to new solutions in order to have support is massive, making early conversations all the more important as network threats appear to be increasing and the EOS date draws ever closer.

Microsoft is recommending several options for those who plan to migrate including Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft Azure and Office 365.