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FAQ: Windows Server 2003 End of Support

6 Jan 2015 by Jessica Hall
With the Microsoft Windows 2003 end of support deadline looming, migrations are an important issue – both in terms of security and operations – for large and small businesses across the globe. To help better prepare you, we’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions.
  1. Why should companies migrate as quickly as possible?

With many companies beginning their migration during the first quarter of 2015, it’s imperative that you start planning as soon as possible if you haven’t yet. The dangers of waiting until it’s too late include:

  • Entire document libraries and applications are at risk
  • Security fixes – as well as other updates and patches – will be eliminated
  • The cost of maintaining servers and aging hardware will quickly increase
  • Failure to meet industry compliance standards
  • Increased risk of corrupted data and unsupported applications
  • Facing downtime

If you miss the deadline and need to buy support from Microsoft, you’ll face exorbitant fees. For example, a company with 200 servers would face an added expense of $2 million over the course of 24 months.

The benefits also provide a compelling reason to migrate as soon as possible. Updating your datacenter will not only increase performance, but it will also lead to decreased energy costs, as servers older than four years deliver 4 percent of the performance while consuming 65 percent of the energy.

  1. How long will the migration process take? David Mayer, practice director of Microsoft Solutions at Insight, says that organizations with more than 100 servers should plan for a time frame that ranges anywhere from three to 18 months.
  2. So, is it too late to get started now?

In short: it’s not. With seven months until its end of support, there are many organizations that won’t have a migration timeline that will get every single server migrated by the July 14, 2015, deadline. But, those organizations don’t need to find themselves upstream without a paddle. To mitigate risks and reduce costs, we take the approach of ranking the server environment to prioritize high-risk servers above medium- and low-priority servers. We then utilize that system to develop a timeline that migrates the most at-risk servers before the deadline and addresses those that are not at a high risk (or, if time allows, even a medium risk) after Windows Server 2003 support has ceased.

“Many of our clients are migrating their critical apps right now and will worry about those that don’t pose a threat, like a print server, after the deadline,” says Eric Su, senior product manager of services.

  1. How does Insight approach this?

Leveraging a 25-year partnership with Microsoft (that includes high rankings like the top Cloud Accelerate & Deployment partner and the top 1 percent of all Microsoft partners), we offer full stack systems integration, consulting services, and proprietary tools.

Our unique three-phased approach will give organizations a comprehensive sense of what their data center looks like (number of servers, what’s running on them, and how they interact), what solution makes the most sense for their organization,n and how the migration will be implemented.

“Ultimately, we can help you look at your datacenter in an application-by-application view to help you determine if you should deploy this on-premise, in cloud, or if you should leverage a hybrid strategy,” says Dennis Aldridge, senior manager, product management of Microsoft Solutions at Insight.

Find out more about our approach to Windows Server 2003 end of support at www.insight.com/ServerIgnite.