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When Applications Aren’t Compatible With a New Server OS

26 Mar 2015 by Jessica Hall

Requiring across-the-board planning while migrating to a new server operating system is no small feat. Whether that system is Windows Server 2012 R2 or a cloud-based platform, compatibility verification for applications is critical.

Research and test.

While organizations can research app compatibility prior to migrating, we recommend that you also verify their congruence through testing. There are a variety of tools that organizations can leverage to verify application compatibility.

“For example, BDNA does data augmentation, and once the inventory of what the organization has created, it can be plugged into the data augmentation tool and it will identify your options,” explains David Mayer, practice director of Microsoft solutions at Insight.

He adds, “While it doesn’t allow for human creativity, it will provide you with the right options 90% of the time.”

There is the possibility that certain applications won’t function well or the same with a new operating system — plan ahead to avoid complications or disruptions.

Develop a remediation plan.

Once you’ve migrated to a new server OS, you may find that certain applications aren’t compatible. If that occurs, Mayer says your first step should entail buying extended support from Microsoft to provide your organization with more time to determine the best approach — allowing your organization to continue to run the application on Windows Server 2003.

Organizations should assess if upgraded or newer versions are available to avoid disrupting the pace of business. If the version you have is the latest release, your organization has the option of leveraging a similar product that offers the same functionality. If possible, select an option that allows you to import your existing data.

“While it’s the most labor-intensive, organizations do have the option of rewriting the application,” Mayer points out.

As a last resort, continue to run the app on Windows Server 2003.

If the application is critical to the business and no clear upgrade or replacement is available, you may need to continue running the app on Windows Server 2003. However, this means paying Microsoft for help through its continued existence, since the last day for automatic support for Windows Server 2003 was on July 14, 2015. Learn the latest news about it, including solutions for your migration here.