It’s time to stop dragging your feet. Stop procrastinating and just do it, already.
We’re talking, or course, about ditching Windows Server 2003 (Win2K3) and migrating to a more modern operating system.
In less than a month you won’t have much of a choice: Starting July 14, 2015, Microsoft will no longer provide extended support for Win2K3 (mainstream support ended way back in 2010).
What End of Support Means
Win2K3 isn’t just going to disappear at midnight when July 14 turns to July 15.
No, that’s not how it works. You can still use Win2K3 if you so choose. There are a few stubborn people out there running Windows NT 4, so Win2K3 use will probably linger around in some networks for a few more years…
The problem is that Microsoft will no longer provide free patches for Win2K3 to fix new vulnerabilities. If you really wanted to, you could pay for patches, or you could invest in other cybersecurity technologies to compensate for the lack of free patches… but at that point, why not just invest in a faster, more reliable, and more secure OS if you’re investing anyway?
Common Migration Mistakes
Migrating to a new OS can be a real hassle.
Here are just a few of the mistakes people commonly make when they take a DIY approach to Windows server migration:
- The Hardware Factor: when you’re shucking away your old OS, it might be necessary to upgrade your hardware as well. A lot of users are hesitant to invest in new hardware, but if you try to get by with old equipment you might find the end result painfully slow. Don’t make the mistake the mistake of forgetting just how much storage requirements and performance expectations have changed since 2003.
- To Cloud, or Not to Cloud? Okay, this isn’t a “mistake” per se, but it’s a decision you’ll have to make in an area that you don’t have much expertise in. There is no way to jump right to the cloud-based Windows Server 2012 R2 from Win2K3 – you’d have to migrate to 2008 first, and then over to 2012 R2. Should you just stick with 2008, or does it make more sense long-term to take it one step further and go all the way to 2012?
- The Dreaded Active Directory: those who do go all the way to 2012 need to be very careful when they’re dealing with the active directory, as this is an area has proven to be especially problematic. Make a mistake here and you’ll find yourself dealing with frustrating application failures and network lockouts later on.
Having a professional IT expert to hold your hand through this process will save you a lot of time and ensure you don’t make any mistakes that will come back to bite you in the future.
Also, after migration, Spade Technology will stick around and provide ongoing support for whatever OS you decide to migrate to.