If your business depends on Windows Server 2003, you and your colleagues have less than a year until Microsoft will discontinue Server 2003 R2. Server 2003 currently accounts for about 20% of total Windows Server installations, but on July 14, 2015, all Windows Server 2003 extended support will end.
Although Windows Server 2003 comes in a number of editions to serve different sizes and types of businesses, all variants serve to provide email services, share files and printers, act as an application server, and many more tasks essential to everyday business.
If companies transition from Windows 2003, there may be compatibility issues with older software, especially when it comes to moving your applications. Server migrations require a lot of planning and ample forethought, so make sure to do your research. Here are three important steps in planning your migration from Windows Server 2003:
Take an Asset Inventory
Take an inventory of which applications and workloads are still running on Windows Server 2003 and check with publishers to ensure all of your software is upgradable to the latest version of the Windows operating system.
Plan your Windows 2003 Migration
Choose a migration date and decide where each application and workload will go. Will they be stored onsite, on premise, or is it time to move to the Cloud? Consider moving non-mission critical systems and file data first. Moving applications is complex, and if you do not do it carefully, you could be putting your company at risk. Consider integration with legacy applications, broadband internet requirements, and security needs over a wide area network.
Migrating from Windows 2003
When migrating your applications consider establishing a test environment to ensure data integrity and performance expectations are met. Train your employees as needed if you are moving to a new version of your application, as features, functions, and security requirements may have changed. Are you in over your head? Contact your Managed IT Services provider to learn more about your options well before July 14th.