As many are aware, support for Windows Server 2003 ends on July 14, 2015. Despite Microsoft’s early warning about the Windows Server 2003 End of Life date, many businesses are still using this aging server to run their OS.
According to Gartner, around 8 million Windows Server 2003 are still out there actively running Windows, as of November, 2014.
Even worse, many businesses are unaware of the business risks they are taking on by continuing to run Windows Server 2003.
Windows Server 2003 Business Risks
Updates and Security
As of July 14, 2015, Microsoft will no longer provide bug fixes or security patches for the platform. This means your system will be left vulnerable to new malware and hacking methods.
With the increase in data breaches we’ve seen since 2014, cybersecurity should be a priority for any business. Consider that in 2013 alone, Microsoft released 37 crucial updates for Windows Server 2003 R2.
It’s not cheap to run legacy servers. Extra investment in digital security, like intrusion detection systems, must be made to protect the vulnerable Windows Server 2003 platform.
David Mayer, practice director of Microsoft Solutions for Insight Enterprises, estimates a cost of $1,500.00 per server per year for Windows Server 2003 support. That cost can add up quickly for larger enterprises.
New software and hardware will not be designed to integrate with your outdated platform. Staying on Windows Server 2003 means you may not be able to install and run new software, or integrate it with other applications.
Once we reach end of life, your business will almost certainly fail to meet industry compliance standards. Many regulations, like HIPAA, PCI, and SOX, require that regulated industries run on supported servers. Non-compliance can lead not only to poor business practices, but fees and penalties that can increase your overall costs.
Migrating off of Windows Server 2003
With just under 80 days left until end of life, this may spell a huge problem for some as the migration off of the old server can range anywhere from a few weeks to 18 months, depending on the size and data requirements of the organization.
If you are still running Windows Server 2003, we urge that you plan your migration off of the soon-to-be-dead server, and begin this as soon as possible. If you do not have an internal IT team and need help or have questions, please contact our St. Louis Headquarters Office at (636) 777-4110 or complete our website contact form.
For information and best practices on migrating off of Windows Server 2003, visit Microsoft’s web page dedicated to the Windows Server 2003 end of life migration: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/windows-server-2003/?WT.mc_id=Blog_ServerCloud_General_TTD