As I’m sure you all know Windows Server 2003 Reaches End of Life on July 14th 2015 and this presents a challenge to many organisations.
What does it mean to you?
Well as of July the 14th Microsoft wont issue any more patches so any new problems or security flaws will not be fixed by Microsoft and new software or hardware such as printer devices might not be supported.
Coupled with this many organisations with Windows 2003 have old hardware which is in need of replacement but of course this adds to the cost and then there is the complexity of software which is not compatible with newer versions of Windows. In short you need to do something quickly!!
What can you do?
We’ve recently completed this for an organisation with over 200 2003 servers and the first thing we did was to perform an audit of all of their servers to establish how many Windows 2003 servers they had and what services they provided. This revealed some specific applications such as an accounting application as well as more basic services including DHCP, DNS and file and print.
Our next task was to contact the application suppliers and determine if the application could simply be moved to a later version of Windows and if so how would this be done, what would the process be and who would do it. If this was not possible we looked in to what could be done and what would the costs be. A very similar process was undertaken for all the other services such as file and network services.
Armed with this data we were able to create a migration plan which identified all the dependencies and risks and allowed us to tackle the implementation phase in a controlled and logical way.
For this customer it was a considerable amount of work but clearly if you have a single server you have a far easier project than an organisation with several hundred!!