Security Threats as Windows Server 2003 support ends

Soon Windows Server 2003 will reach the end of its life and mass migration will occur in data centres across the world. Currently there are around 23.8 million instances of Windows Server 2003 running across physical servers worldwide, that Microsoft estimates.

Whilst many individuals and companies may be wary about moving from a currently reliable server to an entirely new solution, there are several reasons why making the move is unavoidable. Do you know what Server 2003’s End-of-Life means to you and your business? Alarmingly, 63% of businesses do not.

Time is running out. Windows Server 2003 support ends on July 14th 2015.

What does end of life mean?

  • No Updates – No more automatic fixes against viruses. The security of your infrastructure will be compromised.
  • Compliance Issues – Your existing accreditations will be in jeopardy. No Safe Haven – Even virtualised instances of Server 2003 will be unable to pass a compliance audit.
  • Higher Costs – Monitoring Server 2003 will begin costing you more. Why expose your company to risk and spend more than you have to?

Is the answer in the Cloud?

With one of the primary reasons for migration being the risk of security threats and compliance issues, private Cloud could be the resolution required. Built on the clean side of your firewall your company can access all files and applications without entering the public domain. This negates the need for concern about threats to your confidential data.

Whilst the move from physical to virtual may seem daunting and there may be concerns about the change, benefits like this will help and not hinder your organisation in the long run. For example, using a virtualized platform can reduce future costs; private Cloud is fully scalable so if you require more disk space or RAM this can quickly be added to ensure your server has the resources it requires. This makes it the ideal solution for companies with plans for future expansion or change.

Technology has advanced greatly since 2003 and Windows Server 2003 has been left behind, with new services like IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and Cloud available it is wise to look in to all available options when deciding on how to make the migration from your existing server.

Planning Ahead

There is no quick fix to upgrading your servers and so the time should be taken to create a comprehensive plan for the migration:

  • What are your options? Research the opportunities available and select the one that works best for your company. Whether that is Windows Server 2012 or perhaps a Cloud solution; ensure you thoroughly research the options before placing your order and making the change.
  • Do you need to upgrade hardware? Existing hardware may not run on the new operating system that you choose, particularly if it doesn’t have cross-compatibility. Investigate whether your hardware will successfully run and if not, the costs and implications associated with this.
  • Do you have a suitable budget? Ensure that your budget covers all necessary equipment and any possible eventualities that may be faced during the transition. Knowing exactly what you will be spending and on what will allow you to plan more efficiently and means the cost can be factored in to your budget.

If facing the migration alone seems like a daunting prospect, enlisting the help of a professional services company may be the answer. Select one that offers migration services and allow them to take over the bulk of work on your behalf, leaving you safe in the knowledge that the process is being handled by professionals.

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