End of Life Nears for Critical Microsoft Workload: How to Prepare
This summer hasn’t even ended yet but it’s not too early to start thinking about the next one considering that’s when Microsoft’s extended support for Windows Server 2003 runs out.
Come July 14, 2015 all versions of Windows Server 2003 will officially reach their end-of-life. Once that date hits, the updates and security patches from Microsoft will dry up, and organizations still running the old software will be left to fend for themselves.
That can put them in danger of having marauding hackers or cybercriminals get their hands on sensitive corporate data.
Organizations which fail to upgrade also run the risk of falling out of compliance with industry security regulations mandated by laws such as HIPAA, leading to heavy fines or penalties.
That’s not even factoring in the price tag for continuing to run those legacy servers, which could potentially surpass the cost of actually upgrading servers. After all, in order to ensure legacy servers are safe, organizations will need to invest in sophisticated security measures like advanced firewalls and intrusion-detection systems.
Without question the time is now for organizations to start looking into upgrading to newer versions such as Windows Server 2012 R2.
What kind of results can companies that do upgrade to Windows Server 2012 R2 expect?
According to a study by Forrester Research, they could see:
- an ROI of about 270%
- a six-month turnaround time to start seeing payback on their investment
- a risk-adjusted net present value (NPV) of $3,939,054, and
- a 35% decrease in overall server management costs.
While they’re making the switch, organizations also have the perfect opportunity to strategically decide on what platform these legacy workloads should be running on. Now is the time to review and understand how the Microsoft Cloud OS, which leverages a hybrid cloud approach, can help.
Some questions organizations need to ask while evaluating their current position might include:
- What does my Windows Server 2003 footprint look like?
- What applications are running on the 2003 OS?
- Do I currently have support for those applications running on Win 2003?
- How do I plan to remediate and mitigate risks of running legacy workloads post EOL date?
As always, there are pitfalls waiting to snag organizations during the upgrade process. For example, some companies have had their efforts to upgrade to Windows Server 2012 R2 stalled due to a Kerberos bug which causes authentication failures, preventing users from logging in to their system.
The good news is there are ways to mitigate the risks and minimize the possible business disruptions that can go along with making changes to your system. Arraya Solutions can steer organizations through the process, so they can upgrade without the headaches.
To find out more about how Arraya can help, visit www.ArrayaSolutions.com.
Follow Arraya on Twitter @ArrayaSolutions