Just because you bought a server recently doesn't mean that you don't still have an old server or virtual machine running the older version of windows. Contact us for a free consultation.

End of Life (EOL) is July 14, 2015 for Windows Server 2003 and 2003R2.


Why do I need to replace my old operating system? What does End of Life (EOL) mean?

The operating system will no longer be supported by Microsoft, which means if there are any security holes or issues that are found in the future, Microsoft will not provide an update for it, leaving the machine vulnerable to attack, or with hobbled functionality.

Further, compliance standards require fully patched operating systems. An older operating system that has reached End of Life will not meet these standards such as PCI compliance for credit card processing.

What are the disadvantages of upgrading?

  1. You may have software that you are using on the server that is incompatible with the upgraded OS. For example, server versions of windows AFTER 2003R2 have User Account Control and other features that may require custom compatibility configurations or upgrades to the software you use.
  2. The upgrade process may require downtime to any systems that depend on that server.

Despite these and any other disadvantages that may come up during your upgrade, they can and should all be worked through in order to bring your systems up to date.

What are my options?

There are three options you may be able to consider:

  1. Upgrade the server's operating system to a newer version.
  2. Replace the existing server with a new server
  3. Migrate to a cloud based server

The viability of each option depends many factors such as, what you are currently using the server for, how old your current hardware is, etc.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each option?

  1. Upgrade the OS to a newer version
    • Advantage: This option does not usually require migration of the existing data, so it usually is the most cost effective in the short-term.
    • Disadvantage: There can be more downtime during the upgrade, and the options for a back-out/mitigation plan in case of issues are limited.
  2. Replace existing server with a new server
    • Advantage: With new hardware also comes warranties on the new hardware and it is statistically less likely to have a hardware failure in the coming years. Also you will be taking advantage of Moore's law that says the newer equipment will be exponentially faster.
    • Disadvantage: This typically has the most up-front cost, even though it could save you money in the long-run.
  3. Migrate to cloud based
    • Advantage: Eliminates need for hardware all together and no need to upgrade the system in the future.
    • Disadvantage: This is an ongoing monthly expense which may not make sense for large installations or customers that are able to maximize the life out of their equipment. This also may not be an option for customers that have custom software installed, or that require an on-premise server for other reasons.

What should I do next?

Contact us for an analysis of the best option specific to your unique business and situation.

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