End of Support for Windows Server 2003: Are you prepared?

windows-server-2003As 2014 comes to a close, businesses in Washington, DC are planning their IT projects for the coming year. It looks like many organizations are going to add one more unexpected project to that list. Microsoft announced that they are ending support for Windows Server 2003/R2 on July 14, 2015. For those business leaders who aren’t tech savvy, this means that there could be a dramatic impact on the stability and security of your IT infrastructure. Don’t look at the date and assume this isn’t a discussion that needs to happen right now. The sooner you understand what this means, and how it can affect your business, the better prepared you’ll be. So, what does the end of support mean, exactly?

No updates

In 2013, Microsoft released a total of 37 critical updates for Windows Server 2003/R2. Server 2003 is a crucial part of your IT infrastructure. These critical updates and helped with security and stability of Server 2003, and without these updates, you’re leaving your infrastructure vulnerable. It’s scary to think what will happen to your infrastructure if you’re software isn’t getting critical updates and patches.

No savings

The cost of maintaining servers can be costly. The older the servers, the more they cost. If you decide to not update your servers running Windows Server 2003, you’re going to need to invest in more hardware to isolate those servers. Intrusion detection systems, advanced firewalls, and network segmentation are all added costs that could be simply avoided by updating the systems ahead of time. Staying put with 2003 will definitely cost you more down the road.

No safety net

When your servers become out of date due to software, you’re going to come across issues that need troubleshooting. Normally, your IT provider will first attempt to diagnose the issue and correct it right then and there. However, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll need to consult Microsoft. Unfortunately, “end of support” means exactly that – END OF SUPPORT. You don’t have your safety net. You’re only option would be to consult experts and hope they can troubleshoot. This is costly, and not optimal at all.

Now, armed with the details of the potential dramatic impact that this could have on your IT infrastructure, it’s time to decide what to do. Do you keep the status quo and hope for the best? Do you wait until the last minute to migrate and risk the cost of waiting too late? At FedSolutions, we suggest starting this process now. There’s no time to wait. The sooner you decide how you want to proceed, you can use the luxury of time to go at your own pace and make sure it’s done correctly the first time. If you have any questions on how to proceed, please contact us, and our Microsoft Experts will gladly work with your organization.