5 Things to Know when Exiting Windows Server 2003
End of life? How about a new beginning!
Microsoft ends its support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. Like they say in the GEICO commercials, you probably already know this. Even so, it’s time to get going on your organization’s own Windows Server 2003 exit strategy.
There are so many reasons to make the move. But where do you start? Here are five things you must consider:
- Do you need to migrate everything?
Doing an inventory of your applications and workloads is the best way to get a handle on what you really need to keep. You’ll save time and money if you decommission systems no longer required for your business. When you come across unused, replaced or retired systems, plan to get rid of them.
- To virtualize or not virtualize?
You may want to increase the number of workloads that are virtualized. Assess the feasibility of moving underutilized physical workloads to virtual machines; it will enable you to cut back on your server footprint, saving you money in power, facilities, management and new infrastructure required.
If you do have virtualized workloads, now is the time to assess your virtualization platform. In moving to Windows Server 2012 R2, you may save money migrating workloads from VMware to Microsoft Hyper-V.
- Host it yourself or use cloud services?
Another consideration is whether to move systems to the cloud — to either a hosted service such as Microsoft Azure or a SaaS platform such as Office 365. Many enterprises are taking advantage of the cloud to improve the cost-effectiveness and efficiencies of their data centers. However, you may decide to maintain systems on-site due to security, compliance or business requirements.
- Migrate yourself or hire someone else to do it?
Again, a significant decision. There are multiple ways to perform this migration — do-it-yourself versus hiring an IT consultant, and piecemeal approach versus staged versus rapid turnaround. Ask yourself these questions:
- What is a smart time frame to get it done?
- Can I take services down and get by for any length of time without them?
- Do I have the resources internally to do it myself?
The answers to these should help you decide the best course of action.
- Are you aware of opportunities with this migration?
While the challenge may seem daunting, this migration should be seen as an opportunity to upgrade your data center and your business for the future.
You could be missing out on the value of the cloud and virtualization, the benefits of self-service IT and automation, and having a scalable, more secure, more reliable and cost-efficient infrastructure. Now’s your chance.