End of Life for Windows Server 2003 is 14th July 2015. If you haven’t already upgraded, you really should. Not only is the platform inefficient compared to newer OS, it’s also going out of support in less than 160 days.
Once Windows Server 2003 reaches end of life, it will no longer receive patches, security fixes or any attention whatsoever from Microsoft. That leaves the system vulnerable to attack. Now is a good time to consider Server 2012.
There are thought to be around 10 million machines currently still running Windows Server 2003. Much like Windows XP, they are sorely in need of upgrade but familiarity and bespoke software holds them back. End of life doesn’t mean that all your Windows Server 2003 machines suddenly stop working. They will still provide the services you expect for a long time to come. What they won’t do is provide the level of security you need. Nor will they be cheap to run or maintain.
Operational costs always increase with older operating systems. You have to invest in third party security to keep them secure. You have to separate data and software so that you don’t lose everything when the server goes down and you have to look harder at your network security in order to fully secure all that infrastructure.
For those of you in regulated industries, any operating system regarded as end of life also is non-compliant.
That said, if you have a Windows Server 2003 machine that isn’t part of a network, or that uses custom software to operate a specific machine or process then you may not have to upgrade. But for all other scenarios, especially if they are part of a network, an upgrade should be regarded as essential. No upgrade for the sake of it
Excalibur doesn’t recommend the newest, shiniest technology for the sake of it. We only recommend something if it offers distinct business advantages, improves efficiency or makes your life easier. Compared to Windows Server 2003, Server 2012 does all three. Now, with end of life looming, it’s a good a time as any to consider upgrading.
The biggest threat to keeping your Windows Server 2003 machines running is security. With no more patches and no more exploration into vulnerabilities, you’re going to be wide open to exploits. While your external security solution may be effective. Nothing beats a multi-layered approach and having a secure OS is an essential part of that.
If you’re concerned about Windows Server 2003 machines, or would like to know more about what’s available to succeed it, contact our team today. We’re here to help!