Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Stop Using Windows Server 2003

April 2, 2015

July 2015, Microsoft will end its support for the 12-year old Windows Server 2003 operating system. There will be no new security updates, or support plans scheduled, is your company ready for the change?

Why Should I Upgrade?

Microsoft server 2003 operating systems rely on update patches to protect against new vulnerabilities. In July 2015, Microsoft will provide no further security updates or software patches for Windows Server 2003—leaving companies vulnerable to security threats. Microsoft issues dozens of critical security updates for Windows Server every year and missing these will leave you susceptible to security breakdowns such as harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious malware.

Many companies comply with mandatory audits, such as HIPAA and PCI. Running outdated software can trigger non-compliance, leading to unforeseen costs. Direct costs associated with failing to meet such regulations include severe fines ranging from $100-$50,000, and other subsequent audit expenses. Other indirect costs could include loss of data integrity and a jeopardized corporate reputation.

Simply put, any new software or device you attempt to connect, install or configure on your Windows Server 2003 box may not properly work. Due to the Windows Server 2003 End of Life, many manufacturers will no longer provide compatible devices and software.

Keeping Windows Server 2003 systems operational after system expiration will increase operational expenses over time. Short-term savings from not upgrading will turn to long-term costs associated with maintaining legacy servers such as the cost of enhanced security and support.

Unlike the old days where the only option was to update hardware and/or upgrade software, companies now have many options when deciding what to do with legacy systems. You can migrate to the cloud, virtualize, upgrade to multiple new versions of Windows Server 2003, or create a hybrid solution. All of these options provide you greater functionality as well such as Branche Cache, Server Manager, and online storage.

How Can I Upgrade?

Step 1 – Choose a Partner: Migrating and upgrading your organization-wide systems are complex challenges that require a trusted migration partner.  An experienced managed services solutions provider can deliver a quick and painless transition and reduce unnecessary downtime. DISYS can provide end-to-end migration guidance to help you modernize and attain the benefits from a newer version of Windows.

Step 2 – Discover: Catalog your applications, hardware, and services. According to industry best practices, Microsoft recommends cataloging every item into the following four categories for each Windows 2003 server that exists in your current environment:

  • Server Role
  • Microsoft Application
  • Third Party Application
  • Custom Application

Step 3 – Assess: Assess the risk, criticality, and impact of each item within the catalog. DISYS can help your organization determine the right solution customized to your work environment such as housing applications on a cloud, while keeping more secure files on an on premise server. The hybrid model is particularly valuable with changeable workloads and variable costs, providing companies with greater flexibility.

Step 4 – Target: Select a new destination for your application from the options below:

  • A newer version of physical Windows Server solution
  • Cloud solution
  • Hybrid solution
  • Virtual solution

DISYS’ tailored Microsoft solutions span the entire Microsoft product portfolio. We evaluate our clients’ network of hardware, servers, and application systems and detect potential points of improvement. Based on an initial assessment, we recommend one of the above solutions that will seamlessly integrate into your environments.

Step 5 – Remediate: Choose your remediation option once your destination is targeted. There are five remediation options to any item within your Windows 2003 server catalog defined during your discovery phase:

  • Migrate
  • Find an alternative
  • Repair, rewrite or refactor
  • Virtualize
  • Upgrade

This process may sound overwhelming, but with the right partner, a seamless transition is possible. DISYS has helped companies of all sizes migrate their data to a new solution. Please visit to find out more about how we can help your company upgrade.

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