If you are like most organizations, over the past year or two you have been removing Windows XP from your environments in an effort to meet Microsoft’s end of support deadline. Now that you have (hopefully) completed that effort, it is now time to remove all Server 2003 instances from your environment – and you have until July 15, 2015 to do it.
The prospect of removing Server 2003 from your environment might be even more complicated than removing XP was, due to the fact that your applications that may not be compatible with 64 bit Server OS’s, or that you have older versions of your application that need to be upgraded at the same time as your Server upgrade.
If you have applications that require 32 bit servers, you have only two options, Server 2003 and Server 2008 – not R2. If your applications do not have updates that make them 64 bit compatible, then upgrading to Server 2008 isn’t a bad idea, it is just not a long term solution. Of course you can always pay Microsoft for “super extended” support after July 15th but what CIO would like to do that?
The crux of the issue is to remove/upgrade/replace any 32 bit applications in your environment ASAP, and by doing so, that allows you the freedom to upgrade to 2012 server, or even 2008 R2 if you do not like to be on the latest and greatest.
As you look at your current IT Projects, if you have Server 2003 or 2008 in your environment, the top project should be the identification, upgrade and removal of those servers, and any applications that they host. If they are simple File/Print servers, then that is pretty easy stuff. But if they are hosting your core business applications, that haven’t been upgraded for 3+ years, then you have a significant project on your hands.
So, let this be your final notice. You have just over three months until Microsoft pulls the plug on Server 2003 R2. Microsoft has already put Server 2008 on life support, so only go this route if you absolutely have to. The best advice is to upgrade and modernize your environment and applications to support the now standard 64 bit architecture of systems.
For more information on how we can help to update your server or for RSM’s technology offerings please check out our website. You can also contact RSM’s technology consulting professionals at 800.274.3978 or email us.