Windows Server 2003 – Time to Upgrade

Windows Server 2003, released in 2003 is nearing its end of life/end of support. This means that users of Windows Server 2003 will not receive patches, security updates or support moving forward as of the soon approaching – July 2015. As a business owner, you should never continue to run software that is no longer supported as it exposes you to very real financial risks that cannot be mitigated. When software cannot be patched or supported it leaves you in a precarious situation:

  • No Support Option – When a product is put in end of support you can no longer obtain support for bug and vulnerabilities. This leaves you in a very difficult position for managing your mission critical applications when the vendor no longer backs you up.
  • Perpetual Zero Day – Zero day vulnerabilities are vulnerabilities that are not yet know by the vendor of the software itself but are known by cybercriminals and other malicious actors. This translates to your unpatched, unsupported Windows 2003 servers being perpetually vulnerable to exploitation. Think boundless risk and costs.
  • Compliance Headaches – If you are in a regulated industry where compliance is important then running EOL/EOS software generally leaves you out of compliance. PCI, HIPAA, MA Privacy Directive among others require that you patch, update and secure your systems – this isn’t possible when the software is no longer supported.

Microsoft states it best: As of, July 14, 2015, all Windows Server 2003 support, including security updates and security-related hotfixes, will end.

Simply put;  its time to plan to upgrade if you haven’t already.

Many Paths Forward

Thankfully we live in a time of IT options a plenty. One can upgrade to Windows Server 2012, deploy one of many cloud options such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Rackspace (among others) – in private, public or hybrid configurations. At Evolutionary IT, we don’t have a single long term customer who isn’t already migrated to a supported, stable and fully patched operating system. Your IT provider or department should always be proactively addressing these issues well before known deadlines. Contact us to learn how we can help or join our mailing list for monthly updates on IT issues critical to your business.

7 thoughts on “Windows Server 2003 – Time to Upgrade”

  1. Thank you for the update. I’ve been looking to upgrade to Windows Server 2012 for sometime now, especially considering how dated 2003 is beginning to feel. With the recent “death” of Windows XP, I suppose this was the next natural step so I’ve seen this coming for quite sometime. Hopefully, Windows Server 2012 will be as easy to use and setup as 2003 was back in the day! It’s good to know that there are multiple options for me to choose other than the Windows Server system, I may do some research into one of the cloud configurations mentioned.

  2. Whilst it is a pain that I am now being essentially forced to upgrade, I suppose it’s been a long time coming. Hopefully, Windows server 2012 will not be too great a leap forward, as I currently do not have the time to invest into learning how to operate a new system. Thanks for the information!

  3. People still use Windows server 2003? Wow! I thought people would’ve stopped using that system years ago, but now that Microsoft has pulled the plug, I presume everyone will be upgrading to 2012. About time if you ask me!

  4. With the “Xpocalypse” as you accurately put it, I can see why Windows 2003 is no longer being supported. I mean it’s certainly not up to today’s standards anyway, plus Windows 2012 has been available for sometime now, which means that there is no reason why people shouldn’t have upgraded by now. I would consider ourselves lucky that Microsoft continued to support 2003 for so long, they easily could have eliminated support with the release of Windows Server 2012.

  5. We just updated our server with Windows Server 2012 couple of months ago. The technical person at our firm who upgraded the server also told us that Linux is another alternative to Windows Server 2012, what is your opinion about that? Thank you.

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