Technology has changed drastically over the last 11 years. Remember when we had to use maps to get around? Us either. But back when Window’s Server 2003 (WS 2003) was first released that’s how we did it. Looking back, a lot of our technology, workloads and processes were inefficient. You need more to run your most important workloads than you did back then which is why Microsoft has announced that the end of life for WS 2003 will be July 14, 2015. It’s time to move onto bigger and better things. It’s time to start thinking migration, and the opportunity to enable your business to keep up with all this newfangled technology.

What does this mean for you?

All support for WS 2003 will cease, there will be no patches or security updates, and no new threats will be addressed. Considering there were 37 critical security updates applied in 2013 alone continuing to run WS 2003 can put your applications at risk and can ensure failure on standard compliance audits.

Experts estimate that there are more than 10 million machines still running WS 2003 that will soon be left to fend for themselves. Are you one of them?

Where to Begin

Let’s face it, if migrating your WS 2003 environment to a current state was easy you probably would have done it by now. Waiting is risky and expensive. You need a plan.

Simply migrating like for like is not a solution. This major change is your opportunity to refresh your business, adjust inefficiencies and improve productivity. Migrating to Windows Server 2012 will help enable your business to become lean, streamlined and more productive than ever.

5 Things to consider

In any environment there are a lot of moving parts and interdependencies. Understanding how all these relationships will be impacted is a critical element for your success. Here are five things to consider when beginning the planning process.

1) Active Directory Services

The core service that all your applications and services run on. It’s what governs who does what in your business. Start with ensuring you understand what new features of Server 2012 are available and applicable to you and your business. Understanding the new options allows you to build a modern platform that delivers on performance, automation, consolidation and efficiency.

2) File Shares

Data is everything. Server 2012 gives us the opportunity to refresh and design a new plan for how your people access their key data. Your users want anytime, anywhere on any device access. You need a solution that strikes the balance between what your users need to be successful and what the business needs to feel secure about access, privacy and governance.

3) Applications

Applications run your business. Migrating applications from Windows Server 2003 is not always a simple upgrade. There are interdependencies associated with every application between the server and the desktop. Review each application for compatibility and migration risks associated with the move.

Eliminate software integration issues, improve reliability, and increase availability and security by passing your most critical workloads and applications onto us. With our Managed Applications program you pay a fixed fee per application and we ensure it is always on when you need it to be.

4) Consolidation

Identify where your consolidation opportunities exist. Explore options for virtualization and cloud services. Because it has been years since your original installation, you will likely be surprised by the savings, efficiencies, redundancy and other benefits you will realize in your new, fully optimized investment.

5) Desktop and Devices

With any change to your core active directory or applications there is a potential impact to your desktop. Compatibility or prerequisite issues can affect the success of your migration.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed? You know what to do you just need help getting started. Our Windows Server 2012 Boost Program will give you a custom, step-by-step guide to ensure you don’t miss anything on the road to efficiency. With the Boost Program you’ll have the ability to rocket forward with your migration and implement the latest thinking, design and best practices.

What are you waiting for? Windows Server 2003 end of life is just around the corner. Helping clients avoid downtime or other pitfalls associated with upgrades while leveraging the business benefits of new technology is what we do best. Contact today to get started!