Is Windows Server 2003 a Problem?
It is estimated that Windows Server 2003 is currently installed on around 11 million servers worldwide. The operating system is going “End of life” on the 14th July 2015. This means that, as with Windows XP in April 2014, Microsoft will stop producing security fixes for it from this point. It doesn’t mean that it will stop working, however, without the necessary security updates the operating system will become increasingly vulnerable to malicious attacks. It also means for businesses that are regulated, the existence of a Windows Server 2003 server on their network would result in a failed compliance audit. As such Windows Server 2003 should be retired as soon as possible.
The solution is (probably) to install Windows Server 2012, but the question is “where?”. The options are essentially in the Cloud or on-premise. As our previous articles have outlined, any regulated business needs to undertake significant due diligence before committing to a Cloud based service, especially in terms of data security, business continuity and cost.
There are pros and cons for each option and whilst Cloud Computing is definitely not the panacea that the hype would have us believe, it may be right for your business, but it should not be the automatic choice.
The key thing to bear in mind with all this is that whether you select a Cloud based or an on-premise solution, this is only the delivery method. In essence, neither will help your business unless the applications that you are running provide the services your business requires to grow.
Going back to the original question, “Is Windows Server 2003 a Problem?”, you could decide to continue using Windows Server 2003 if you really want or need to. Whilst there will be no way to properly secure the server after April 2015, ensuring it is adequately backed up, ideally by virtualising it, would minimise the time taken to reinstate it if or when it is compromised.
Where do NLDC fit in?
The impending demise of Windows Server 2003 is one example of how we can help you. If you are simply looking to upgrade your system, but maintain the status quo, then NLDC could provide Project Management resource to make sure the upgrade runs smoothly. When any system becomes unsupported, unsuitable or simply no longer fit for purpose, it needs replacing with a solution that will drive the business forward, not simply swapping out. NLDC can work with you, in the same way you would expect an IT Director to, to specify a solution that takes into account your business’s starting point and how you want to develop and grow. All the time ensuring that you extract maximum value from new and existing investments.