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Win Server 2003 EOS Is Coming [New Survey] By @AppZero_Inc | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]

How you should be preparing for Win Server 2003 EOS

Windows Server 2003 End of Support Is Coming – Are You Ready? [New Survey]

The clock is ticking:  the End of Support for Windows Server 2003, #WS2003EOS, arrives this July, as in four months from now.  This means there will be no more patches or security updates and your applications and business will be at risk. New threats won't be addressed and WS2003 systems will be a security risk and compliance nightmare.  Especially for those in heavily regulated industries -- pharmaceuticals, banking/finance and insurance, as well as any company that processes credit card transactions -- this will cause a heavy compliance burden and could put you at risk of accruing penalties and fines.

Industry experts' estimates vary widely, ranging between 10 and 20 million WS2003 machines still running worldwide (the most commonly cited estimate currently is 13 million machines).  For the majority of Windows Server 2003 instances, the applications have been running just fine. For years in fact, they have been running fine and moving them seems to be one of those jobs that no one wants to do. So, the first question often asked is "can I do nothing" and just continue to run my business on Windows Sever 2003?

We at AppZero have been examining this question for the past year with IT pros in the fortune 1,000 via an ongoing industry survey.  You can read the full report on the WS2003 EOS survey here (registration required) and find out what steps your peers are taking to minimize their risk.

There are many reasons why the answer to the question "can I do nothing?" is an emphatic "No."  Even though the operating system was released 12 years ago (in April 2003), there are still quite a number of patches that are regularly released.  In 2013, Microsoft released 37 critical patches; 26 patches in 2014. Without those patches, WS2003 servers will become vulnerable and will be out of compliance.  And consider this:  different versions of Windows are built on top of a shared kernel that evolves very slowly.  With the end of support of Windows XP, and soon Windows 2003, there is reason to believe that the number of critical vulnerabilities will increase.

When patches for Windows 7, Windows 8, WS 2008 or WS 2012 are released, hackers can see where the fixes are made. These patches provide a roadmap to where exploits likely exist in the Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 editions, and hackers know that those older systems are not getting those critical patches because support for them has ended.  This is why many believe that there will be a significant increase in the risks of continuing to run on Windows 2003 after the summer of 2015.

According to a report by industry analyst IDC, "Customers that go beyond the termination of extended support place themselves at potential security risks and potentially in a regulatory noncompliance situation. Even if regulatory compliance is not a concern, the security improvements that Windows Server 2012 R2 offers are worth adopting if just to help defend against industrial espionage."

The choice you make in remediating this threat can affect your datacenter strategy for the foreseeable future, so it's worth reviewing all of the possible upgrade options. Traditional methods of modernizing applications -- reinstalling, upgrading the machine or rebuilding -- are orders of magnitude more complex, expensive and time consuming than the newer approach of migrating applications onto a new OS.  P2V and V2V tools for migrating machines add no value when it comes to modernizing the OS infrastructure. It may also be worth considering moving some of your applications to the Cloud as part of your upgrade process.

AppZero's up level app migration tool quickly and easily moves your applications from old, bare metal machines that run outdated versions of the Windows OS onto a cloud or dedicated hosting environment that runs Windows Server 2008 (R2) or Windows 2012.

Read the latest WS2003 EOS survey report to help assess your readiness for this game-changing event.  The results will allow you to benchmark your readiness for #WS2003EOS against your peers and help clarify the steps you need to take to protect yourself.

More Stories By Adine Deford

Adine Deford is the CMO for AppZero – the fastest and most flexible way to move workloads across clouds and datacenter servers, without re-engineering, re-installation, or lock-in. With more than two decades of technology marketing experience, she has a deep understanding of the power of “trigger events” in launching disruptive technologies. She predicts that the end of life for Windows Server 2003 scheduled for July 2015, will be the event that puts application migration, particularly cloud migration on the map. You can follow her on Twitter at @AdineDeford.