“Windows Server 2003 End-of-Support is right around the corner In preparing for this moment, CIOs, IT Managers, Infrastructure Engineers, Application Managers, and Developers (Yes, I said Developers – it’s not a typo) who are currently running this loved OS should pause to look carefully at their options.  This is one of the largest IT opportunities of this decade, and the next opportunity to innovate not only in the datacenter, but also in the delivery and production of applications that drive today’s businesses.

The opportunities to advance are not marked by mere lift-and-shift actions, but the consideration of how each and every application, workload, embedded system, is or is not meeting the demands of today.  This is a leaps and bounds moment that will require effort on all fronts of IT, and once embraced, will benefit IT, the business, employees, and customers in ways that were not previously possible.  This is your moment to innovate within infrastructure and applications.”

Ok, so that was the pitch – but honestly speaking, inspirational words aside… it is flat out true.  Over ten years have passed since the release of Windows Server 2003, and it’s flattering that a large number of businesses continue to run critical applications and workloads on this same OS.  With that being said, the end of support (EOS) for the tried and true Windows Server 2003 family of products will occur July 14, 2015.  After this date, all patches and security updates will cease and any businesses continuing to run Windows Server 2003, will face compliance issues with increased vulnerabilities.  Which means that all of those workloads, data sets, applications (yes, even those that your employees complain about using on a daily basis), they are also facing this EOS.

In this blog series, we’re going to be sharing details on how you can ensure success in your migration efforts, and the continued protection of your company’s data; as well as ways to improve the overall health of your IT department while providing better services, applications, reliability and agility.   

The Windows Server team understands that the time to complete a migration and the complexity of each is unique to each business.  The planning process itself can be a daunting one.  Because of this, we want to ensure that you are aware of all of the tools that can assist with your migration, and point out opportunities for upgrade and taking advantage of the newest technologies.  Whether you’re looking to move Microsoft Workloads, Microsoft Applications, Custom Application as well as Third-Party Applications, this blog series will provide you with a framework to plan and execute your own individual migration project.

We’ll be following the four steps of migration planning for this series:

Until our next post, we encourage you to visit the Windows Server 2003 end-of-support website. Here you will find a number of additional resources to help your planning and decision-making. Microsoft and Partners are here to assist you, because today is your day one of embracing the fact that Windows Server 2003 End of Support is one of the largest IT moments of this decade.  You are the one in the driver’s seat, and you are the one steering your business forward. 

Look for our next blog post on September 9, 2014. In this post, we’ll discuss why discovery is important.