On 14th July 2015, Microsoft will officially stop supporting Server 2003. Whilst upgrading may not be a top priority for many business managers, their systems will become immediately unreliable and unsafe by July 15th, as Microsoft will no longer be releasing further security patches that help protect the network from harmful viruses or spyware, software and content updates or providing assisted technical support.
Since Server 2003’s launch, technology and networking has changed heavily, and the system is not able to fulfil modern businesses needs as well as newer servers. With the 10-year-old system soon becoming obsolete, business managers can choose between a range of different upgrade options, including Microsoft’s Server 2008 or Server 2012.
Whilst business managers may not be suffering any issues with their Windows Server 2003 right now, any issues that arise after 14th July will be unfixable, and their applications will be left running on a platform that can’t reliably maintain them. Therefore it’s worth upgrading sooner rather than later, before the server is rendered unusable and the business is left without a fully functioning network at the worst possible time.
By sticking with Server 2003, business managers will be leaving their business highly vulnerable to hacking, and compliance will become a much more difficult issue, and relying on Server 2003 can have a large impact on critical parts of the business, as confidentiality and integrity of data, system resources and business assets will all become compromised as a result. Application updates will also no longer support Windows Server 2003, effectively forcing a server upgrade in order to use their newest features.
Sever 2003 users will most likely also have hardware that is just as old, and nowhere near as reliable or offering as high performance levels as new hardware. Upgrading hardware is something that needs to be done, but managers can be reluctant to do so as to not disturb the rest of their infrastructure – upgrading servers also offers a perfect opportunity to upgrade hardware, meaning business can give their entire system an overhaul and ensure that everything is completely up-to-date, rather than having to upgrade another part every year.
Business managers will have to decide between either leaving their outdated systems as they are for now, avoiding a short-term disturbance but risking the security and stability of their system and business in the long run, or upgrading now and ensuring their network remains fully operational and will continue to be protected by upcoming patches and support.
Server migration takes time, and depending on the size of the business this can be a few weeks or months, so it is recommended that business managers look to introduce upgrades as soon as possible, ready for July 14th.