End of Support Windows Server 2003

Now we all survived the end of support for Windows XP with the only damage being seen in our bank accounts and maybe a file or two missing. We have another apocalypse to overcome within the next year being end of support for Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2. In less than 1 year on July 14, 2015 Microsoft is ending extended support for these operating systems.

This is nothing to panic about, but if you are a business still using Windows Server 2003 infrastructure now is the perfect time to start the migration process.  Microsoft started to warn customers about the ending support when Microsoft Server 2003 went into extended support in 2010. Therefore this means no more updates and patches coming from Microsoft, and there will also be a loss of compliance to datacenters that are running the OS. There are plenty of Windows options to migrate too such as Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, and 2012 R2. Maybe your business no longer needs a server. Now is the time to assess server infrastructure and make a plan for the future. Microsoft has provided a 4 step process on their website to help companies migrate.

  • Discover
  • Assess
  • Target
  • Migrate
Microsoft also has released a tool to help companies start planning the migration: http://migrationplanningassistant.azurewebsites.net/
Why is all this end of support happening recently? Well it is all part of Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle policy. Microsoft Support Lifecycle is a policy that provides consistent and predictable guidelines for product support availability when a product releases and throughout that product’s life. This allows customers to maximize the management of IT investments and plan for future IT success. The policy applies to most products currently available through retail purchase or volume licensing and most future release products. The policy includes:
  • 10 years of support (5 years mainstream and 5 years extended) at the supported service pack level for business, developer and desktop operating system products.
  • 5 years mainstream support at service pack level for consumer and multimedia products.
  • 4 years mainstream support for consumer hardware products.
  • Main stream support is the first phase of product lifecycle and it includes:
  • Incident support (no-charge incident support, paid incident support, support charged on an hourly basis, support for warranty claims)
  • Security update support
  • The ability to request non-security hotfixes
  • Extended support is the phase which follows mainstream support for business, developer, and desktop operating systems it includes:
  • Paid support
  • Security update support at no additional cost
  • Non-security related hotfix support requires a separate extended hotfix support agreement to be purchased (per-fix fees also apply). This agreement is not available for Desktop Operating System consumer products.
Thinking about Microsoft Support Lifecycle now is the perfect time to upgrade a Windows Server 2003 machine if you still want to get the most out of it. Microsoft is ending mainstream support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. Call Certified Network Systems to start planning migration today.