Windows Server 2003 End-of-Support reminder

On July 14, 2015 Microsoft will be discontinuing support on Windows Server 2003 after being supported by Microsoft for 12 years.  Windows Server 2003 was originally released to the public on April 24, 2003 and has been succeeded by Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, and development is coming along quickly on Windows Server 2016.

What does this mean to me?

When Microsoft ends support of a product, this correlates to two major changes. The first is that Microsoft will no longer release any feature or security patches for that product. Any new bugs within the software or any new security vulnerabilities will not be rectified by Microsoft. While it is easy to think that Microsoft would have found all the critical issues in such an old operating system, there are still new issues and vulnerabilities being discovered in Windows Server 2003. For example, in 2013 alone Microsoft released 37 fixes identified as critical for Windows Server 2003. With no new fixes being released, your server could be more vulnerable to attacks from cyber hackers, rather than being fixed as they are identified. In addition, Microsoft will no longer provide any type of technical support for Windows Server 2003. Any issues will be left to support professionals to resolve on a best effort basis.

What are my options?

HCST recommends replacement of any servers that are still using the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 network operating system. In most cases, servers running Windows Server 2003 are 5 years old at minimum, and many servers running Windows Server 2003 are much older than that. The generally accepted lifetime of a server is 5-7 years. Upgrading to a new server should be thought of as not only a cost of business, but also an investment in the business and its employees. Servers are the heart of a business network for most organizations, and server downtime can quickly add up to significant amounts in lost employee productivity and sales, not to mention the labor costs associated with recovering from a server down issue. Imagine facing an important deadline, and not be able to gain access to critical files as a result of a server failing that was left in production too long.

HCST will be happy to analyze your current network, whether you are still using an aging Windows Server 2003 server and are looking for recommendations on how to move forward, or are just wondering if there is something available that will better suit the networking needs of your organization.

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For further information on this or any other HCST services, please contact us!