Last fall we wrote a post about planning for Windows Server 2003 end of life. In that post, we recommended migrating to new server hardware and upgrading to the current version of Windows Server which is Server 2012 R2. Well, now just a few months remain until Windows Server 2003 reaches the end and we thought it was worth another mention. As of July 14th, 2015, security updates will no longer be released, new applications and programs will no longer support the OS, and systems will fall out of compliance.
You may be asking…”What steps can I take to prepare?” Well, you can start with these 3 actions:
Step 1: Make an Applications List
The first thing you’ll want to do is assess the installed applications. For instance, do you have programs that currently run on a 32-bit Windows Server 2003 installation? Some of those programs may have issues when moving to a 64-bit environment such as Server 2012. Identify items that will be affected and document them. Now is the time to think about updating legacy applications and solutions. It may also be useful to create a list of users for each application. Finding applications that no longer have active users potentially simplifies the migration plan.
Some applications such as an exchange server may be easily moved to a cloud solution such as Office 365.
Step 2: Determine Risks
Many things can go wrong during a server migration. Consider the costs if a critical system would become unavailable. During this phase of planning, get to know your backups and determine what could go wrong. You don’t want to find out that one key application no longer works post-migration and have no backup in place.
Step 3: Make a Rollback Plan
As its name implies, a rollback plan lets you roll back or revert any changes you made so everything goes back to the original state—before you made any changes. It is important to have a rollback plan just in case something does go wrong. If downtime during the migration becomes unacceptably long, you should have a plan to revert back to Server 2003 and get everything back to normal.
An execution plan is the final step in the process and you need a strong team of IT professionals by your side to make sure your plan is solid. Techno Advantage stands ready to guide you through the whole migration process from purchasing the equipment to implementation. Don’t wait! If you haven’t started thinking about this…you need a plan.
Read more about Windows Server 2003 End of Life on our blog. CLICK HERE