Everybody is well versed in Microsoft’s operating systems reaching the end of their lifecycle since we’ve been through Windows XP recently, right? This time around, we’re talking about Windows Server 2003. It will reach its end of support on July 14, 2015.
After support ends, the operating system will no longer receive security patches from Microsoft or software and content updates. Microsoft will also no longer provide assisted technical support for Server 2003 after that date.
According to Microsoft, there were 12 million physical servers running Windows Server 2003 as of July 2014. Now, with five months to go, Microsoft is pushing customers to start their migrations and providing them reasons to do so such as PCI or HIPAA compliance.
Comparing Server 2003 to Windows XP is an interesting thought. Server 2003 probably has a smaller software footprint, more restricted use and access but on the other hand, it probably has access to more sensitive, business-critical data. You don’t want either of them running in your environment after they have reached end of life.
In the process of upgrading, you might consider if you can consolidate server functions into fewer servers to save money or use virtual servers. Windows Server 2012 R2 is Microsoft’s latest operating system version and could be the right choice for your upgrade destination.