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Support for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Ends July 2015

Support for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Ends July 2015

Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition cover box

Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition cover box (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The end of life of the support of Windows Server 2003 has been scheduled for July 14th, 2015 by Microsoft. For those still running the Windows Server 2003 version, chances are the end of support will dramatically impact their businesses negatively. Patches or updates from Microsoft will not be available to correct new issues, and the environment will be very insecure and unstable.

Migration to a new server solution is the wisest option and ultimately inevitable. Businesses need to begin transforming and planning their server migration today if they have not started it already.  As of today’s post, the end of Microsoft support is only 167 days away. That provides little time to find a complete solution before the end is finally upon Microsoft Windows Server 2003 support. If you decide to remain with the existing Windows 2003 server, there are a number of pain points you need to be aware of.


Zero updates

Microsoft will not be developing or releasing any updates once the support has ended. In 2014, Windows Server 2003 received 25 critical and important updates. Lacking such support could be disastrous to any business security.



With the end of support, your business will not be able to meet almost every compliance regulation and standard within the industry. This non-compliance will see the cost of operation or doing business going up spectacularly, including a loss of business in terms of penalties and high fees of transaction.

Without PCI (payment card industry) compliance, it means that MasterCard and Visa will stop doing business with organizations still running on the 2003 server. The end of support will also have an impact on both virtualized and physical servers. Others that will be affected include Microsoft’s Windows SBS (small business server) 2003. As a result of lack of updates and patches, operations costs will increase and support of apps will also be discontinued.


Increase in maintenance costs

The end of support will see the maintenance costs of legacy servers adding up rapidly.  As the hardware continues to age, the maintenance costs can only shoot up. The result is that your business will have to deal with any added cost used in detecting any intrusion in the system such as network segmentation and very advanced firewalls. At the end, staying with Windows Server 2003 will likely cost you more than migrating to a new solution.

 Also, this change away from Windows Server 2003 creates an opportunity for businesses to transform the way they manage data and leverage new and innovative cloud technologies moving forward.


Hybrid cloud

Lots of organizations are concerned that moving to a hybrid cloud solution can create complexity and increase the cost or suffer both. Without a doubt extending beyond the local datacenter walls comes with a set of new challenges but with this innovation there are many areas businesses can reap big.

This includes storage, where cloud services present a great opportunity of reducing storage costs. This innovation also means virtualization of networking and computing, especially because network virtualization is very vital for clouds connection as well as across datacenters. The innovation also makes a difference in the area of identity management and access, a very important component for our increasingly mobile workforce.



The process of migration is expected to follow four main steps.

  • Determination of workloads and applications still running on the old Windows Server 2003.
  • Categorization of workload and applications by complexity, importance and by type.
  • Choosing a destination to migrate to for every workload and application, either in the cloud or local datacenter. Multiple destinations are open to any organization including, but not limited to, Cloud OS Network, Microsoft Azure, Office 365 or Windows Server 2012/R2.
  • Make the move to the destination of your choice.


Getting started

A successful and smooth server migration will take some time not only to execute but plan and beginning today will help you meet July 14, 2015 deadline. Cantrell’s Computer Sales & Service will help you to migrate or even make this important migration decision! For further advice, information or help on this important area call Wade Cantrell at (925)827-1200 or use the Contact Us details at now.

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