Microsoft to Windows Server 2003 users: Get a move on

Another potentially big product migration lies ahead for Microsoft shops with Windows Server 2003 end-of-life milestone looming on July 14, 2015. Windows XP, the popular (if dated) desktop OS, hit the end of the road in April 2014.

A [company]Microsoft[/company] spokesman said an estimated 20 million instances of the 12-year-old operating system are still active, but did not say what percentage of total Windows Server that number constitutes.

In a blog post Tuesday, Takeshi Numoto, corporate VP of cloud and enterprise marketing, counseled customers that it is time to let it go and provided some tips on making the move to Windows Server 2012 R 2 easier. The next release of the server operating system is expected in 2016.

For example, users should:

identify any remaining instances of Windows Server 2003, analyze which workloads are running on those instances, and choose the right migration path. Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft Azure, and Office 365 are all great options for migration, depending on your specific requirements.

The spokesman reiterated the usual “unsupported software is insecure software” mantra and after July 14, Microsoft will not issue any more  security patches. Twenty such patches were issued in the last year. And, unsupported software could lead to “costly compliance violations” issues vis-a-vis HIPAA healthcare privacy and US PCI DSS credit card usage regulations.

Unmentioned in the post is that there are an array of third party tools from companies including AppZeroRacemi, RiverMeadow and CloudVelocity to help with server migrations.

 This post was updated at 8:24 a.m. February 4 with a list of third-party migration tools.