Windows Server 2003 retirement details and some server migration tips!

Microsoft has officially announced on July 14th, 2015, that its extended support for Windows Server 2003 has ended and all those computing platforms working on the said OS should go for a next OS version migration. If not, the server and the clients connecting to Windows server 2003 will be vulnerable to cyber criminal activities.

In order to make the migration from Windows server 2003 to Windows Server 2008/2012 simple, here are some tips to help-

Consider Windows Server 2012 R2 – Microsoft has confirmed that its support for Windows Server 2012 R2 will be till 2020. The “Mainstream Support” for the older Windows Server 2008 version has already ended and customers are now getting “Extended Support” by Microsoft for the said version. This means it is just a matter of time until the migration from the 2008 to a newer version is necessary. Therefore, it makes true sense, to go for a Server 2012 upgrade, instead of a Server 2008 OS version.

Make a list of applications and workloads – Before the migration, always make sure that you have the complete list of applications and workloads which need to be supported by the new server OS. Also ensure that you compile the list of all software components that may/can get affected by the migration to a newer windows server version, including drivers. Especially, the Windows admin need to check if the new OS provides later versions for the server hardware, or used peripheral devices. Also keep a tab on whether your on-premises peripherals such as printers, all-in-one devices or scanners will support the new server OS or a new one has to be purchased.

Develop migration scenarios for different server types – For active directory and exchange server, IT admin needs to take special measures especially in terms of the sequence of the system migration.

What about hardware- It is a known fact that Windows server 2003 will run on a 32 bit processor. But for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows server 2016, a 64 bit CPU will be needed. So, admins need to consider exchange server platforms that are older than three years. New systems will also support more recent hardware components such as SSDs and provide enough performance resources for upcoming Windows Server generations and virtualization projects. Also, cut down in power consumption and heat generation can be observed, by deploying newer components.

Backup of Windows server 2003 will be essential – This offers a track back opportunity, if in case any issues with the migration occurs. Therefore, admins can restore data, operating system, applications and hidden partitions if the migration fails, even on new server hardware.

Convert backups into virtual machines – By converting backups into virtual machines, they are two advantages. Firstly, the virtual windows server can be used as a reference point for reinstallation. This can prove highly indispensable as Windows Server 2008 and 2012 R2 will include new features as dynamic access control which can cause issues with older applications. The other point is that the VM provides the possibility for a temporary roll back to the older server version and that can prove useful, if some kind of major technical issue surfaces in the migration process. As the IT department can witness business continuity and can spend the time focusing on error analysis and solutions.

Accelerate the migration with a master image – By the presence of a master image, a new OS, basic applications and settings can be deployed simultaneously to multiple server systems.

Carefully plan the data migration – The deployment of an image back-up ensures that all data for the migration are secured. Occasionally it happens with Exchange 2003, for example, that SSL certificates are forgotten and are not part of the back-up.

Finally, Windows Server 2003 which has been here for around 12 years is now outdated. So, in order to keep up pace with the latest technology, a migration to a newer version is essential, as it helps in keeping your server environment safe and secure.

If, in case, your IT team needs support in Server migration like selecting the best server OS as per your current IT needs, migration of applications, data, software and an hardware upgrade if needed, then do approach DNF Professional Services.

DNF Professional services, a business unit of mighty IT firm Dynamic Network Factory will give your office needs a complete makeover to your server environment. A team of experts will review your current server environment, assess what you have and what is missing and then start the process of technology selection. The selection will be done by keeping factors such as data migration, server virtualization, performance assessment & optimization, server consolidation, storage consolidation, data security, disaster recovery, business continuity and remote management in mind.

The total upgrade and migration pains are taken by DNF Professional, a subsidiary of Dynamic Network Factory in order to ensure its customer a smooth and hassle-free transition.

The service doesn’t end with the server migration process. If the customer likes and feels to have the service extended, DNF Corp can also maintain and support the services in full stream.

So, feel free to call 510.265.1122 or click on DNF Professional Services.

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