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Microsoft pulls the plug on Windows Server 2003 Support.

Microsoft will end support of its much used but antiquated Windows Server 2003 Operating System on July 14th 2015.

Industry experts estimate that there are more than 10 million servers still running Windows Server 2003 and of these a sizeable portion are Microsoft Small Business 2003 users in the SMB environment.

If you’re wondering what this means for your business, Microsoft will no longer be providing patches or security updates, this could put your servers and business at risk. New threats won’t be addressed and your Windows 2003 Servers will become a security liability and compliance headache.

Microsoft have even gone as far as warning that continuing to use Windows 2003 server could cause performance bottlenecks in a recent blog post.

No More Updates

When Microsoft ends support for Windows Server 2013, they will stop releasing updates which fix bugs, performance issues and more importantly close security vulnerabilities. These updates have been a continual process, for example in 2013, 37 critical updates for Windows Server 2003 and many more updates classed as important. After July 14th 2015 any critical bugs or vulnerabilities will remain unfixed leaving serves open to malicious attacks or system/data loss.

No More Compliance

For industries bound by industry compliance, your organisation will almost certainly fail to meet the required standards. Regulations such as ICO, PCI, & FCA all require businesses to run on supported Operating System platforms, which Windows Server 2003 will no longer be.

Software and Hardware Compatibility

Many manufacturers including Microsoft itself have already stopped providing compatibility for Windows Server 2003 with their products, a trend which will dramatically increase when support is discontinued. This means new software and hardware devices will not be able to integrate with Windows Server 2003.

In addition many Servers running Windows 2003 are based on obsolete hardware which is considerably slower than current server technology and runs a higher risk of failure.

We would recommend that if you currently have Windows Server 2003 based infrastructure, now is the time to start planning a Migration Policy to a new server platform. MT Services are willing to discuss your current systems and what options are available, including how Microsoft Office 365 integrates with traditional server infrastructure.

 

Mike Cobb

Technical Consultant