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Migrate from Windows Server 2003 to Services

30 Jun 2015 by Howard M Cohen

The preferred target for every hacker will soon be networks running on Windows Server 2003. Microsoft will withdraw extended support for the popular server operating system on July 14, 2015. Appropriately, more industry publications are warning users to make their move to some other server solution before it’s too late. 

As they do, IT experts are offering opinions and recommendations to help — what is still estimated to be millions of Windows Server 2003 — users make a decision where they will migrate their workloads. You can build new Windows Server 2012 R2 systems using on-premises servers, or you can migrate workloads to Windows Server 2012 R2 running on the Microsoft Azure cloud or other cloud solutions.

One problem your customers face: it’s already too late. Analysts claim it takes 200 days to properly plan and execute a migration to a new server.

But what if you migrate your customer to something other than a new server?

The world has changed.

Remember, 2003 was a dozen years ago. Clouds were still only those puffy things in the sky. Servers were the center of the computing universe. File servers enabled groups to share files and data. Print servers allowed groups to share printers. You needed a server for email, a server for databases, a server for applications and a server for communications. It took a farm.

It’s a very different world now. You can host databases in a cloud. You can provide enterprise email messaging as a cloud-delivered service. OneDrive, DropBox, Box and others can become your file repository, and you can manage documents using online document managers. Your productivity applications can be streamed from Google Apps, Office 365 and other online suites. Printers connect directly to your network, as well as storage, communications and other devices. Applications can be efficiently run from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or other cloud solutions.

Go from servers to services.

Today, you can replace all of your customers’ servers with services. By doing so, you remove complexity and cost while increasing service levels. You eliminate vulnerabilities to hardware failures, security breaches and many other surprises. You may still prefer to use at least one server to help manage security and access rights, but there are great alternative solutions to this, too.

Imagine a serverless IT environment. Many of your customers may have been dreaming about it for a long time. Next time your customer asks you to move them from their current server platform, talk to the Insight service provider support team to configure a superior suite of cloud services to completely replace those servers. Take your customer by surprise, and offer a solution they can conceivably move to in time.