SCC developed solutions for discontinued Windows Server 2003

This July, Microsoft will no longer issue security updates for any version of Windows Server 2003.

Birmingham, UK, 26-2-2015 — /EuropaWire/ — Mainstream support ended back in July 2010 and we are now approaching the discontinuation of extended support.

Now is the time for organisations still reliant on Windows Server 2003 to actively consider their strategy before its end of life.

How will this affect my organisation?

Left unchecked, this could cause problems within your business infrastructure and poses a significant risk to your internal IT systems.

No further service packs, security updates or patches – This will leave your systems exposed to new viruses and malware. The key concern here is the loss, or theft of sensitive business data and the inoperability of existing systems

Withdrawal of vendor support – No more troubleshooting, advice or guidance

Security, compliance and corporate risk – Without regular updates and maintenance, your systems may not be secure and cannot adapt to remain in line with latest policies and corporate standards

Escalating support costs –Support will become more specialised and more frequently needed

Application compatibility – Over time, more and more applications will not be supported by this operating system, limiting you to what software you can use.

Performance and functionality – Performance issues will go unchecked and unresolved.

Aging underlying hardware – Gradually, the hardware will be replaced by more efficient counterparts, incompatible with this operating system.

Where would I be running Windows Server 2003?

Windows Server 2003 is commonly used in:

  • Domain controllers;
  • File and print servers (including clustering);
  • Infrastructure services (DHCP, DNS, IIS, NPS, WSUS);
  • Running ancillary services (SCCM DP, backups, ISA, anti-virus etc.);
  • Running application services (Exchange, COTS);
  • Running database services (SQL);
  • Running remote desktops including Citrix.

What is the solution?

It’s one thing to recognise a need for change, but in any organisation, big or small, change is a difficult process. SCC understands the complex technical and operational challenges you face when enterprise applications and operating systems reach end of life.

That’s why SCC has developed a Windows Server 2003 solution specifically with those challenges in mind. Challenges such as:

  • Asset inventory;
  • Moving from a 32 to 64 bit architecture;
  • Identifying and resolving server dependencies;
  • Active Directory and application upgrades;
  • Legacy application compatibility;
  • Application testing;
  • Retraining of technical staff.

Step One – Discover

No two businesses are the same, and as such, each Windows Server Solution is uniquely tailored to your business needs.

The first step is getting to know your business. Workshops and meetings will be arranged with IT and key stakeholders to get to know your infrastructure and discover individual business needs and objectives.

Step Two – Analyse

Using this information, you will receive a detailed report that will:

  • Identify appropriate replacement technologies
  • Identify risk and mitigation strategies
  • Identify opportunities for efficiency savings and consolidation
  • Evaluate current infrastructure

SCC understands the importance of recognising and minimising the business impact of prescribed changes and will include details of how this can be achieved in the report.

Step Three – Deliver

When it comes to putting your solution into action, SCC will produce a detailed implementation plan.

This will include supporting project documentation and detailed design documents for hardening, replacing and upgrading assets and services. You will also receive detailed design documents for any complementary services.

SCC will work with you through every step of the implementation process to ensure a successful transition.

What are my options?

The Windows Server 2003 solution assists in the delivery of your strategic objectives, by offering one of two complementary options: Migrate or Extend.

Option One – Migrate

Our recommended course of action is to make the transition onto another operating system. As one of Microsoft’s leading migration partners in the UK, SCC is experienced in helping organisations define and deliver successful, business aligned migration strategies.

We are able to recommend the most appropriate technology to replace Windows Server 2003 and, where appropriate, identify opportunities to upgrade, consolidate or decommission dependent services.

Migration Benefits

  • Secure, vendor supported operating system platform
  • Achieves compliance objectives
  • Mitigates risk
  • Identifies opportunities in virtualisation and consolidation
  • Identifies opportunities for efficiency improvements
  • Reduces TCO
  • Single supplier management
  • Future-proofing of environment

Option Two – Extend

While our recommended approach is the migration of dependent services away from Windows Server 2003, we understand that this may not be immediately possible. Whatever the reason, we can help you extend your installations of Windows Server 2003 beyond July 2015.

By implementing a set of comprehensive controls to reduce the attack vectors that could be exploited by unauthorised users, we mitigate the risk of infection by computer viruses and malware.

This is achieved by first understanding the risk profile and adopting a tailored defence-in-depth approach that limits system entry points, removed unnecessary functionality and introduces additional security measures.

Extension Benefits

  • Enables focus on more complex, short-term migration challenges
  • Reduces risk of malicious attacks post-July 2015
  • Demonstrates in-flight strategy for Windows 2003 retirement
  • Develops a roadmap for future migration and decommissioning projects

Next Steps

For more details, email online@scc.com.

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