Farewell to Windows Server 2003 – What Next ?

Windows Server 2003 End of Life and End of Support

I was asked very recently about Windows Server 2003 and its retirement from Microsoft Support. Someone in an office had read one of the free IT Magazines and digested an article about the “panic” circling throughout the IT industry about the fact that Windows Server 2003 will become end of life.

No Panic Here (or is there?)

Firstly, I like Windows Server 2003. It was [reasonably] fast, robust and it just worked. Not only is it familiar but many, many business’ still use it today.

Lets face facts, Windows Server 2003 is now over 12 years old. Most of us don’t have cars that old. Most of us don’t have PC’s that old. Yet, many people still have a server which runs an OS 12 years old !

There is no panic, there is no mass exodus to rid the world of Windows Server 2003.


Microsoft officially ends support for Windows Server 2003 on 14th July 2015. That’s not long away.

What does this actually mean ?

Windows Server 2003 is NOT going to switch off on 14th July 2015 and never work again!

Well, it means that come that date, Microsoft will no longer issue security updates for Windows Server 2003. So, in a nutshell if on the 15th July 2015 someone reveals a major flaw in the code which exposes a huge security risk, Microsoft may not issue a fix.

This has happened before. Windows XP Professional was due for this fate, but Microsoft extended its “end date” several times simply due to the volume of business’ using the OS.

Recommendations anyone ?

The recommendation from Microsoft is that everyone migrates to Server 2012 via the Azure Cloud.

IDC recommends everyone to “get current” and upgrade to a recent, support Operating System.

Over the past 12 months, we have done several Windows Server 2003 to Cloud migrations.

  • Am I ready for the Cloud ?
  • Can I afford the Cloud ?
  • Is the Cloud right for me ?

But before you jump ship, the fact is, some business setups just simply are not “Cloud Ready”.

You also have the option of upgrading to Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2012 on premise, which are both very much still supported – at least for the time being.

Factors affecting such upgrade choices are:

  • Is my hardware certified and supported for the upgraded OS ?
  • Do I have enough RAM ?
  • DO I have sufficient Hard Disk Space ?
  • Are my applications compatible ?
  • Are drivers available for my devices ?
  • What are the costs to upgrade ?

How can ABL Networks help ?


Our approach is simple.

We will complete a Windows Server 2003 end of life assessment to give you the intelligence you need to reliably asses the options right for your business.

ABL Networks can advise on all aspects from on-premise upgrades, co-existence upgrades or total Cloud migrations.

Leave this to the experts so we can advise which solution is best for your environment.

Contact us today to find out more.