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RIP Windows 2003 – why law firms need to act now

Posted by Andrew Taylor on 29-Jan-2015 14:11:28
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Windows Server 2003 (WS2003) is reaching the end of its lifecycle. Although it will still operate, Microsoft will no longer be supporting it. That means no security updates, no compliance and no support for apps.

Analysts estimate there are more than 10 million machines still running WS2003, but support ends on 14 July, 2015. The average Windows Server migration takes more than 200 days, so it’s important to act sooner rather than later.

With big data, cloud computing and social collaboration driving today’s technology, moving to Windows Server 2012 R2 is an opportunity to bring your systems up to date.

Why you need to migrate:

  1. Security: Nearly 40 critical updates were released last year for WS2003. No further updates will be released after end of support, so bug fixes will stop and new vulnerabilities won’t be addressed.
  2. Compliance: If you run outdated software there may be a lack of compliance with various standards and regulations. This means you will have to work to isolate and shield servers still running WS2003. When running outdated software you are also required to have an independent audit at more regular intervals.
  3. Applications support: Support will also cease for many applications once support for the operating system they’re running on ends.
  4. Cost: Without support, WS2003 will cost more to operate as you’ll need more-advanced security. Buying new Server 2012 licences is almost certain to be cheaper.

Technology and business software have progressed massively since the introduction of WS2003. That means you can now do more with less hardware than in the past, and you can offload some or all of a workload into the cloud. That could be a private cloud on your own premises, a public cloud operated by a third party or a hybrid cloud, which combines the best of both worlds.

Three Key Considerations

    1. How robust is your infrastructure?
      When you migrate to Windows Server 2012 you need to be sure your server, storage and network infrastructure are powerful enough to cope with the advancement in systems management. Choose the right architecture, design and components to promote agility, speed and cost-effectiveness.
    2. How can migration move the business forward?
      See the upgrade as an opportunity to make your organisation more efficient and increase productivity. The migration can be an incentive to shed outdated processes, drive innovation and bring both your IT and finance departments in line with your business goals.
    3. Have you for the right collaboration partner?

Does your IT department have the time and expertise to carry out the migration? The right partner can help you get the most out of the upgrade and support you after it. Choose one that meets your company’s needs, budget and culture. And one that helps with initial audits, reporting and stakeholder interviews, as well as the nuts and bolts of the migration.

RIP Windows Server 2003.


Written by our Technical Director Andrew Taylor . Andrew heads up our growing team of engineers and is responsible for continually reviewing our vendor partner products and services and creating our datacentre architecture. He brings a wealth of experience from 10 years’ working on large network and infrastructure projects.

Topics: law firms, Legal, Microsoft

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