In the UK, The Cloud Industry Forum estimates that a 1000 servers per day will have to be updated if companies are to be transitioned from Windows 2003 before the deadline in July.
Businesses will need to undergo a technology refresh which also involves a duplicate IT environment being put in place to enable thorough testing of the new system while the existing one continues to operate. As part of this upgrade process firms should carefully consider the physical location of their new IT systems and whether this is fully secure and has adequate power and cooling facilities.
As your data and IT becomes increasingly critical to your firm’s very existence not to mention competitive edge, these kind of considerations are well worth reviewing. You may well decide the office premises are no longer suitable for hosting today’s sophisticated servers. Locating and storing your critical IT and data systems in our modern secure data centre can often be more cost-effective than taking up space in your own offices and will ensure they are correctly managed and protected. A dedicated purpose built colocation data centre (such as the facilities we offer) will minimise the risk of unplanned downtime and disruption from potential power outages, flood or fire, as well as from things altogether more sinister such as cyber or even physical attack.”
Steps to moving on from Microsoft Windows Server 2003:
IT Audit – This is necessary to understand what systems are running on the operating system. The sooner this begins the more prepared your in-house or external IT personnel will be to transfer any specific custom software applications that are still key to your business operations. It may be decided some applications are no longer necessary or can be better replaced with modern off-the-shelf packages
Go Colo – Taking space for housing some or all of your new computer systems and associated data storage at a reputable colocation data centre will ensure your IT is kept highly secure and reliable, and there will always be support personnel on hand 24/7 as necessary
Consider the Cloud – The cloud option may well not have been viable ten or more years ago but nowadays you can seriously consider using (renting) applications on a pay as you go basis from a cloud services provider – but make sure you know where and whose data centres they are using to run your applications and store your valuable data or it could be out of the frying pan into the fire!
Specialist help – Managing this change can be daunting so calling on a third party, such as a colocation data centre operator for help could well smooth the migration path, especially with the short deadlines concerned
Don’t delay, the 14 July software support cut off imposed by Microsoft is real and will not be extended.