Dear Microsoft Windows Server 2003,

We’ve been together for a long time and it’s really been great.
You’ve always been there for me when I needed you the most.
But I think our relationship has ran its course.
It’s not you, it’s my applications.
They won’t run on you anymore and I simply cannot be without them.
I know this is painful but it’s for the best.
I hope there are no hard feelings between us.

End User

In the computer industry, 10 years is an eternity and most small businesses do not have a CFO or an IT department to put technology lifecycle plans and procedures in place.  That means you possibly don't either.  If you partner with a Managed Service Provider chances are they have communicated and put a plan in place to make sure you don't fall behind the eight ball and leave you vulnerable to unpatched code.
Here are your three options for your existing 2003 servers:
  1. Continue in your current relationship. - Take your chances and keep running your business as normal.  This is a risky option and leaves your business at risk. Microsoft will no longer push updates or patches.  These systems will be a target for Hackers and Virus'.
  2. Get some counseling - Upgrading your existing installation of Windows to a newer version can also spur many issues.  Remember you are upgrading your existing software.  If there are any unknown issues they will appear at this time. Be prepared, you may have to fall back on your Business Continuity Plan.
  3. Cut the Cord and Move On! - Install new servers, install applications and migrate your data. This option might take the most time depending on your environment but will leave you with less headaches in the end.
As you can see, you do have some options, but if you wait until after July 14th, 2015 you may be forced into making some hard decisions after a big system crash or virus infection.
What are your thoughts on Microsoft's decision to end support on July 14, 2015 for Server 2003?  Let us know by leaving a comment below.


Do you have Server 2003 and need help?