Bastille Day – July 14th, 2015 Migration is worth it!!

Windows Server 2003 & 2003 R2 Support is ending July 14, 2015

Bastille Day, Symbol of the French Revolution

What does end of support mean for you? After July 14, Microsoft will no longer issue security updates for any version of Windows Server 2003:

  • If you are still running Windows Server 2003 , you need to take steps NOW to plan and execute a migration strategy to protect your infrastructure.
  • By migrating to Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft Azure or Office 365, you can achieve concrete benefits, including improved performance, reduced maintenance requirements, and increased agility and speed of response to the business.
  • Extended support for Windows Server 2003 will end on July 14, 2015, and customers are once again looking at the final months of a generous Windows product support cycle. Recommendations for customers using Windows Server 2003 include the following:
  • Customers that go beyond the termination of extended support place themselves at risks and potentially in a regulatory noncompliance situation. Even if regulatory compliance is not a concern, the security improvements that Windows Server 2012 R2 provides are worth adopting if just to help defend against industrial espionage.

 Key issues if you are still supporting Windows Server 2003 after July 14th 2015:

  • Lack of patches/updates/non-security fixes. No-cost, non-security-related update support terminated on July 13, 2010. However, support for non-security-related updates was available on a for-fee basis to customers that felt it was important to continue to have access to fixes that could help their system run optimally and perform well.
  • Elimination of security fixes. Customers see security fixes as being among the most critical fixes for their installed servers. These fixes will no longer be delivered to customers for their Windows Server 2003 servers, regardless of how severe a given issue may be. This may be less of a problem with many aging Windows Server 2003 applications, mainly because the applications still in use are increasingly likely to be inward facing rather than outward facing.
  • Lack of support. Customers no longer have the ability to contact Microsoft for technical support in the event of a server problem. This becomes particularly important when a system experiences an outage and customers are unable to restore the system and recover data and applications from the stalled machine.
  • Application support challenges. Application ISVs dislike having a complex support matrix and typically support current versions along with a finite number of earlier editions of the product. For most ISVs, an 11 -year-old application is probably already past its rational support life cycle, and in most cases, these application ISVs are about to discontinue or have already discontinued support for aging operating system environments such as Windows Server 2003.

Regulatory Compliance :

  • Customers in regulated industries or handling regulated data, including healthcare and payment card industry (PCI) data, may find that they are out of compliance, which could mean fines or being cut off from key trading partners that seek to protect their own regulatory compliance status.
  • Inability to leverage modern cloud options from Microsoft and other vendors. Windows Server 2003 can run on virtually every hypervisor in the market, but that does not mean it is an equal player in these modern deployment scenarios. For example, Windows Server 2003 installations cannot be re-hosted in a Microsoft Azure environment, unless it is a 64-bit image, but the vast majority of Windows Server 2003 installations are 32-bit solutions. So even if customers bring the 32-bit image to the Azure cloud, they cannot continue using that operating system instance. When spinning up new infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) instances in Azure, Microsoft provides catalog images only for 64-bit instances of Windows Server 2012 R2.

Bottom Line:

Security vulnerabilities could arise for which no protection is possible. Attackers who exploit these openings could gain control of systems based on Windows Server 2003. Then use the compromised system to launch attacks from within the data center against other, newer systems to capture and relay data from the network to the attacker outside and introduce false transactions or tamper with legitimate business activities. If such an attack were to take place, it may be impossible or impractical to stop it from succeeding and from being repeated, since the code vulnerability inside the OS will not be patched. Business functions dependent upon the system running under Windows Server 2003 may be unexpectedly subject to complete loss of access to the functionality of the system if it has to be shut down due to compromise. Alternatively, lack of viable alternatives for the business function may dictate that the system remain in operation despite compromises, thus endangering other systems that are not based on Windows Server 2003.

Wow 13 Years who would have thought…

If you have NOT decommissioned your Windows Server 2003 Servers then you should purchase an Extended Sup[port agreement for these servers and actively be in the process of moving to new Hardware and Software… You can use the Windows Server 2003 Migration Planning Assistant which will walk you through a migration assessment and help you choose a Microsoft partner if you need help in the migration and decommissioning of your old hardware.

 

Ivan

No comments yet. Be the first.

Leave a Reply