Extended support for Windows Server 2003 ran out on July 14th 2015, so you should already have migrated some time ago. If you have fail to do so, you need to start making plans immediately. This guide will provide an overview concerning what you’ll need to do.
Firstly, it’s important to understand why migration is necessary. Since support for Server 2003 has been terminated there will now be no further security patches to fix vulnerabilities, and many third party products will no longer be supported. In order to remain productive and prevent security problems, you will need to migrate. The most common choices are Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft Azure, or Office 365.
Microsoft’s own Windows Server 2003 Migration Planning Assistant can guide you through the process in detail, but here are the four major steps going forward.
Understand what to expect from migration and how you’re going to deal with it. Larger companies may need to draw up a list of reasons why the cost of migration is necessary.
You’ll need to essentially inventory your current IT network. Start by listing all the Windows Server 2003 licenses in use, as well as the hardware they’re using, the applications they are responsible for running, and the staff members who rely upon them. Assign a value to each one so you’ll know which to prioritise.
Plan out exactly where you’re going to be migrating. Migrating to Windows Server 2012 R2 I will probably be easier than moving to a cloud-based server like Azure and/or Office 365, but it’s worth talking to an IT expert to figure out which option is best.
Use the information and plans from the steps listed above to complete your migration. Despite your best efforts, a complex infrastructure will almost always make for a tricky process.
Migration to a new server is never easy and rarely straightforward, especially when you haven’t made the move before support has ended. In most cases, you’ll want to contact an IT professional who can walk you through the process and ensure that every step goes off without a hitch.