Say Goodbye to Windows Server 2003

Microsoft is ending support for its Windows Server 2003 operating system on July 14, 2015. After this date, it will no longer receive:

  • Security patches which helps safeguard computers from various malicious software
  • Assisted technical support of any kind from Microsoft
  • Software and content updates

That means any new hacks built or vulnerabilities discovered in Windows Server 2003 and those running the legacy server OS will be facing them on their own.

Currently there are more than 20 million physical servers around the world that are still running Windows Server 2003. When end of support finally comes, these servers will be at a higher risk for cyber security breaches and attacks, virus infection and potential electronic data loss.

There are around eight million Windows Server 2003 OS instances in operation, and it is estimated that of those instances, a full 20 per cent – 1.6 million – will blow past the 14 July end-of-support date.

Putting it into perspective, here’s some technology highlights from 2003:

The Camera Phone: 2003 was the year that camera phones took off. Time magazine suggested that this technology invention was as profound as the Internet. “Like the Internet before them, camera phones open up a new and surprisingly spontaneous way to communicate,” wrote Anita Hamilton for Time magazine.

iTunes: In 2003, Apple transformed the music industry with the introduction of iTunes. Today the iTunes store generates enough revenue to make it one of Apple’s crown jewels.

The Xbox: In 2003 Xbox Live redefined how people played games together through the Internet. Xbox Live enabled game play on an international level. While it officially launched late in 2002, Xbox Live use surged in 2003 and altered the course of online gaming.

Think of how far we’ve come since these game-changing launches. Now, think of how each specific offering has been updated and has evolved to solidify its place in the technology hall of fame.

How Microsoft Windows Server 2003 EOS will impact your business

Servers are critical to a business because of the sheer amount of critical data they house and the processes and applications that run on them. Having a server break down can mean very adverse side effects of decreased productivity and revenue loss to a company. This is why Microsoft has been diligent in putting out the word of the impending end of support.

It’s a problem if your server systems hold data of any kind – which they will – and could be accessed directly or indirectly from the internet. Server systems are generally thought isolated from external attackers, this becomes of even greater concern if you work in a regulated industry like finance or pharmaceutical, where watchdogs will levy fines if you put customers’ data at risk.

The last time we jumped though this upgrade hoop was in April 2014, when Microsoft ended extended support for Windows XP. XP had been running on millions of machines worldwide. Of course the number of Windows Server 2003 instances is small in comparison to the numbers of Windows XP overall, but the problem is actually bigger.

The Solution

Start the migration process now when there’s still time. By migrating to Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft Azure or Office 365, your business will be able to continue reaping the benefits of enhanced performance, a significant decrease in maintenance requirements and a substantial increase in productivity and efficiency.

The natural upgrade would be to Windows Server 2012, Microsoft’s virtualization-friendly, cloud-enabled OS. Windows Server 2012 R2 brings Microsoft’s experience delivering global-scale cloud services into your infrastructure with new features and enhancements in virtualization, management, storage, networking, virtual desktop infrastructure, access and information protection, the web and application platform, and more.

Windows Server 2012 R2 includes a robust set of technologies for optimum flexibility. Below are just a few:

1. Work Folders
2. Desired State Configuration
3. Storage Tiering
4. Write-Back Cache
5. Deduplication on running VMs
6. Workplace Join
7. Windows Server Essentials Role

CMS Information Technology understands the importance of a smooth migration and we see it as an opportunity to help our customers achieve an optimum level of productivity and efficiency in their infrastructure.

By allowing us to assist you in the migration of your datacenters, you have ensured:

• A guaranteed reduction of operational and support costs
• An continuous protection from possible corruption or loss of data
• There will be no issues with regulatory noncompliance which can result from continuous use of non-supported operating systems

CMS IT is here to help

If you’re still unsure as to how this information relates to you and your business, get in touch with us by sending us an email or giving us a call and we will be more than happy to thoroughly explain what needs to be done to ensure your business is not negatively impacted by the coming Windows Server 2003 end of support.

You can reach us at or give us a call on 1300-1-26748 (CMSIT).