For more than a decade, businesses have been leveraging Microsoft’s Windows Server 2003 technologies and getting a great return on their investment. Substantial improvements to server operating systems have been made since then that help businesses compete better in today’s marketplace. As such, Microsoft will end support for Windows Server 2003/R2 on 14th July 2015.

Now is the time to lay the IT foundation of your customers’ businesses for the next decade and beyond. We are keen to you, our partners, develop the skills and get the tools to create new business opportunities around Windows Server End of support migration. The goal is to support you in helping your customers build a strategy that embraces cloud technologies on their terms and provides a clear roadmap for their IT infrastructure.

This is by far the largest server migration opportunity in the past decade and a significant business opportunity for you as a partner. Help your customers invest in the future of their businesses. Upgrading their aging servers and operating systems can reduce costs and provide significant benefits to your customers that will outweigh the cost of upgrading and the risks of not doing so.

What is Windows Server 2003 End of Support?

Support for Windows Server 2003 will end on 14th July 2015. This means Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, fixes or online support for Windows Server 2003 after this date. To prevent possible disruptions to your customers’ businesses, we strongly recommend you support them in migrating to a modern server operating system such as Windows Server 2012 R2 & Microsoft Azure.

You can upgrade your customers to newer versions of products you are familiar with such as Windows Server 2012 R2, or discover new offerings such as Azure, Microsoft’s public cloud platform. As an open and flexible cloud platform, Azure enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacentres, integrated with your customer’s existing IT environment.

Microsoft’s hybrid solutions can help your customers’ IT infrastructure leverage a cloud strategy on their terms.

45%
of companies surveyed are running a hybrid Cloud
– InformationWeek
70%
of CIOs will embrace a “cloud first” strategy in 2016
– IDC
45%
of total IT services will be spent on cloud services by 2020
– Forrester
Why should your customers upgrade to Windows Server 2012 R2 & Microsoft Azure?Reduce costs and get the most out of their IT investment
With virtualisation included in Windows Server 2012 R2, they can run more applications on a single server, helping save on hardware costs and power bills. With Microsoft Azure, they can reduce capital expenses by leveraging infrastructure cloud services such as Azure, Microsoft’s public cloud platform, instead of buying new hardware, wherever it makes sense for their business.Stay open for business even if disaster strikes
40 percent of businesses never reopen after disaster strikes. Build effective data backup, help your customers cut data loss and recover quickly without significant capital investment in hardware and backup media through Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft Azure’s automated backup solution. Azure is Microsoft’s public Cloud, a global network of Microsoft-managed datacentres, connected and integrated with your existing IT environment.Get easy and cost-effective data storage
Your customers work with all kinds of files and data today, from presentations, to spreadsheets, to photos and videos. Make sure they always have plenty of space to store and access their files–and control who can access what–without spending a fortune for a storage solution. Virtualize their storage and deliver reliable and scalable SAN-like storage solutions at a fraction of the cost Storage Spaces technologies built-into Windows Server 2012 R2.Forrester Research[i] studied the effects of upgrading to Windows Server 2012 R2 from Windows Server 2008 on a range of organizations, and calculated a return on investment of 270%. Its analysis reveals that server management costs can be expected to decline by 35% and payback achieved within six months[ii].


[i] The Total Economic Impact of Windows Server 2012 R2: A Forrester Total Economic Impact™ Study Commissioned By Microsoft
[ii] To calculate these results, Forrester applied the benefits observed by a range of large companies and organizations, and applied them to a hypothetical, global, US-based company, with 350 Windows Server hosts and 1,000 virtualized Windows Server instances.

What are the implications of staying with Windows Server 2003?

Running Windows Server 2003 after 14th July 2015 may expose your customers’ businesses to risks such as:

No updates37 critical updates were released in 2013 for Windows Server 2003/R2 under Extended Support. No updates will be developed or released after end of support. No complianceLack of compliance with various standards and regulations can be problematic. This may include non-compliance with key regulatory and industry standards, or having to pay high penalties and transaction fees.
No safe havenBoth virtualised and physical instances of Windows Server 2003 are vulnerable and would not pass a compliance audit. Many applications (including those from Microsoft) will also cease to be supported once the operating system they are running on is unsupported. Running the latest SQL on Windows Server 2003/R2? It won’t be supported. No savingsA Custom Support Agreement has a high minimum entry cost, while customers also face added costs for intrusion detection systems, more advanced firewalls, network segmentation, and other security measures—all simply to isolate Windows Server 2003 servers.