Why Are You Still Deploying Windows Server 2003?

It’s idiotic!  Don’t get me wrong: I loved Windows Server 2003.  So much so, that soon after the GA I started a new job to deploy a new server network globally across a bank and I convinced management to go with W2003 instead of W2K Server.

I know that a very large percentage of Windows servers are still on W2003.  But why would you deploy more of them now?  Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 offer so much more than the 10 year old W2003.  The ease of management, the user friendly and business focused features of Windows Server 2012 just scream out to be used.

Not to mention that support for Windows Server 2003 is quickly circling the drain:

  • It is out of mainstream support and into extended support (July 2013, 2010): when is the last time you saw Microsoft release software that supports the 10 year old server OS?  Exactly!
  • End of all support (that means product support and security fixes) comes on July 14th, 2015 … just over 2 years time.

Only a short-sighted person plans on deploying new services on Windows Server 2003 at this point.  Now is the time to start planning your upgrades to the new OS.  That’s because you have server apps to migrate/upgrade/replace – and that’s a big deal.  You may even have hardware to replace and virtualisation projects to size, purchase for, and plan – WS2012 makes this easier with built-in Hyper-V virtualisation, SMB 3.0 storage that is a nice alternative to the pricey SAN, and better-value-than-ever licensing.

So get started.  Run MAP to assess your environment.  Upgrade that AD from 2003 to 2012.  It’s actually a pretty simple process.  You’ll start to see the benefits very quickly.

Lecture over Smile

2 thoughts on “Why Are You Still Deploying Windows Server 2003?”

  1. Because some vendors of mission-critical healthcare and finance packages won’t update their software or certify it on newer operating systems and have no competition to force the issue. It’s not strange to find places that still have to deploy 98 and 2000. There are still some shops that are forced to run NT. It’s fun trying to pass a government-mandated security audit with those in place. The world is not an ideal place.

  2. As a System Admin for a small hospital, I can also attest to what Eric Siron stated. We even have “devices” running very old software such as our CT Scanner (Windows 2000 Server), the Digital Mammography (Windows Vista), Patient Telemetry (Windows NT 4). All of these are from some VERY MAJOR Japanese Electronics Vendors (really big ones!). They are still on support agreements from the manufacturer but they have no intention on updating these systems (less than 10 years old) to newer software, unless of course we want to buy whole new systems!

    We are currently upgrading our EMR (for about $400K) and guess what they will only support? SQL2005, Windows 2008R2(almost current), and Windows 7 (finally with 32 and 64 bit) and of course Server 2003 and Windows XP SP3.

    They haven’t completed their “certification” with SQL 2008, let alone 2012 and don’t even start on an idea of Windows 8.

    They do at least support Safari 5, Firefox 14, Chrome (about 3 versions behind what they have now), IE 7 & 8 (not yet 9 or 10). So some of our BYOD systems might be able to function on some things.

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