The end of support for Windows Server 2003 (W2003) and Windows Server 2003 R2 (W2003 R2) is July 14, 2015. This includes Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 R2. That gives you one year to get off of these server operating systems before all security updates stop. This date will NOT be extended.
Why won’t it be extended? Microsoft wants you to do one of three things:
- Upgrade to Windows Server 2012 R2
- Upgrade via deploying Hyper-V
- Upgrade/migrate to Microsoft Azure
And to be honest, you’re using a server operating system that is currently 11 years old. The features you’ve been asking for are probably in newer versions of Windows Server.
Upgrading will not be easy. You have AD’s to upgrade, LOB applications that are dependent on server resources. And most W2003 installs were 32-bit, there are no more 32-bit server operating systems, and you cannot upgrade x86 to x64. You will have to perform migrations.
So NOW is the time to start planning.
For Microsoft partners that are service providers:
- We estimate that over 50% of servers in Ireland are of the W2003/R2 generation
- 92% of Irish business are SME’s and a large percentage of those were SBS customers. Consider deploying Office 365 to replace SBS, and maybe put in Server Essentials if they still require a local server for bulk data/printer sharing.
- Microsoft (WPC 2014) said that there are 22,000,000 W2003/R2 servers worldwide. That equates to an estimated $6,000,000,000 of business.
Start having the conversations now. Start planning now. Waiting until 2015 will be a fools errand. BTW, there are no stupid questions, only stupid people.