Now that 2015 has arrived, the 14th July deadline for the end of support for Windows Server 2003 looms ever larger.  It is therefore crucial for businesses to get to grips with planning for the end of support. The average time for a server migration is thought to be around 200 days, and with the final deadline now but a mere seven months away, preparations for moving to Windows Server 2012 R2 need to be well underway.

Here are our top tips for a successful migration:

  1. Establish your current position: Taking steps to discover what your IT estate looks like now and how it is being used is an important first step. This allows you to make a rational assessment of your businesses’ future application needs and what infrastructure you will need to host it.
  2. Ensure your catalogue is up to date: It may not sound that crucial, but it’s really important for businesses to make sure that their catalogue of software and workloads is up to date. This will help you make pragmatic decisions about whether an app is essential for business functionality before you design a needless migration strategy for it.
  3. Check compatibility of legacy IT: Windows Server 2012 R2 is a 64bit only operating system, which should be considered if you are currently using a 32bit operating system. There may be compatibility issues with older hardware or applications that will need to be planned for, and will help prioritise new infrastructure or application upgrades.
  4. Choose your infrastructure wisely: Once apps are selected for migration, the decision on infrastructure must be taken. This might be the ideal time to consider cloud if you haven’t previously or to examine if there is scope to re-use hardware – you might find that options such as these will deliver cost savings.
  5. Remove boundaries: If cloud is the route you choose, then Microsoft’s own Azure platform may be the answer. Azure is a cloud system that allows you to quickly build, deploy and manage apps via Microsoft-managed data centres across the globe. One of the big benefits is the ease of scalability and predictability of costs as a result.
  6. Think big: It might feel like a headache, but the end of Windows Server 2003 might actually be an opportunity to really change the face of your businesses’ IT ecosystem. The world has moved on since Windows Server 2003 was a business standard, and a new operating system and technologies can help you create a more dynamic, innovative and high-performing environment.

Whether you have started migrating to Windows Server 2012 R2, or need advice in planning your migration strategy, Trustmarque can help. You can get in touch with us here.