With close to 60% of organizations in Asia Pacific still hanging on to at least one instance of outdated Windows Server 2003, IT leaders are faced with the challenge of managing security and compliance risks or the opportunity to modernize for today’s mobile-first, cloud-first needs
Singapore, Asia Pacific, 7 April 2015 – Microsoft is reaching out to its customers across Asia Pacific to advise that time is running out for organizations with less than 100 days to the end of support deadline for Windows Server 2003 on 14 July 2015. This is already an extended date and is based on its standard lifecycle support policies. IT leaders need to move quickly to protect the applications and information residing on old servers and to use it as an opportunity to realise the business benefits of moving to modern platforms like Windows Server 2012 as outlined in a recently commissioned report by IDC Asia Pacific.
According to Spiceworks, a global professional network of more than 5 million IT Professionals, 59.8% of organizations which use its tools in Asia Pacific are still running at least one instance of Windows Server 2003 as of March 2015. This represents a drop of 5 percentage points in Windows Server 2003 usage since June 2014.
In Singapore, 66% of organizations which use Spiceworks tools are still running at least one instance of Windows Server 2003 as of March 2015, higher than the Asia Pacific average. However, this represents a 7 point decline in Windows Server 2003 usage since June 2014.
For companies still using Windows Server 2003 after the end of support deadline, these servers will be particularly vulnerable as no new security patches will be made available. This is especially critical, given the fast-paced evolution of security threats. In fact, since January 2014, 47 new vulnerabilities were identified on Windows Server 2003 according to Secunia, a global player in software vulnerability management.
Arun Ulag, General Manager, Cloud & Enterprise, Microsoft Asia Pacific, said: “IT demands have changed dramatically since the launch of Windows Server 2003 more than 11 years ago. IT leaders across all industries are now managing an infrastructure that demands support for cloud, mobility, social and data-intensive applications. In addition, the increasing security and privacy threats are pressuring businesses of all sizes to transform in this new mobile-first, cloud-first world. All of which cannot be met with old technology platforms.”
IDC Asia Pacific White Paper shows clear business benefits of modernizing
While the end of support for Windows Server 2003 marks an important, immovable deadline, there are numerous benefits for IT decision makers to completely move any of their operations off the old platform to newer platforms like Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft’s cloud platform, Azure.
In December 2014, IDC Asia/Pacific undertook a study of 88 organisations in Asia Pacific1 to understand the business benefits gained by businesses which moved to Windows Server 2012. Entitled “Understanding the business value of migrating to Windows Server 2012”, the study was commissioned by Microsoft and Intel, to understand the full benefit from investments in a modern IT infrastructure. The survey found that companies that have made the migration have seen positive outcomes in three key areas:
- Increased virtualization density enables IT to do more with what they have – Microsoft’s virtualization capability is called Hyper-V, which is embedded in Windows Server 2012 and provides more capacity to virtualize environments without being manpower intensive. Large organisations have an average of 121 servers and virtualize about 47.9% while smaller organizations have an average of 20 servers and virtualize about 44.5%. In addition, they were able to increase virtual server densities from between 12.5% for larger organizations, to as much as 16.7% for smaller organizations when moving from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012.
- Increased levels of automation reduces costs, time and errors – This was driven by the feature, Windows PowerShell which is available in Windows Server 2012. Automation is a critical feature for IT to minimize time and errors associated with repetitive tasks. The study shows that 37.5% of smaller organizations are using PowerShell to automate an average of 10 tasks. Prior to the introduction of PowerShell, 15.6% of these organizations had no automation whatsoever. For large organizations, 33.9% are using PowerShell to automate an average of 19 tasks. Almost all or 94.7% of this group already had some levels of automation, as would be expected in an enterprise environment.
- Reduced manhours, giving more time back to IT – With increased capability to automate in Windows Server 2012, IT organizations saved manhours doing repetitive work which allowed their IT staff focus on other things. The study shows that the average number of man hours per month saved was 20 for smaller organizations and 30 for larger organizations.
The study found that these companies also experienced improved levels of security, ability to maintain compliance, manageability and overall performance in their IT infrastructure after the adoption of Windows Server 2012.
Simon Piff, Associate Vice President, Enterprise Infrastructure, IDC Asia Pacific, said: “CIOs may have misconceptions that migrations will be too costly an exercise for their organizations. However, delaying migration may incur greater costs in the long run, with downtime associated with security or compliance risks, more resources being used to support outdated servers or creating workaround solutions.”
Anthony Stevens, Chief Information Officer, KPMG Australia said: “Beyond mitigating risks incurred from failure to migrate, this event is a golden opportunity for CIOs to get strategic, modernize your IT and help drive innovation within the company. As one chapter ends, another begins. This is your chance to redefine the role of IT to lead business transformation through the use of the cloud, mobility, big data and social. Don’t let outdated technology like Windows Server 2003 hold you back.”
More choice and help available
Arun added: “Customers have more cost-effective choices than ever before which include on premise infrastructure, a hybrid approach or to go completely to the cloud, depending on their needs and budget. More importantly, choosing to modernize rather than to operate as they did in the past will enable them to align better with business growth strategies while providing adequate security and compliance measures for today.”
Companies looking to migrate can also refer to Microsoft resources, including:
- Windows Server 2003 end of support website which provides customers with guidance for the entire migration process along with information about the services and tools available from assessment and training, through to comprehensive platform migration services and risk management;
- A Migration Planning Assistant is also available to help organizations analyze their Windows Server 2003 workloads and generate a summary report showing recommendations and Microsoft partner offerings; and
- Partners including Dell, HP and numerous other system integrators have new hardware and service in place to help expedite the migration process. Larger enterprise customers who many need more time to finish migration may also explore custom support agreements with Microsoft during their transition period.
“The path to a secure, modern datacentre starts with a powerful hardware foundation. Customers that are currently running Windows Server 2003 have the opportunity to update both their software and hardware to gain performance and security benefits. By refreshing to Windows Server 2012 R2 with Intel Xeon Processors E5 v3 product family, customers will receive up to three times more performance, increased energy efficiency across all workloads, and a secure next-generation cloud platform,” said Michelle Johnston Holthaus, Vice President of the Sales and Marketing Group, Intel Corporation.
1 Organizations that participated in this IDC study were from Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.