Six months to go until end of service for Windows Server 2003
Bangkok, 26 December 2014 – The eleven-year old Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and 2003 R2 operating systems have six months left on the clock before their end of service on 15 July 2015. Microsoft recommends that organizations quickly take action to modernize their servers in order to ward off security threats and meet today’s IT industry standards – especially in online financial transactions. In addition to these key benefits, the upgrade to a modern server operating system would bring reduced maintenance costs and greater support for future software and hardware.
In light of significant changes in the technological landscape over the past eleven years, Microsoft is ceasing support for Windows Server 2003. Operating costs incurred by support for older operating systems (OS) continue to increase and have since outpaced the expenses required to maintain a modern OS, while Windows Server 2003 itself lacks the performance and adaptability required to fulfill the need of today’s customers.
More importantly, an upgrade to modern operating systems will enable organizations to ensure full compliance with international regulations and boost customer confidence in system security through superior defense against cybercrimes. The use of outdated, unsupported software leaves entire systems vulnerable to potential business and financial losses. Many global IT standards and regulations – including the likes of global security code HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and financial industry standard PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) – require organizations to take necessary action to keep their data and systems safe through the latest security updates. Failure to do so could leave systems vulnerable to damaging attacks and thus prevent organizations from meeting these globally-recognized standards.
Given these security and regulatory factors, an upgrade to a modern, secure server operating system is of paramount importance. Continued use of Windows Server 2003 could pose the following difficulties:
- Lack of critical updates: Microsoft will no longer develop or deploy product updates after end of service. In 2014 alone, Microsoft delivered 37 critical updates for Windows Server 2003 / R2. Without regular updates, organizations face mounting risks of data theft and other damaging security vulnerabilities.
- Failure to meet standards: After end of service, organizations using Windows Server 2003 will not be able to pass compliance and regulatory test, leading to losses or increased expenses – both in terms of cost of ownership and various fines.
- High expenses: Maintenance of outdated server setups is becoming increasingly costly. In addition to expensive hardware upkeep, these systems will also require additional investments in advanced firewalls or other deterrents against possible attacks.
Alternatives to Windows Server 2003
Upgrading to a modern server operating system is not the only solution. One of the available alternatives is the transition of all servers and applications to a cloud platform that offers full management capabilities and excellent value – such as Microsoft Azure. Another alternative is the adoption of SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solutions such as Office 365.
“Microsoft is concerned that, without adequate preparation, organizations could suffer negative impact on their business and reputation after the end of service for Windows Server 2003 next July,” said Suchaluck Sarananusorn, Cloud & Enterprise Business Group Lead, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited. “Organizations seeking efficient solutions with great value can choose to migrate their applications and systems to a public cloud configuration based on Microsoft Azure – a highly flexible cloud platform that can be tailored to meet varying needs. With Azure, organizations can use and manage applications from anywhere in the world through Microsoft’s worldwide network of data centers. Developers can also create applications using any language or tool on Azure before integrating the resulting cloud-based apps into existing IT systems.
“Every CIO-level executive strives to have an advanced IT infrastructure as their bedrock, and cloud technology can fulfill this objective as a great platform for applications, mobility, analytics and more. Today, technology is a vital part of business, and it is time for all organizations to enter the ‘mobile-first, cloud-first’ era after the end of service for Windows Server 2003. At Microsoft, we aim to offer cloud services that fit the exacting needs of our customers and provide unparalleled security and privacy.
“Organizations relying on Windows Server 2003 for email and communication functions can turn to Office 365, a cloud-based productivity and collaboration solution that includes familiar Office applications and a wide range of services – including Lync and Skype for online conversations, Exchange Online for emails, and OneDrive for cloud data storage,” Suchaluck concluded.
For more information on the system migration process, visit http://migrationplanningassistant.azurewebsites.net/.
About Microsoft Thailand
Established in 1993, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited aims to Make 70 Million Lives Better by enabling Thai people and businesses to realize their full potential through technology that transforms the way people work, play, and communicate. We offer software, services, and devices that deliver new opportunities, greater convenience, and enhanced value to people’s lives. Working with communities and the Thai government, Microsoft and its partners are committed to working closely with organizations and people across Thailand to fully harness the power of technology and innovation.
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For more information, press only:
Pornravee Suramool or Jirapat Chantarotai
Hill+Knowlton Strategies Thailand
Tel: 0-2627-3501 ext. 110, 131 or 081-735-9213, 087-698-6601