More than 10 million servers all around the globe are running on Windows Server 2003. Support for the most used server OS is going to end on 14 July 2015. Afterwards, Microsoft will not release any service pack or update for this Operating System and will not provide any support to fix the technical issues you may face. It means the Windows Server currently being employed in an organization will be completely insecure in the absence of updates and technical support. Latest updates for Windows Server 2003 will not be there that can let a server stand against the multiple odds appearing in the near future and will be deprived of any help to fix the technical issues. In such a situation, it is recommended to switch from Windows Server 2003 to any new Windows Server. It is the best time to migrate from Windows Server 2003 to a new Windows Server operating system. In this article, we will have a study on this recommended migration.
First, it is required to discover that you are sure to migrate from Windows Server 2003 to a new OS or not. Then, what all applications, data, and computers you want to migrate to the new OS?
In addition, you have to understand the process to perform the migration. The selected process should be safe and there should no impact on the end users after the migration.
It may be required that you have to perform some research or hire third party services for this migration.
You can start by assessing your current environment. Few assessment questions are listed herein below.
- Cost –
a. What is the cost of the new server OS that you have selected?
b. If applications on existing Server 2003 are not compatible then what is the cost to upgrade these applications?
- Application Status –
a. Which applications are installed on Windows Server 2003?
b. Will all these applications be compatible with the newly selected Server OS?
c. If not, then do you have to upgrade these applications?
- Resources –
a. Are available hardware resources sufficient for migrating to the new version?
b. If not, then what are the system requirements for the new server and upgrades of existing applications?
- Migration Management –
a. How will you manage the server migration process?
b. If server hardware is required, then will you setup a new server separately?
c. Will you upgrade the existing server installation or install a new OS in parallel?
It is recommended to download and use “Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit” in order to assess and plan migration from current Windows Server 2003 to a new server OS.
After discovering the applications and assessing what all has to be migrated, it is required to setup and install the target Windows Server Operating System.
- If new server hardware is required, then you have to decide whether to set up a new Server System or to upgrade the hardware of the existing server machine.
- Will you install the new Server OS in parallel with the old installation or will you upgrade the existing server OS?
It is recommended to install the new Windows Server separately so that applications and data can be migrated after checking and resolving the compatibility issues.
If you are going to buy a new Windows Server OS then Windows Server 2012 R2 or 2012 should be your preferred choice. In addition, it is advised to select Exchange Server 2013, Office 365, or SharePoint Server 2013 for upgrading the older versions of applications.
The last phase of this process is migration. It is required to migrate the applications, data users, Active Directory, AD users and objects, and other resources from Windows Server 2003 to separately installed new Windows Server.
How Lepide can help?
If you are looking to migrate from Exchange Server 2003 or 2007 to Exchange Server 2010, 2013 or Office 365, then LepideMigrator for Exchange is the ultimate solution. It migrates the following items from an Exchange Server to another:
- User Mailboxes
- Archive Mailboxes
- Public Folders
- All Email Items and Content
- Mailbox Properties
- Outlook Rules
- Outlook Profiles
- Global Address List
In addition, LepideMigrator for Documents lets you migrate the content from File Server to SharePoint Server or Office 365.
Support for Windows Server 2003 is ending on 14 July 2015. It is advised to upgrade to a new Windows Server OS, preferably the latest one – Windows Server 2012 R2. It is recommended to install the target Windows Server OS in parallel to the new OS so that you can migrate all applications and data from old Server 2003 to the new server installation. Migration to a new system guarantees more integrity and security of your precious data as compatibility issues can easily be handled in a new installation as compared to upgrading the existing server OS installation.