Microsoft continues to make headlines as it brings in new waves of technology like the upcoming Windows 10 operating system; however this week the company also said “goodbye” to one of its tried and true offerings, Windows Server 2003.  As of July 14, 2015, Microsoft will no longer support its reported 11 million servers and applications running on Windows Server 2003 — meaning businesses that continue to utilize the “legacy” server, will no longer receive support or security updates for any version of Windows Server 2003.

IT departments that are still making the change may be focusing on replacing the server itself, but it’s important to also consider how the phase out will impact network performance. Here is a checklist to guide IT teams during the Windows Server 2003 changeover and help shed light on the lesser-known impacts this change will have on maintaining power networks and converged IT:

  • What does the Windows Server 2003 EOL actually mean? When should I start preparing for the phase out?

If your organization does not migrate servers and applications to a newer platform, you may be at risk of losing valuable support and potentially incur increased maintenance costs for legacy equipment, software and operating systems. In some instances, the lack of support can raise security concerns and may even lead to violating industry compliance standards.

Businesses should prepare for this changeover as soon as possible — especially with the EOL now in effect to maintain optimal network performance.

  • How will this impact other server equipment?

    Legacy server equipment may not be as efficient or may be missing features that will prove crucial to business applications, whereas newer equipment has been upgraded to run at peak performance and ensure ideal compatibility with the latest IT gear. With significant product improvements over the past several years, it is important to implement technology that can match advanced software capabilities throughout a data center or server room.

    Anytime your organization is engaging in an IT refresh, you should evaluate the viability of UPSs. Life expectancies of UPSs can vary greatly depending on environmental conditions and checking UPSs should be a standard step in any IT change to maintain optimal network availability. 
  • Will this impact UPS performance?

    UPS batteries play an important part in the life expectancy of a UPS and it is imperative to understand the manufacturer’s warranty (two years is common among leading providers), determine whether extended warranty coverage is appropriate and change the batteries according to the recommended maintenance schedule to prolong battery life. Disregarding any of these factors now, could have serious repercussions down the line.
  • How can I maintain network availability during the changeover? Should I outsource applications?

    As no two businesses are the same, it is difficult to determine if applications should be outsourced, co-located or maintained with updated equipment on-premise without evaluating a number of business characteristics, including the size of the business, the scalability requirements, the volume of data processed and more.  

Many businesses will choose to keep their most critical data on-premise, to maintain greater security controls, as well as to mitigate potential latency issues. Particularly during a cloud migration, it is imperative to ensure the availability of vital business data. Housing even a portion of an organization’s data on-premise may be the best option to allow businesses to operate with minimal interruptions while updating server equipment.

If an organization does choose to move data off-premise or possibly consider deployment in a co-located data center, IT departments will need to rethink how they maintain availability of new and critical networking equipment to ensure a constantly reliable connection to remote server data.

Regardless of whether you have already begun the Windows Server 2003 changeover, are just beginning the process of switching servers or have already completed the transition, it’s not too late to consider the impact the transition will have from a power performance perspective. Be sure to review this checklist to avoid potential power performance issues or to check that you have taken the proper steps following the changeover to safeguard against network downtime.