We Asked, You Answered: Windows Server 2003 End of Support

By on Aug 21, 2015

This blog was written by Joakim Lialias.

Ahead of the Windows Server 2003 End of Support in July, there were quite a few sobering statistics in regard to how many server instances were still being run on Windows Server 2003. The data-driven investigators that we security folks are, we set out to do a little Windows Server 2003 research of our own. So, during the months of June and July, we conducted a survey in hopes of getting to the bottom of the most pressing questions around the end of support for Windows Server 2003.

As a result, we uncovered some pretty interesting truths – here’s a look at what was discovered.

84% of respondents were aware of the end of support date for Windows Server 2003. However, only 62% felt prepared to face it with the resources, budget, tools, or migration plan they had in place.

As a refresher, there are three migration options we recommend: 1. upgrading to a newer version of Windows Server, 2. moving to the public cloud, or 3. implementing additional protection for servers that can’t be immediately migrated.

So, what did our survey respondents have to say about their migration plans? The top three answers we received were:

  • Moving workloads to virtual machines on existing servers – 37%
  • Leaving some workloads on Windows Server 2003 for the short term – 30%
  • Buying entirely new servers – 23%

For those who planned to migrate at some point, 69% reported that they would be migrating to Windows Server 2012/2012 R2, which continues to be our recommended choice, as Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 will also be going off of support in the not so distant future.

But as we all know, each migration path comes with its challenges. Survey respondents stated that the biggest challenges in migrating off Windows Server 2003 came from two areas: legacy application environment migration – 53% and infrastructure migration – 44%.

No matter the infrastructure you’re running, there are a few basic security measures you need in place. If you’ve decided to migrate to Windows Server 2012, get started by employing either McAfee Server Security Suite Essentials or McAfee Server Security Suite Advanced.

Moving to the public cloud? McAfee Public Cloud Server Security Suite will provide you with comprehensive cloud security and dynamic management of cloud environments.

If you haven’t migrated off of Windows Server 2003 already, now is the time. Keep your environments protected until you finish migrating by installing a solution such as McAfee Application Control for Servers. This solution will ensure even your unsupported servers are protected from malware and advanced threats.

Have a question before you get started with the migration process? Visit the Windows 2003 End of Support resource center to get all of the information you need to overcome migration hurdles, and be sure to follow @McAfee_Business on Twitter for real-time security updates.

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