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Most IT administrators should be aware that in the next six months Windows Server 2003 will reach its end-of-life. For the Windows 2003 Server family you should know the following dates:

  • On July 13, 2010 Mainstream Support for Windows Server 2003 family ended.
  • On July 14, 2015 Extended Support for Windows Server 2003 family will end.

So one year after the Microsoft Windows XP (and Office 2003) retirement, now it’s the turn of the Windows Server 2003 operating system family.

Microsoft LogoMicrosoft’s exact cut-off date for supporting Windows Server 2003 is July 14, 2015, which will focus administrators minds on updating any remaining machines running the operating system for servers. This is not actually a lot of time, given the potential complexities of an upgrade to Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2012, or to move a workload to the cloud.

Also next year will be probably the year of the next Windows Server family (see for example the news related to this version) making the gap of releases really huge (5 different releases after Windows Server 2003 R2!).

But actually the change has already been driven by the application layer: most of applications require a 64 bit OS and serveral of them have removed the Windows Server 2003 support. So it’s already done the migration? Not really!

Microsoft has estimated that there may be between as many as 20 million copies of Windows Server 2003 are still running. With the obvious security risks and a real need of a upgrade (or, in a more realistic way, a refresh and migration) plan.

There are the standard Microsoft migration procedure (for each of their applications and components), but also several 3rd part tools that can help in those tasks.

And also data protection tools can help in this phase, like the new Veeam Availability Suite v8 that gives you data protection during backup and reduced downtime when testing in virtual lab environments.

See also:


Virtualization, Cloud and Storage Architect. Tech Field delegate. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert 2010-20 and vExpert Pro. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014-15. Microsoft MVP 2014-16. Veeam Vanguard 2015-19. Nutanix NTC 2014-20. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.