My father is the type of person who holds onto cars until he squeezes every last bit of value out of them.  I remember spending weekend evenings holding the light while he worked under the hood fixing something on his old Pontiac.  Often, he would spend entire weekends tearing apart a carburetor and sometimes hundreds of dollars. When he finally gave in and bought a new car, suddenly his time was freed up, he’d see immediate savings from better gas mileage, he’d get the new features that he’d been missing (airbags!) and he (and his family) was much happier (and safer).

IT professionals are often asked to act like my dad with their data centers.   How long can we squeeze value out of our existing investments?  Lifecycles benefit from manufacturer warranties and updates, but like a car, there comes a point where maintenance exceeds the cost to simply replace.  And in some cases, by deferring the investment, it’s more than time and labor that is lost but real business risk.

On July 14th 2015, Microsoft is ending support for Windows Server 2003.  While the OS is still clearly functional, we are more exposed. As security threats continue to evolve and advance, without Microsoft’s continued updates, like a missing airbag, the business is exposed.  Not just downtime but data loss, application failures and reputational harm.

But the story here isn’t just risk management but what new features are revealed by upgrading.   Many of our customers are running Windows Server 2003 on HP Gen 6 and older servers.  The software upgrade alone requires newer hardware.  This creates a perfect opportunity to not only take advantage of the new features of Windows Server 2012 (Hyper-v, system management) but also the features of Gen9 technology.  This combination provides the platform to reduce cost and increase agility.

Gen9 features alone offer:

  • Compute that turns red to black.  Triple your compute performance with lower total cost of  ownership.  Shrink costs. Waste nothing.  HP ProLiant Gen9 servers redefine compute economics into an irresistible profit equation for any size business.
  • Compute that delivers service in seconds.  HP ProLiant Gen9 servers are designed for rapid deployment and provisioning to accelerate new service delivery.
  • Compute that fast-forwards your success.  Grow revenue, increase margins, grab market share at an accelerated pace.

Additionally, while initially this simply refreshes the technology, you’re also preparing for workload optimization and creating paths to new solutions (from software management to cloud).  A few things to consider as we approach the deadline:

  1. What applications are currently residing on Windows Server 2003 platforms and the impact to the business if they fail or are breached?
  2. What’s the annual expense (power, space, etc.) of the current infrastructure and what improvements will be delivered with refreshed technology?
  3. What technology needs to be implemented to be able to meet your organizations future needs (to allow automation or improve flexibility)?

So as you look forward to 2015, think carefully about the challenges your organization faces not only with the loss of support on this platform, but also the significant gains delivered.  As competition demands greater performance and agility, your migration to new technology provides the foundation to support the increased needs of the business.  Like replacing your old car with the latest model, both you and your organization will be happier and safer and ready for the next set of challenges the market will pose.

If you have more questions, check out our resources on Windows Server 2003 EOS here or visit our HP Server page.