With just six months until Microsoft (MSFT) pulls the plug on its 12-year-old offering, more than 20 million instances of Server 2003 continue to remain active worldwide. Those remaining on Server 2003 past the support deadline will not be able to receive updates and support for their platforms, leaving them open to malware and other malicious attacks.
“As the deadline nears, a large portion of businesses have not taken any steps to address outdated server software, posing a serious threat to data security across the U.S. corporate landscape,” said David Mayer, practice director, Microsoft Solutions for Insight, in a statement. “As we work with businesses on addressing the issue, it's also becoming clear that many are confused about the right steps to take.”
“We have established the Insight Rapid Response Team to work specifically on this issue and help businesses act on the critical decisions that need to be made—which could take more than 18 months to implement,” he added.
Insight’s Rapid Response Team also outlined some of the top errors that businesses should avoid when migrating their operating systems, including:
- Insufficient planning and assessment: Many businesses have launched upgrade migrations without knowing the full extent of the server environment, including what critical applications are in use. Businesses may not have conducted a detailed assessment of what data needs to be moved, what does not and what should never be moved.
- Failure to understand user and organizational impact: Businesses may be underestimating the migration’s impact on daily business operations. Organizations have not scheduled resource-intensive migration tasks for off-peak hours and are not applying the right manpower for ongoing management and reporting on project status.
- Inconsistent or absent coexistence between old and new servers: Businesses must ensure operability between users, that directories are being synchronized, and that they preserve permissions, security settings and access points to the network and resources.
- Inadequate data protection: Businesses are already reporting data loss during migration because they did not back up their data. Businesses should back up data before, during and after the migration.
- Failing to optimize the new environment: Some businesses overseeing migrations have not created a robust management strategy to reduce the administrative burden. Businesses need to plan for how they will monitor the health of the IT environment to ensure it is secure and compliant.