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Server 2003 Migration Strategy and Deployment
Equipment Installations
Network Setups
Upgrades and updates
Hardware Repairs
Software Configurations
Bluefire is here to help with the task ahead and to provide enough lead time for the major upgrade that needs to be in place by the 3rd Quarter of 2015. Neglecting the plan ahead could result in a last minute, frantic, stressful, and risky forced migration in order to ensure continuity of service, support, and security. With Bluefire's strategy we can help your company avoided any last minute deployments.
*According to Microsoft, Server 2003 will no longer receive automatic updates, fixes, or online assistance on July 14, 2015. A best practice to prepare for your migration is to start with a thorough migration and upgrade plan well in advance of the end-of-life date, for the reasons we have stated here.
1. Stay Put.
In this scenario, you no longer require server support, are prepared for major vulnerabilities and are perfectly fine to just “kick the can down the road.” Assuming you actually rely on your Windows 2003 server applications, this option is only viable if you already are underway with replacing all your applications and servers with a new architecture from the ground up.
In this case, the risk of unsupported servers/applications, security breach, functional errors, etc. is outweighed by the benefit of focusing all your resources on the overhaul effort to all-new applications, to replace all the services on your current Windows 2003 server.

2. Upgrade Existing Server.
Performing an upgrade to your existing server, if even an option, in most cases will result in functionality errors with your applications that you’ll need to resolve in a “live” environment. Moreover, it’s likely the server itself is several years old (or more), so you’re solving one problem in a potentially reckless, short-sighted manner while leaving the legacy hardware issue for a later date, compounded by having to diagnose and resolve application failures (at an unknown magnitude of time and expense) in your live environment.
This option is extremely high risk, unless you are certain that you won’t encounter any significant application errors upon the server upgrade, and your business can withstand a possible services outage of 48 hours (or more), and economy/budget is way more important to your business than longevity, security and support.

7. Migrate and Upgrade to new Hardware or a new Platform. (Our Recommendation)
In most all cases this is your best, most logical option. Let us assess your current situration and start with a plan. The time to start is, Now... Best practice planning for your Windows 2003 server migration will include phases for project scope (technical and project management), resource allocation, capability (i.e. programmers and testers) and budget. There are more granular components as well, but these are a good place to start.
In summary, the rule of thumb for successful migrations is to plan ahead, be thorough and don’t wait until the last minute if it can be avoided. We are here to provide advice and/ or assistance with planning and performing your Server Migration. Our team is well versed in the migration process and we provide full migrations services to new server hardware and/ or cloud based virtualization platforms which includes data in the cloud and server software in the cloud.

It is time to take action:

After July, 14, 2015 there will be no new security updates, no non-security hotfixes, no free or paid assisted support options, and no online technical content updates.

Running Windows Server 2003 in your environment after the end of support date may expose your company to potential risks, including but not limited to, the following:

Security Risks – Unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks and exploits. More than 60 critical updates for Windows Server 2003 were released in 2013 and 2014. No updates will be developed or released after end of support in July 2015. After this time, attackers will have an advantage over defenders who continue to run Windows Server 2003 on their servers. When Microsoft releases security updates for newer and supported versions of Windows Server, attackers will try and reverse engineer them to identify any vulnerabilities that also exist in the older unsupported Windows Server 2003. If they succeed, attackers will have the capability to develop exploit code to take advantage of them. This is a HUGE security risk, and therefore a HUGE business risk.

Compliance Risks – Lack of compliance with various industry standards and government regulations can be devastating. Unsupported and unpatched environments may result in an officially recognized “control failure” by an internal or external auditing body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of the organization’s inability to maintain its systems and customer information.

Lack of Software Vendor support – Many industry business software applications will also cease to be supported, once the underlying operating system they are running on is unsupported. This includes all Microsoft applications.

Give us a call today at 407.377.6845 or fill out the Request Form for a no hassle - Free Onsite Consultation.

Our Team is here to provide your business with the service and upgrade support it deserves to get the right solution in place to maintain the proper security and standards for the next decade.
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Key Steps in Migrating from Server 2003:
Active Directory
SQL Environments
Shared Drives
Terminal Profiles