THOSE GOOD OLD WEBSERVERS:
We hear a re-occuring theme at present as we busily assist with Windows 2003 migrations and decommissions and that is ‘We need to protect our edge servers – we cannot have a Windows 2003 machine accessible from the Internet’. Quite right too.
This led us to investigate the issue further to determine how large the issue potentially is. We already know that Windows 2003 has been the reliable old workhorse for many many years, so therefore its right to assume that there are lots of Windows 2003 web servers right?
Right indeed… This article shed some light on the size of the Windows 2003 problem:-
We know, you know.
Newspapers stated today "Councils have lost or misused private data thousands of times, says watchdog" which is an eye-catching headline.
We have posted a lot of text-heavy posts on this blog regarding Windows Server 2003 End of Life. Before we move onto the next stage - what platforms to migrate to, we thought it worth sharing some of the related videos:
I run a business that profits from this need to migrate from 2003 Server but it is still worth exploring other avenues...
For those that need to remove 2003 - fine, you know your direction.
For some other companies we meet their server teams are confident they do not need to rush to eliminate the legacy OS, based on other safeguards, data and usage.
Issue: Deciding whether or not to tackle those Windows Server 2003 machines is not a black and white scenario.
A bit of a headache, especially if the remediation work will affect service and necessitate expense on redevelopment. In many situations solutions like AppZero are the answer, virutalise and move the problem without having to revisit the code.
We've also made the point that from a technical and delivery point of view these same problems present very interesting and highly challenging work. Trying to dismantle and build systems and introduce new solutions simultaneously across tens or hundreds of workloads is no mean feat.
Windows Server 2003 EOL cannot be treated like XP EOL nor can Mainframes be used as a good reference point (any malware developers out there with a IBM mainframe at home?).
When undertaking your Windows 2003 End of Life decommissioning process it’s the old rule of 90% preparation and 10% migration effort. One of the more lengthy investigations we’ve found is determining application usage. You will likely discover multiple applications that your client relies on and some of them could be many years out of date.
Determining the users of these applications can be tricky, as there are potentially multiple ways to do so:-
- Interview the app owner / end-users
- Use Asset / System Management toolsets and query the data.
One of the useful side effects of Windows 2003 decommissions is to take the opportunity to consolidate your physical footprint by virtualising your estate further. There are many advantages to this as described in here.
Windows 2003 EOL - Data Migration Challenge
One of the major hurdles we've faced when performing migrations of client systems and services to supported platforms as part of a Windows Server 2003 EOL exercise is remembering all of the utilities and tools that were available at the time. Some of these tools were ported to new platforms, some have been retired.
As technologies move on and we become used to closer integration and interoperability, you might find yourself over complicating the situation!