Post-Merger Integration Blog

De-risk PMI technology projects and increase certainty for your M&A deal.

Windows 2003 EOL - Process Part One: Application Layer

Posted by Hutton Henry on 16-Jul-2015 11:02:00

It is likely you will need to manage a number of Line of Business ("LOB") applications as part of a Windows Server 2003 End of Life programme. When thinking through a Windows Server migration (or decommission) you will need to discover and remediate business applications.

Unlike a new technology programme, a Windows Server 2003 EOL (WS2003EOL) project is likely to be seen as not implementing anything "new". This means that the resources are often not seen as architects - they are more demolition men and therefore not seen in the same light. Job titles might be "Server Engineer" or "Server Migration Lead". But there are elements of "design", simply because you need to find a new home for the old services.

As part of our overall series on Windows Server 2003 End of Life, this blog post outlines some of the steps you might take when migrating a single application.  There are application virtualistion solutions available which can help avoid some of these steps but you will not eliminate interaction with the end-users, customers and stakeholders - areas that will take most of your time.

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Topics: #WS2003EOL, #WindowsServer, #WS2003, Windows Server 2003 End of Life

Tech Brief - Upgrading a Windows 2003 VM running on Hyper V. (Part 2)

Posted by Dave Refault on 15-Jul-2015 10:08:00


Many Windows 2003 servers have already been P2V’d as IT departments strive for greater consolidation of their assets, greener credentials and removal of asset based risk (aging hardware etc).

Therefore you are likely to be dealing with Virtual Machines and as discussed on Part 1 – this make life significantly easier when performing upgrades to Windows 2008.

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Topics: #WS2003EOL, #WindowsServer, #WS2003, Windows Server 2003 End of Life

Windows Server Migrations - a "cats cradle" of inter-dependencies

Posted by Hutton Henry on 14-Jul-2015 16:16:00

On the surface it looks simple. Your business runs 25% of old servers. They are no longer supported.
You need to remove them. You have choices regarding what to do with legacy services - which boils down to decommission or migrate to something new.

That 25% of servers could be a few hundred or a few thousand Windows servers.

When the project team puts together they start forecasting, based on a rudimentary "metric" (say, three
server types a week - that is three different roles, not three actual servers). And the plan pans out,
clearly showing progress and eating into the company IT budget. Funding that could be used on business differentiators.

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Topics: #WS2003EOL, #WindowsServer, #WS2003, Windows Server 2003 End of Life

Windows 2003 EOL – What are my options?!

Posted by Dave Refault on 14-Jul-2015 13:33:00

As you all know, Windows 2003 has been the reliable workhorse of the Microsoft server family for many years.   Sys Admins globally came to respect its reliability and simplicity.   However all good things come to an end, and now you probably find yourself with multiple Windows 2003 servers that may contain or  provide access to sensitive information.  Worse still certain industries are bound by security standards that dictate strict procedure and control (PCI DSS anyone?).

So what are your options?

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Topics: #WS2003EOL, #WindowsServer, #WS2003, Windows Server 2003 End of Life

Tech Brief – Windows 2003 to 2008 In-place upgrades - Part 1

Posted by Dave Refault on 14-Jul-2015 08:43:00

By now we’re sure that many of you are knee-deep in Windows 2003 server migration and decommissioning projects as the deadline rapidly approaches (and swiftly passes).   As mentioned elsewhere within these blogs, these migrations are a hot topic for us.   So what have we discovered on our travels?   As with all projects it’s all in the preparation and communication, however once we get past those hurdles what awaits us?
This blog discusses the merits of Inplace Upgrades and some of the ‘gotchas’ that we hope will save you time and stress!  Everything you read within these blogs is the result of our own (sometimes painful) discovery. 
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Topics: #WS2003EOL, #WindowsServer, #WS2003, Windows Server 2003 End of Life

Windows Server 2003 EOL A Malware Developer's Opportunity

Posted by Hutton Henry on 13-Jul-2015 18:30:00


Writing on the eve of Windows Server 2003 reaching its end of life, it is fair to say that is has been well communicated and every Enterprise IT team will be aware and have assessed the risk.

In our introduction post we stated that this is some of the most challenging and interesting work in Enterprise IT - as there is the need both to deconstruct and build, decomission legacy systems and work with many stakeholders across the business.

Over time there is the risk Windows Servers may become subject to malware as Microsoft will no longer provide security updates to this server platform.  These servers may become the stepping-stone to the rest of your infrastructure.

From the Malware developer's perspective Windows Server 2003 EOL could be their most significant opportunity this year.  The lack of security updates over a period of time combined with the millions of copies of Windows still running within business make it a prime target for Malware development shops.

why to migrate to windows server 2003

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Topics: #WS2003EOL, #WindowsServer, #WS2003, Windows Server 2003 End of Life

Reporting KPIs to consider for Windows Server 2003 Projects

Posted by Hutton Henry on 10-Jul-2015 16:15:00

Reporting complexities of a Windows Server migration can be simplified by following against two KPIs.

The obvious thing to track whilst running a Windows Server migration project is how many servers are being tackled on a weekly basis. This is the most effective, simple KPI to report to the project board. The problem with this is that it is likely there will be a lot of preparation work prior to servers being migrated.

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Topics: #WS2003EOL, #WindowsServer, #WS2003, Windows Server 2003 End of Life

Complexities of a Windows Server 2003 Remediation Exercise

Posted by Hutton Henry on 09-Jul-2015 17:30:00

Windows Server projects are not limited to...Windows Server

For those that have worked with System Center Operations Manager ("SCOM") you are likely to understand the point of this blog post. SCOM is used to manage an Enterprise IT environment but you use it effectively, you need to know a lot more than SCOM.

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Topics: #WS2003EOL, #WindowsServer, #WS2003, Windows Server 2003 End of Life

Windows Server 2003 Migration - What's in it for Me?

Posted by Hutton Henry on 08-Jul-2015 06:02:00

I'll present this as a fictitious Microsoft Exam scenario.

Contoso Records limited is a music corporation with 10,000 employees worldwide. Due to changes in the industry and consumer demand they need to radically change the way they work, reduce costs and improve profits in a shrinking market. The CIO has a number of vacancies open based on some pre-determined projects that his team has analysed to be crucial for company growth.

The three posts are:

  • Office 365 Implementation Lead
  • Windows Sever 2003 Elimination Lead
  • Hyper-V / SCVMM Lead

As an ambitious consultant with 5-10 years Microsoft Enterprise experience you want to select the best role that will provide the most obvious benefit to the business, get you in front of the business stakeholders and secure your future. What role do you select?


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Topics: #WS2003EOL, #WindowsServer, #WS2003, Windows Server 2003 End of Life