“We just didn’t get enough notice”… I hear IT departments all over the land scream. But despite a good amount of notice (and a few false notices), many companies were in panic when Microsoft ended support for the Windows XP desktop operating system. Painful as that was, it will pale in comparison to the pain and disruption looming by the end of support for Windows Server 2003, estimated for July 14, 2015
The end of XP support whilst painful, only affected users. Server 2003 will affect entire server infrastructure and with less than a year to prepare, you should be preparing now!
Over 35% of all installed server software in the world is Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and many customers are also running older versions of SQL Server (namely 2005 or less) that are also heading towards a support end, estimated in 2016.
Also many businesses that deal with sensitive information such as patient records or financial details are at risk of falling short on regulatory compliance.
Many customers we speak to are taking this deadline as an opportunity by raising the focus on cloud within their business and making steps towards either software as a service, Infrastructure as a service or virtualisation. Considering the latter, do they virtualise either on premise or in the cloud. The choice will either be Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 in a physical deployment or Windows Azure in the cloud.
The cloud isn’t a fix for all businesses; physical deployment of Server 2012 R2 whilst expensive initially, will have more powerful features, virtualisation capabilities and larger workload resource with less hardware.
If your organisation hasn’t started your migration process already, now is the time to start! Whether you choose physical deployment or cloud, any process you follow will take the next 12 months to successfully transition. Start now!!

Go to the Microsoft Product Life-cycle search for Windows Server 2003 and other product variations.