RIP Microsoft Server 2003

rip 2003Back in 2003 it was unheard of to have email on your mobile phone, in fact it would be another 4 years till the iPhone made its appearance. Aptly named for its time, Server 2003 made it appearance. Since then it has had a great run and if we counted computer years like we do dog years, it would now be 84 years old. As such, Microsoft have decided to put it out to pasture. On the 14th of July this year Microsoft will officially no longer be supporting it.

What does this mean?


This does not mean that all servers running 2003 will simply stop working on that date. What it does mean is two things:
• Microsoft will stop releasing system and security updates.
• Microsoft will stop giving support.

What is the risk to my business?


Compatibility – As new products are released they will not be tested with Server 2003. A new product may be released that does not work with 2003 and Microsoft will not update it like they used to. We have seen something similar start to happen on Windows XP with third part certificates not being compatible. So the issue is not that Windows 2003 Server may or may not stop. It’s that everything else will start talking languages which 2003 will not understand.

Security updates – Periodically Microsoft release security updates to fix vulnerabilities that hackers and the like uncover in the operating systems. Without these your business is at risk to viruses specifically designed to take advantages of these flaws. This is why we recommend all servers and PC’s are patched once a month (KARE clients are automatically patched as part of their contract)

Support – Every now and again a curly problem presents itself and we need to call Microsoft to help resolve the issue. It does not happen very often but if it does Microsoft will simply refuse to help.

In Conclusion


So the risk is substantial business interruption. Even if the Sever running 2003 is not running critical business applications, the mere fact that it is running on your network is an open door. Like Windows XP which is now out of support, Kinetics Group recommends any server running 2003 be replaced or upgraded to a supported operating system.