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Technical Considerations of Server 2003 Migration

Four Steps to Smooth the Journey

Whether you’re a large enterprise or a small business, migrating successfully from Windows Server 2003 to Server 2012 R2 requires detailed planning and execution.

If you haven’t begun server OS migration planning by now, you’re running out of time. On July 14, 2015, Microsoft will end support for Server 2003. No more security patches, no more updates, no more support, period. Server 2003 reaches final, full end of life on July 14, 2015. There simply isn’t a sound business case (never mind technology case) for staying on an outdated, unsupported server platform.

Tips for a Successful Migration

Planning your migration to Windows Server 2012 is essential. The technical considerations can be overwhelming—especially if you wait until the last minute to begin the process. Delay is asking for panic, chaos, and disaster over the next few months. Is that how you want to spend your spring?

Paul LaChance, Worldwide Data Center Consulting Portfolio Strategist for HP Technology Services, offers a few tips for enterprises migrating to Server 2012. In this video, LaChance recommends a four-phase approach:

  1. The initial step should be discovery—a “very critical phase,” he says—in which data is collected regarding the number and location of servers in the enterprise, along with which services and applications are running on specific servers in the data center. Discovery is about figuring out what has to be moved from where—pretty important information for a major server OS migration.
  2. Next comes an assessment, in which the internal migration team and service providers establish migration priorities. These priorities will determine the order in which services and applications are transitioned from Server 2003 (categorized by type, criticality, complexity, and risk.)
  3. Targeting should be the third phase of the migration process, LaChance says. As an enterprise customer, where do you want your workloads to be? Unlike 12 years ago, when Server 2003 was new, there are numerous options: on-site server deployments, off-site public and private clouds, and hybrids.
  4. Once the first three phases are complete, migration can begin. “If you’ve planned well through the discovery, the assessment, and the targeting, the migration should go fairly smoothly,” LaChance says.

One last tip is to be sure to refractor, recode, and rebuild your applications to ensure a smooth transition to Server 2012 R2.

Timing is Everything

Whether you plan well, however, is largely contingent upon how much time you give yourself to migrate to a modern server OS. If you slap together a plan to migrate Active Directory or other crucial business and network services, eventually you will jeopardize business continuity.

The technical considerations involved in a server migration require careful thought and planning. HP offers migration software, services and education to guide enterprise customers through the most significant server migration in a dozen years —just in time to meet the requirements of the mobile-, cloud- and data-based economy.

With the end-of-support date for Windows Server 2003 fast approaching, there's never been a better time-or an easier time-to plan your data center transformation. Our experts have designed this helpful tool to get you started on the right upgrade path for your unique environment, applications, and workloads.

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