You’ve all heard Microsoft will cease support for all versions of Windows Server 2003 on July 14, and after that there will no longer be any software updates issued. The potential costs of maintaining outdated servers and protecting them against cyber attacks can have crippling impacts on IT budgets. But as the costs of operating Windows Server 2003 increases, organizations can instead migrate to Windows Server 2012 to reduce costs and increase productivity by taking advantage of advancements in virtualization, management, storage, and networking.
Migrating to Windows Server 2012 will allow you to deliver modern application services while virtualizing on your own terms, and you can automate IT operations to drive quality and efficiency. But there’s one major challenge facing organizations that are still running Windows Server 2003: Even if you’re planning to migrate to Windows Server 2012, you’re already late.
A typical server migration can take 200 days or more for many enterprises, which is a long time to risk exposure to potential security threats. Sophisticated tools are needed to help streamline and accelerate the migration so IT can avoid the costs of implementing Band-Aid approaches to protecting the server infrastructure while cost-justifying investments in new servers and analyzing efficient migration strategies.
Intel offers free tools and resources to help with migration, such as the Intel Xeon Processor-Based Server Refresh Savings Estimator. This enables businesses to model server refresh activity and see the cost and maintenance impact of implementing new hardware. Developed from Intel’s IT experience in justifying server refreshes internally, this web-based tool allows you to enter data about your existing environment and evaluate the benefits of replacing it with the latest generation of Intel-based servers, Ethernet products, and solid-state drives.
Enter information about your existing data center environment into the tool and you can easily evaluate the optimal servers for your project life cycle. You can quickly model the combined effects of compute, memory, and I/O to understand the overall implications for server sizing and selection to meet your service level agreements.
Intel’s estimator tool also incorporates the required number of servers to address projected workloads and helps IT evaluate the cost impacts of using solid-state versus hard disk drives and migrating from 1 Gb to 10 Gb adapters. Plus, it can help identify opportunities for the possible freeing of IT staff to address other critical IT business needs.
Reduced operating system licensing costs is a primary factor driving up the ROI for consolidating servers, so it is important to input your current per-server OS licensing costs to reflect your actual situation. Once you’ve entered the data via a browser interface you can download a report summarizing your personalized refresh project. Armed with detailed, customized information based on your business’ unique needs, CIOs and other internal decision makers should have the tools they need to make a financial case for migration.