Windows Server 2003 has been viewed as a secure and bulletproof platform for well over a decade, but the cyber security landscape has changed dramatically over that time\u2014and new threats appear continuously. Sadly, legacy servers may be ill equipped to handle new threats, and organizations should seek server upgrades to protect both hardware and software against attacks. The plain fact is that when Microsoft ceases distributing security updates and patches for Windows Server 2003 software on July 14, it will become more expensive to secure legacy servers than to upgrade them for most companies.\nThe costs of maintaining legacy, unsupported servers against unacceptable exposure to cyber criminals will siphon resources away from IT budgets, especially if the organization has to implement new firewalls and intrusion detection systems. Plus, applications running on Windows Server 2003 will likely fail to meet compliance standards and regulations, leading to an additional cost burden to shore up security standards.\nThe silver lining is that when you upgrade your Windows Server 2003 platforms, you increase security by capitalizing on new software and hardware security capabilities that were heretofore unavailable on your legacy system. Upgrading security using Windows Server 2012 R2 and the Intel Xeon processor E5 v3 product family allows the enterprise to ensure ongoing protection while improving efficiency and productivity. It provides the enterprise with a secure and supported server environment that enables continued compliance with regulatory requirements that demand ongoing software updates.\n\u00a0Windows Server 2012 R2 offers businesses an enterprise-class, multi-tenant data center infrastructure that simplifies the secure deployment of IT services and enables the secure, streamlined integration of premises-based and cloud-based applications.\nAccess to corporate resources such as workloads, storage, and networks help increase the agility of your business while protecting corporate information. Windows Server 2012 R2 also provides frameworks, services, and tools to increase security, scalability, and elasticity. Evolved features such as centralized SSL certificate support and application initialization help improve enterprise security and server performance. Your IT staff can provide consistent access to corporate resources by more efficiently managing and federating user identities and credentials across the organization while providing secure, always-available access to your corporate network.\nImplementing Windows Server 2012 R2 on more secure hardware platforms also helps you further secure enterprise infrastructure. Deploying Windows Server 2012 R2 software on servers based on the Intel Xeon processor E5 v3 family protects the infrastructure by providing a hardware-assisted security foundation that strengthens malware protections and guards the operating system against escalation of attacks. It also provides added protection from threats against hypervisors, firmware, and other prelaunch software components.\nBy upgrading to Windows Server 2012 R2 on servers running E5 v3 processors, you gain access to powerful security and performance benefits, such as accelerated data encryption, strengthened malware protection, and the ability to create a trusted boot environment to protect your server landscape against malware or other tampering. You can also accelerate encryption and decryption via the use of the Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (Intel AES NI).\nFor more information on the security advantages of upgrading to Windows Server 2012 R2 on servers running E5 v3 processors, watch this brief video.\nWith the end of support date for Windows Server 2003 fast approaching, there's never been a better time to plan your data center transformation. Our experts have designed\u00a0this helpful tool to get you started\u00a0on the right upgrade path for your unique environment, applications, and workloads.