As you no doubt know, support for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 is coming to an end. It\u2019s been a great 12 years, but it\u2019s time for a change\u2014and a change to Server 2012 will keep your organization safe under Microsoft\u2019s watchful eyes for years to come. But it\u2019s not as simple as just pushing a button.\nExperienced IT pros know that the key to any successful large-scale project is planning\u2014and migrating from Microsoft Server 2003 to Server 2012 is no different. Otherwise you\u2019re just winging it, and the end result will be no better than if you had stayed with 2003. However, there\u2019s a crucial first step within that first step.\nBefore you sit down and get started, it\u2019s important that you have an accurate inventory of servers running Server 2003 and the applications they\u2019re running. It sounds simple, but if your organization owns hundreds\u2014or even thousands\u2014of servers stretched over multiple locations, the task of discovery can become exceedingly difficult and frustrating.\nThis is especially true if you haven\u2019t conducted a careful inventory in some time. Just think about how hard it can be to find anything in your home that you haven\u2019t used in a couple of years. Now, throw in a looming deadline and you have a recipe for potential disaster.\nHere\u2019s where you need to ask yourself, \u201cDo we have the resources, know-how, and time to conduct an accurate server inventory?\u201d If the answer is \u201cno\u201d or even \u201cmaybe,\u201d calling in the experts might not be a bad idea. Remember, this step right here is what gets you the detailed server data upon which the entire migration rests\u2014and you only have one chance to get it right. Missing just one server could leave you vulnerable to Server 2003\u2019s security flaws. And those aren\u2019t ever going to get fixed.\nOnce your server inventory is nailed down cold, it\u2019s time to do the same thing with the applications running on all those servers. Which apps are running on which servers? And who (within your organization) \u201cowns\u201d the app? Here\u2019s a good example. If you\u2019re migrating the accounts payable software, it\u2019s best if you include the chief financial officer in the migration planning. If tasks like this (and there could be several) seem overwhelming, again, it\u2019s worth considering getting an expert to do it for you.\nThis initial process of precisely determining server locations and server apps, as well as identifying the chief stakeholders for each business app, should offer the raw ingredients you need to make your migration path into a recipe for success.\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 this helpful tool to get you started on the right upgrade path for your unique environment, applications, and workloads.