It's time to start planning your Windows Server 2003 replacement

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It's time to start planning your Windows Server 2003 replacement

Have an IT advisor? Start working with them on a plan for this, if you haven't already.

Just as Windows XP reached 'end of life' (the point at which Microsoft stops providing security updates) in April this year, the company will stop supporting Windows Server 2003 on 14 July 2015.

So if you are using Server 2003, it's time to start planning your migration to a replacement.

Microsoft would like that to be Windows Server 2012 R2, but - depending on what you use your server for - you might consider alternatives such as Linux.

You might even decide that you don't need a server at all. If you installed Windows Server 2003 years ago as a way of sharing files and printers, it might be cheaper and simpler to replace your old server with a NAS unit (perhaps one of the Seagate or Synology models we've described in recent months) and a modern networked printer.

Or your growing use of cloud services could mean that you no longer need on-premises shared storage at all.

Either way, staying with Server 2003 after next July involves risks that aren't worth taking. So take advantage of the next six months to consult whoever you trust for specific IT advice, and then plan for and start moving into a post-Server 2003 world.

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