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Insight Enterprises Offers Windows Server 2003 Deadline Advice

With exactly six months to go until the July 14, 2015 end of service deadline for Windows Server 2003, Microsoft's Licensing Solution Provider partners (formerly known as LARs), are sounding the alarm more insistently.

Both CDW and Insight Enterprises had their media operations reaching out on Wednesday to mark this milestone on the way to the deadline. Insight provided a handy list of some of the common pitfalls that it's seeing as it works with customers to update their infrastructures:

"1. Insufficient planning and assessment -- Many businesses have launched upgrade migrations without knowing the full extent of the server environment, including what critical applications are in use. Businesses may not have conducted a detailed assessment of what data needs to be moved, what does not, and what should never be moved.

"2. Failure to understand user and organizational impact -- Businesses may be underestimating the migration's impact on daily business operations. Organizations have not scheduled resource-intensive migration tasks for off-peak hours and are not applying the right manpower for ongoing management and reporting on project status.

"3. Inconsistent or absent coexistence between old and new servers -- Businesses must ensure operability between users, that directories are being synchronized, and that they preserve permissions, security settings, and access points to the network and resources.

"4. Inadequate data protection -- Businesses are already reporting data loss during migration because they did not back up their data. Businesses should back up data before, during, and after the migration.

"5. Failing to optimize the new environment -- Some businesses overseeing migrations have not created a robust management strategy to reduce the administrative burden. Businesses need to plan for how they will monitor the health of the IT environment to ensure it is secure and compliant."

In a prepared statement accompanying the list, David Mayer, practice director for Microsoft Solutions at Insight, warned that those steps can easily take more than 18 months and said that many organizations haven't started the process.

Looks like we could be in for a year of minor chaos after the Windows Server 2003 deadline passes.

Posted by Scott Bekker on January 14, 2015 at 1:55 PM