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on June 01, 2015
On July 14 of this year, Microsoft will stop supporting all versions of Windows Server 2003. When that date arrives, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, patches or technical support of any kind for the operating system. This seems fairly reasonable, as Windows Server 2003 is now 12 years old, making it ancient in the realm of IT.
However, the matter is far more complicated than it might seem at first glance. This is due to the fact that the users of Windows Server 2003 are not limited to a small number of holdouts - on the contrary, the operating system remains quite popular to this day. According to Microsoft itself, there are currently approximately 11 million Windows Server 2003 servers up and running today. A report from Data Center Journal estimated that this number is even higher, with as many as 25 million Windows 2003 Servers in service around the globe.
This means there are many organizations that are in immediate danger of finding themselves in a very precarious position. Relying on a non-supported server poses not just security risks, but can also lead to unstable systems and performance complications.
All of this indicates that any company currently using Windows Server 2003 should take immediate steps to upgrade its operations. To this end, Talon FAST™ software can help tremendously to simplify your branch office strategy by consolidating all servers onto the latest Windows Server version.
"Companies using Windows Server 2003 will soon face the increased risk of cyberattacks."
The biggest issue that companies using Windows Server 2003 will soon face is the increased risk of cyberattacks. Without support from Microsoft, any newly found exploits will continue to serve as vulnerabilities for the operating system. IT News contributor Tony Campbell noted that if he were a hacker, he would immediately begin to target systems running Windows Server 2003 on July 15, creating malware specifically designed to take advantage of the lack of Microsoft support.
Successful breaches can lead to lost, stolen or exposed records, which can prove devastatingly costly. Additionally, the instability that breaches cause can further compromise the integrity of a company's files and overall operations.
No easy fix
Making matters worse, there is no easy, instantaneous fix available to companies relying on Windows Server 2003. The hardware running Windows Server 2003 must be replaced, as it is 32-bit and all current operating systems are 64-bit-based, and there's no support for an instant upgrade from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012 R2, the latest version.
The task of upgrading servers is particularly significant for a distributed enterprise. Such organizations must upgrade both their hardware and software configurations at every branch office to ensure the entire company is no longer reliant on, and vulnerable because of, Windows Server 2003 once that end of life date arrives.
Moving forward with FAST™
For distributed enterprises and all other organizations looking to upgrade their Windows Server and improve branch office IT infrastructure across the board, Talon FAST™ software is the ideal choice.
The FAST™ solution enables firms to consolidate their services and storage at each branch office, which reduces both costs and complexity. Once FAST™ is up and running, enterprises have no need to conduct backups at each of their branches. Instead, all of the data can be migrated into the datacenter, which itself can be either on-premise, fully cloud-enabled or a hybrid of both. Each branch can have a virtualized "Office-in-a-box" instance which can be easily supported for years to come.
Effectively, FAST™ helps customers to future-proof and unify the running of their Windows Server operating systems. FAST™ users will not need to worry about Windows Server 2003 EOL or EOL for any other Windows server system. Instead, they can focus on higher-level projects, all while employees enjoy the benefits of vastly improved global file sharing and collaboration and real-time data access.
Talon, a leader in next generation software-defined storage solutions, enables enterprises to centralize and consolidate IT storage infrastructure, while bringing data closer to their users, enabling enterprise global file sharing and collaboration. This results in streamlined IT management and improved end user productivity. From its headquarters in Mount Laurel, NJ and its global locations, Talon serves the largest Global 2000 organizations including the most established Architectural, Construction, Engineering, Energy, Offshore and Manufacturing companies.
Talon FAST™ is a trademark of Talon Storage Solutions, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Dina Petrosky (Americas)
Joanne Hogue (Europe)
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