10 things to consider as you move away from Windows Server 2003

I know how hard it is to let go. I kept my trusty Windows XP at least three years beyond the point at which I switched to something new. Finally I moved to Windows 7. And now, as you know from my series of posts (see related stories at the end of this post), I switched to a Mac Mini as my primary workstation. Change is difficult. They are a good example of an IT guy who supposedly love change, but hate change.
Crazy isn’t it? You read it correctly. I love change but I hate to change.
I like to watch change. I like to be an agent of change. I like to participate in change. I’m a huge proponent of change.
But I really hate to change.
You probably feel the same way.

Windows Server 2003 is a great operating system. No argument there. Windows XP was pretty awesome too.
But all good things come to an end and XP is almost there as is Windows Server 2003.

Microsoft Study Guide
It’s time to let go and upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2 or even, as crazy as it sounds, in Windows Server 2012.If you start the upgrade migration s Windows Server 2003 hours, to be completed by the time it is removed from Microsoft  ebook the species list endangered and placed in mothballs. She has around 18 months for the project, but should begin immediately.

Here are the ten things to consider as you plan your migration:

  • New hardware
  • Virtualization
  • Consolidation
  • New security models
  • Application migration
  • New management tools
  • Training
  • Licensing
  • Time
  • Personnel

While I don’t have the space to cover each of these ten in detail here, I’ll give you my strategy for this project.

  1. Take a server inventory – Find out exactly how many Windows Server 2003 systems you have on your network.
  2. Extract the hardware profile for each system – Collect CPU, memory, and disk space information.
  3. Gather utilization data – If you’ve kept up with utilization and performance on these systems, create a new list of ones that have utilization numbers under 50 percent.
  4. Decommission systems that are no longer required for business – There’s no point in keeping unused, replaced, or retired systems on the books. Get rid of them. Don’t forget to wipe local drives with DBAN* before you dispose of or return your systems.
  5. Create a list of services from Step 3 that can be consolidated or moved to newer existing systems.
  6. Assess the feasibility of moving those underutilized workloads to virtual machines (VMs). Don’t overbuild your VMs. Use resources as necessary. Remember that if your system is underutilized as a physical machine, you don’t have to create an exact replacement or equivalent system to take over its job on a VM. Think small.
  7. Consider the remaining systems from your lists for migration to larger VMs or to physical machines because of utilization.
  8. Remember that you can attach SAN to VMs as well as physical systems so you don’t have to lose any data in the migration from physical to virtual.
  9. Once you’ve validated services on your VMs or new physical systems, decommission and remove the old systems.
  10. Take a new server inventory, assess utilization, and adust as necessary.

Of course there is a caveat to this situation that you need to consider . Moving from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008 R2 Practice Questions or Windows Server 2012 requires the latest hardware and more of the same , whether virtual or physical. You can not get away with using a system disk of 20 GB and can not squeak by with 4 GB of RAM. Both newer operating systems require only 4 GB to run basic services . Start with 8 GB of RAM and 50 GB of system disk. As processor power , I suggest a minimum of two CPUs.

Once again , people are starting points. Evaluate the use thoughtfully. An increase of 100 per cent use it, even for a few hours a day, not necessarily ensure more virtual CPUs . Do you want a decent return for their systems , then you need to check the CPU, memory and disk I / S during the migration phase .

But now is the time to begin their migration to Windows Server 2003. I know it’s too much to ask when you are also moving away from Windows XP desktop , but it must be done. You have 18 months. Start now and you will not feel rushed or under pressure. July 14, 2015 is the deadline and the finish line. And no matter how much I hate you I hate you edit or change, that date will still come to us all. Windows Server 2003 days are numbered.

I gave you a framework that you can build your own project in the sunset of Windows Server 2003. Talking back and let me know how it goes yours.


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