End of life security fears ‘fuel mass migration from Windows Server 2003’

18 Mar, 2015

IT departments are using Server 2003 expiry as opportunity to virtualise, says Spiceworks

Security fears are prompting IT departments to migrate away from Windows Server 2003 ahead of end of life this summer, according to a report.

Around 85 per cent of IT professionals cited security concerns as the main factor behind upgrading their server operating systems, followed by 72 per cent worried about software incompatibility.

End of life for Server 2003 will strike on July 14, and means Microsoft will issue no new software upgrades or bug patches for the OS.

The figures, from management software firm Spicework’s special report, The Great IT Upgrade, suggest that 48 per cent of 1,300 respondents are currently migrating, with 15 per cent already on another OS.

Nigel Hickey, an infrastructure administrator at National Specialty Alloys, was one respondent of the survey.

He said: “My job is to make sure our workplace remains secure, up-to-date, and risk-free.

“Running an unsupported OS without available patches, along with the possibility of zero-day threats targeted at those systems, just doesn’t jive with the way I like to run my network.”

Despite expiration coming up fast, it’s unlikely users will be caught out like they were with Windows XP last April.

In fact, while 26 per cent of respondents admitted they haven’t yet started migrating, they are currently planning how to do it.

Two-thirds of respondents revealed they will upgrade to Microsoft’s latest and greaters server OS – Server 2012 – citing ease of management and simply wanting to move to the newest version as reasons why.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents told Spiceworks they will take the opportunity to virtualise their server environment, compared to 16 per cent planning to buy server software for existing hardware.

Sanjay Castelino, VP of Marketing at Spiceworks, said: “This migration will impact millions of IT professionals and nearly every technology segment including hardware, software, cloud, mobile and services.

“IT professionals are taking steps to migrate prior to the end of life deadline and technology companies who can offer a clear, elegant migration path have a multi-billion dollar opportunity to help IT departments transition effectively.” 

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