Planned obsolescence used to have negative connotations, but nowadays it’s standard business practice. US English even has a verb “to obsolete”, with a dictionary definition as follows: Verb: Cause (a product or idea) to become obsolete by replacing it with something new.
“We’re trying to stimulate the business by obsoleting last year’s designs”
In other words, manufacturers (certainly in IT) decide that a product is obsolete, “end of life” or “out of support” for business reasons. The product may still be fully functional, as good as ever, and perfectly capable of maintaining operations indefinitely into the future, but the manufacturer wants to sell something new to replace it, or wants to remove the cost and effort of supporting it.
Windows 2003 Server Support
This is certainly the case with Windows Server versions. Windows 2003 Server has been out of full support since 2010 and extended support is due to end in March 2015 – right about now.
Coincidentally, this is just after the end of full support (EOS) and start of extended support for Windows Server 2008. Note that the date for EOS of Windows server 2008 was originally July 2013, but Microsoft changed this to January 2015 for business reasons (not enough time to migrate customers to Windows Server 2012), showing that these dates are purely arbitrary. Your servers will not cease to function on a given day, like the replicants in Bladerunner. Microsoft just won’t help you with them any more. But other organisations can provide support. In fact, PSS currently supports systems which are running up to fifteen years after their EOS date.
Keep Your Windows 2003 Server Running
So you can keep your Windows 2003 server support running beyond Microsoft’s arbitrary “out of support” deadline. On the upside, there will be no more Microsoft updates to manage, no more monthly Patch Tuesday fall-out, and no need to worry about future withdrawal of Microsoft support. On the downside, of course, there will be no more security patches, no more fixes for existing Microsoft bugs (although the likelihood of undiscovered bugs is low, and there will be no new bugs introduced by Microsoft updates), and probably no more alerts to possible vulnerabilities.
What About Me?
The question is, do you need to patch your servers, fix bugs, and worry about vulnerabilities?
If your servers have been running without issues for some time, are properly maintained and backed up, and crucially are not exposed to the public internet, then the answer may be no. You may be able to operate your systems in their current state indefinitely.
If, on the other hand, your servers are fragile or are exposed to the public internet, then you may be forced to follow Microsoft’s agenda and upgrade.
Windows 2003; How Can PSS Help?
PSS has helped many of the world’s largest corporations deal with the end of vendor support for software and hardware.
Our expert advice covers issues such as how to maximize the useful life of your systems, how to transition to new solutions in the best way for your business, and how to choose the best technology to meet your future needs.
PSS can provide independent 3rd-party support for hardware and software, including Windows Server 2003 Support, to allow you to keep your existing systems running.
If you have security or compliance concerns, we will work with you to address those wherever possible.
In the rare cases where regulatory compliance demands that you upgrade to Windows Server 2013, PSS can assist with that process and ensure a smooth transition.
Whatever the problem, talk to us.
To find out more about how to extend Windows 2003 support, contact us at;
US call: 877 289 7770
UK call: 0800 012 4054