I D C T E C H N O L O G Y S P O T L I G H T. W i n d ow s Serve r E n d o f L i f e : An Opportunity t o E va l u a t e I T S tr a t e gy

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1 I D C T E C H N O L O G Y S P O T L I G H T W i n d ow s Serve r E n d o f L i f e : An Opportunity t o E va l u a t e I T S tr a t e gy February 2015 Adapted from Forced Migration: Windows Server 2003 End of Life Creates a Crisis for Some Shops by Al Gillen, IDC # Sponsored by HP and Microsoft Microsoft will end extended support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015, after ending standard support for the operating system (OS) in As a result, enterprises running critical applications in this environment are at risk. This Technology Spotlight discusses the challenges organizations face in migrating off Windows Server 2003 and key considerations and steps involved in this important strategic IT undertaking. After describing key strategies for migrating the OS and what to look for in a services provider, this Technology Spotlight also reviews HP's service offering for Windows Server 2003 migration. Introduction: The End of Windows Server 2003 Support After July 14, 2015, Microsoft will no longer provide support for Windows Server With Windows Server 2003 accounting for up to 20% of operating systems installed on servers at the end of CY14, it is clear that this action will affect a large number of enterprises. But this story started much earlier, when mainstream support for Windows Server 2003 terminated on July 13, The operating system currently is in the extended support phase, which continues certain mainstream support items such as paid per-incident support, security updates, and ongoing use of the Microsoft Knowledge Base. However, non-security hotfix support terminates (unless customers specifically purchase that offering), no-charge incident support is eliminated, and design changes and feature requests are no longer offered. For some customers, there is little perceived differentiation between the mainstream support phase and the extended support phase because security hotfix support and paid per-incident support continue to be available. Once extended support expires, all these support activities will terminate. Microsoft does offer for-fee custom contracts which extend for a limited period beyond the termination of extended support to customers that are actively migrating to a next-generation product. But this option is not for the faint of wallet and is intended only for organizations that are making a proactive effort to migrate off the product being supported beyond its normal life cycle. It is not intended to be open-ended support that enables customers to retain aging products such as Windows Server 2003 for the long term. As a result, enterprises face a number of risks associated with maintaining servers running Windows Server Losing the ability to contact Microsoft for technical support in the event of a server problem becomes particularly important when a system experiences an outage and customers are unable to restore the operating system and recover data and applications from the failed machine. In addition, ISVs can be expected to follow Microsoft's lead and will likely discontinue support for their applications running on Windows Server Enterprises will find it difficult to leverage cloud options from Microsoft and potentially from other vendors. While Windows Server 2003 can run on virtually every hypervisor in the market, organizations looking to develop a hybrid cloud strategy will find that IDC 1845

2 Windows Server 2003 will not offer the same level of convenience that Windows Server 2012, along with modern companion technologies such as System Center 2012 R2, brings to the table. For instance, Microsoft does not include Windows Server 2003 in its catalog of images available to deploy in the Microsoft Azure infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) environment. Perhaps the greatest concern comes from the fact that security fixes will no longer be available, putting enterprises at risk. And companies in regulated industries or that handle personal and financial data, including healthcare and payment card industry (PCI) data, may find that they are out of regulatory compliance, which could mean fines or being cut off from key trading partners that seek to protect their own regulatory compliance status. IDC operating environment installed base models show that the worldwide installed base of Windows Server 2003 was at 5 to 7 million instances at the end of CY14. That total includes both physical servers and instances that are running on a hypervisor on a virtualized server. IDC notes that virtualization allowed the operating system to be used almost indefinitely, since the hypervisor effectively insulates the operating system from changing hardware footprints. In addition, we believe that existing instances of Windows Server 2003 are heavily virtualized. Those instances that are not virtualized are likely to become virtualized as part of a modernization program that addresses the workloads being supported by Windows Server 2003 today. But for many enterprises, this is about more than just servers. Chances are high that other software products beyond the operating system also are aging. Applications, middleware, database products, and management tools all may be approaching the end of or already past their supported life cycles, leaving customers at even further potential risk should a problem arise. As a result, IDC recommends that Windows Server 2003 customers develop a strategy for migrating and modernizing existing Windows Server 2003 and related application instances as soon as possible. Key Considerations for Migrating Windows Server 2003 Systems Because the ongoing use of Windows Server 2003 is about more than just the OS itself, organizations must consider the migration of both Windows Server 2003 and associated applications. These applications include: Custom applications, or heavily modified versions of standard applications, that require extensive code updates and migration to a new operating system Packaged application software from an ISV that may not offer a version that will install properly on a newer operating system, often necessitating a data migration as well Out-of-support application software or software for which support will expire in the near term, requiring a careful plan to avoid a secondary migration in the next few years Migration is further complicated by the fact that the IT industry is in the middle of a significant transition to technologies that can enable the 3rd Platform, including cloud, social, mobile, and big data. Enterprise IT must consider a number of factors when determining how to modernize Windows Server 2003 systems and their corresponding applications. First is how the organization can reduce the complexity and diversity of its IT infrastructure. This includes minimizing the number of operating systems in use and reducing the variability of the configurations for each version. Second, enterprises face new opportunities to accommodate BYOD phones and tablets as well as other mobile technologies. They must support and enable these devices while protecting corporate assets and critical data. Also, organizations are leveraging cloud solutions as an extension of corporate networks for key workloads by implementing hybrid IT environments that incorporate public cloud solutions where it makes sense, coupled with on-premises deployments for critical workloads IDC

3 Given these issues, there are a number of potential solutions for IT organizations facing end of support for their Windows Server 2003 instances and associated applications and workloads. They can replace existing systems with new, on-premises Windows Server 2012 operating systems and the corresponding new applications. They can consider an IaaS solution for existing Windows Server 2003 workloads, with a migration to Windows Server 2012 and updated applications as required. Or they can move to software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for the applications currently served by the Windows Server 2003 systems. Migration Strategies: What Is an Enterprise to Do? IDC recommends that, at a minimum, organizations perform the following actions for mitigating and modernizing existing Windows Server 2003 and related application installations as soon as possible: Plan and prepare by aligning your business and IT teams, conducting business risk analysis, ensuring project and budget approvals for the right scope, and exploring your strategic options and critical success factors. Conduct an inventory to provide an understanding of the current Windows Server 2003 environment and what workloads are being supported by the OS. Establish a destination to determine an ideal and attainable end state and understand organizational goals both for Windows and for your directory. Determine the risk by cross-mapping the inventory list with the risk/criticality of each application. Triage the inventory list by dividing applications, workloads, and services into buckets based on which applications can migrate with minimal work, which can migrate with moderate investment, which require substantial work or total rearchitecting, and which need to be retired. Consider all destination options by using a "virtualize first" strategy for internal applications. Use virtualization as a transitional tool to deploy Windows Server 2012 R2 virtual machines (VMs), and realistically consider applications that can move to the cloud. In addition, enterprises should seriously consider moving Web-facing and customer-facing applications with low security concerns to Web platform as a service (PaaS) or IaaS. Clean house before moving by cleaning up the directory. Think specifically of directory concerns for extending into Azure Active Directory (AD) in the future for mobile devices. Ensure smooth transition and operations for the new environment by planning post-migration support, management, and training. Complete training and knowledge transfer by transitioning operations and support processes, decommissioning legacy systems and infrastructure, and monitoring/managing the environment through automated tools. Given the complexities associated with a Windows Server 2003 migration, and the number of potential options to address application modernization, IT organizations likely will look to services providers for assistance with planning, implementation, and support. IDC recommends considering providers with packaged services that can deliver a specific outcome or set of outcomes for a complete Windows Server 2003 migration. Specifically, IDC recommends making sure that any migration services engagement includes the actions mentioned previously. In addition, migration services providers should be able to facilitate access to a variety of potential solutions across technology providers through robust partnerships. They should offer a comprehensive approach to the services life cycle (i.e., including design and strategy, implementation 2015 IDC 3

4 and deployment, and support for ongoing operations), making it easier for IT organizations to find and work with a single provider. Some IT departments don't have the budget or resources to apply to a migration. IDC strongly encourages organizations to create executive support to help overcome any financial or business challenges. Gaining that support could be just a matter of encouraging the CIO to ask the president, CEO, or chairman a simple question: Do you want to go before the board or shareholders and explain that the company is placing itself at risk by not supporting its IT solutions appropriately? Considering HP IT Transformation and Migration Services HP Technology Services has significant experience planning and implementing migration strategies for enterprise customers. Recognizing the need for Windows Server 2003 migration, HP Technology Services for Windows 2003 Migration and End-of-Support provides the consultation, assessment, planning, design, transformation, and migration processes, support, and training needed to determine the most appropriate delivery model and plan for enterprise workloads while executing smooth transformation, migration, and post-migration support and training. The underlying principle of HP's services is that migration should be not a reactionary move but part of an enterprise's IT evolution. As companies strive for greater flexibility, improved security, and reduced costs, HP works with its partners to match workloads with the most appropriate delivery models and environments. HP begins with a Transformation Experience Workshop to gather the information necessary to identify the best migration method for each server and application. Workshop results are then analyzed in the Migration Assessment to create a detailed strategy that outlines optimum platforms for enterprise applications and what is needed to complete the migration. HP will determine, for example, which applications should be migrated directly to the cloud with little or no change, migrated to the cloud with application transformation, upgraded to Windows Server 2012 in a traditional environment, or left in Windows Server 2003 in a traditional environment. By applying its best practices approach, HP will then implement the migration plan either on a new operating system, such as Windows Server 2012, or in a cloud environment, such as HP Helion Managed Cloud. This will be followed up by proactive management services, in which the company supports both old and new technologies in line with an enterprise's business needs. Focus is on education and training, security, ease of use, and cost efficiency as part of any forward-thinking organization's move toward using current technology including cloud, analytics, social, and mobile to meet strategic goals. Challenges Like other services providers, HP does face challenges with addressing Windows Server 2003 modernization. First, there are strong competitive pressures surrounding the Windows Server 2003 migration market. Many competent services providers will compete for a piece of the pie, and HP must work hard to differentiate itself from the competition. Second, many enterprises do not have the resources to address migration strategies before support ends. HP must be in a position not only to help with actual implementation but also to help organizations bridge the gap after extended support ends and realize the steps and resources required to safely migrate these customers onto more modern infrastructure. Finally, with July 14, 2015, fast approaching, time is of the essence. HP must be able to deliver a mix of appropriate services and products quickly to meet the urgent demands of companies suddenly realizing they need to upgrade their Windows Server 2003 environments IDC

5 Conclusion If enterprises with Windows Server 2003 installations have not done so already, they need to start planning a migration strategy for at-risk systems, applications, and workloads. Failing to move off of Windows Server 2003 before the conclusion of extended support means taking on unwanted security risks with a termination of fixes and patches from Microsoft. Failure to have a current, supported operating system raises significant concerns about an organization's ability to meet regulatory compliance requirements as well as the needs of business units, partners, and customers. Enterprises looking to replace Windows Server 2003 have multiple options, and in some cases, the best migration option is to not migrate at all but to do a wholesale replacement of the product with a SaaS solution. One challenge is that a custom application holds many businesses in the Windows Server 2003 environment. This presents a truly complex problem because it mandates application renovation/migration, application replacement, or some other relatively disruptive work to take place on a relatively fixed timetable. A migration strategy should include determining long-term goals, assessing what needs to be migrated, and carrying out an implementation plan of how and when to migrate based on enterprise needs and goals. For many organizations, this may be beyond the scope of the internal IT organization. But migration is necessary, meaning that seeking outside services may be the only viable alternative. If an enterprise does need support, IDC recommends that it find a trusted partner that not only takes a whole life-cycle approach to migration but also looks at migration as an opportunity to further the enterprise's long-term IT goals for flexibility, security, mobility, and efficiency. To the extent that HP Client Workload Migration 2003 Solution can meet the challenges discussed in this document, it should be on the short list of any enterprise looking into a Windows Server 2003 migration. A B O U T T H I S P U B L I C A T I ON This publication was produced by IDC Custom Solutions. The opinion, analysis, and research results presented herein are drawn from more detailed research and analysis independently conducted and published by IDC, unless specific vendor sponsorship is noted. IDC Custom Solutions makes IDC content available in a wide range of formats for distribution by various companies. A license to distribute IDC content does not imply endorsement of or opinion about the licensee. C O P Y R I G H T A N D R E S T R I C T I O N S Any IDC information or reference to IDC that is to be used in advertising, press releases, or promotional materials requires prior written approval from IDC. For permission requests, contact the IDC Custom Solutions information line at or Translation and/or localization of this document require an additional license from IDC. For more information on IDC, visit For more information on IDC Custom Solutions, visit Global Headquarters: 5 Speen Street Framingham, MA USA P F IDC 5

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