Relocating Windows Server 2003 Workloads

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1 Relocating Windows Server 2003 Workloads An Opportunity to Optimize

2 From Complex Change to an Opportunity to Optimize There is much you need to know before you upgrade to a new server platform, and time is running out for you to plan and execute what you will shortly see amounts to a mandatory migration. On July 14, 2015 Microsoft will withdraw extended support for Windows Server 2003 after twelve years of reliable service. Those who are still running workloads on Windows Server 2003 will need to move their workloads elsewhere. Those who are currently running Windows Server 2008 R2 may also be looking to upgrade to the current version. When you migrate your current Windows Server 2003 or 2008 workloads, for the very first time you will have many choices available to you, not just the next new version. You may, in fact, decide to assign various workloads to several of these choices to optimize performance, reduce operating costs, or both. Before you move anything, however, you ll need to collect a great deal of detailed information about your existing environment to make the best possible choices. The goals of this white paper are to: 1. Inform you as to why it is critical to move off Windows Server 2003 before July 14, Explore how this migration presents great opportunities to optimize and improve 3. Clearly identify what data you need to collect and analyze about your existing environment before you proceed to migrate 4. Examine options and toolsets that assure comprehensive data collection and accurate analysis Why This Migration Should be Considered Mandatory In the next section, we ll discuss why it s crucial to migrate off of Windows Server You should, however, see this transition as an opportunity to optimize and dramatically improve your ability to manage your data to achieve greater results. As Microsoft Technet suggests, Pause to look carefully at your options. This is one of the largest IT opportunities of this decade, and the next opportunity to innovate not only in the datacenter, but also in the delivery and production of applications that drive today s businesses. 2

3 The Situation What Does it Mean When Extended Support is Withdrawn When Mainstream Support was withdrawn, the only services still available were no-charge incident support, warranty claims, and design changes. Those all end on July 14, All Microsoft announcements about the impending withdrawal describe the potential business impact as follows: will mean no more updates or patches from Microsoft, which can result in a less stable and less secure infrastructure for your organization. March 2006 initial release & beginning of support cycle July 2010 end of mainstream support period July 2015 end of extended support period No Updates Microsoft will no longer develop or release any updates after ending support. To put this in perspective 37 critical updates were released extended support. Imagine what impact zero updates will have on your infrastructure. No Compliance After support ends, your organization will likely fail to meet most industry-wide compliance standards and regulations. This could result in lost business or dramatically increase the cost of doing business, in the form of high transaction fees and penalties. No Savings The costs of maintaining your legacy servers can add up quickly. Maintenance costs for aging hardware will likely increase, and you will have to deal with added costs for intrusion detection systems, more advanced firewalls, and network segmentation all simply to isolate 2003 servers. Staying put will likely cost more in the end. But they all go on to state that, The end of signal the beginning of a new stage in your organization s evolution. Before you can begin that new stage, you ll need to know much more about your environment than you know today. 3

4 Looking Ahead Opportunities and Challenges In addition to the significant security and operational risks inherent in remaining on Windows Server 2003 there are also some very powerful opportunities, benefits that will come from upgrading to a new, modern operating system and platform. 12 Years of Innovation Technology today has come a long way since 2003, especially server technology. But rather than just focus on the many things that have improved since then, let s start by pointing out that there are over 140 features in Windows Server 2012 R2 that didn t even exist in There have been over 140 features added to the Windows Server family since the release of Windows Server Virtualization Multi-Tenant High-Density Websites Network Access Protection Low-Cost Storage Feature-Rich Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Active Directory Federation Services PowerShell Dynamic Access Control Joining a Domain from Off-Premises Hybrid Applications DirectAccess...and over 130 more features 4

5 Looking Ahead Opportunities and Challenges The Cloud Cloud Computing wasn t being talked about beyond a few computer laboratories working on the earliest virtualization technologies in Today many workloads can be more closely managed for higher performance at lower cost than ever before. Advances in Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) now make it seamless to run some workloads on-premise and others in the cloud, keeping it completely transparent to users. They simply login to the network and have access to resources wherever they are located. Many cloud service providers (CSPs) offer Windows Server 2012 R2 in the cloud. The Challenge The biggest challenge you face today is time. Very little time remains between now and July 14, 2015 for companies to conduct the necessary due diligence, discovery, and planning required for an effective and efficient migration to a new operating system running on a modern platform. Again, from TechNet: The opportunities to advance are not marked by mere lift-and-shift actions, but the consideration of how each and every application, workload, embedded system, is or is not meeting the demands of today. This is a leaps and bounds moment that will require effort on all fronts of IT, and once embraced, will benefit IT, the business, employees, and customers in ways that were not previously possible. This is your moment to innovate within infrastructure and applications. To begin the process for this transition, you ll need to conduct a careful, thorough assessment of your current state. 5

6 Due Dilligence Conducting a Thorough Current State Assessment Step 1 - Inventory & Characterize Your Existing Workloads Before you begin moving workloads, you ll need to know exactly what workloads you have, and characterize each based on what resources they require to perform optimally. You need to identify short-term peaks and long-term peak loads rather than averages and ensure you provision resources for these correctly during your infrastructure migration. Disregarding peaks while provisioning will only cause performance degradation. In order to incorporate performance peaks properly into your analysis, you need to gather detailed workload historical data. Performing deeper analysis of each workload will also help you determine if each application is memory intensive or CPU intensive, and what specification of capacity will give you the performance you need. In terms of storage, it s important for your systems managers to understand which storage volumes should go to instance-store vs. EBS, provisioned IOPS, or S3. They will also need to move your network attached storage (NAS), storage area network (SAN) and translate that into required cloud storage capacity. For your network, you will need to know how much throughput you will get, and how your costs will differ for internal vs. external traffic. Step 2 - Determine Optimal Infrastructure Settings Based on Your Performance Targets Cloud Service Providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) provide multiple server instance types and pricing plans each designed to accommodate specific uses. A server instance includes different combinations of processor (CPU) power, memory, network throughput, and storage capacity to give you the optimal resources for each of your workloads. How much processor, memory, network, and storage capacity you set will depend not only upon the nature and requirements of each specific workload, but also on your performance goals for that workload. Choosing the wrong settings can result in overprovisioning, which causes you to spend more than is required for satisfactory performance of a less significant workload, or underprovisioning which can result in poor and inadequate performance. Accurate decisions regarding optimal settings to achieve your performance goals requires that you evaluate each available option against accurate data regarding the specific workload characteristics and performance requirements of each individual workload. The only way to obtain accurate data regarding workload characteristics and performance 6

7 Due Dilligence Conducting a Thorough Current State Assessment requirements involves exhaustive data collection and analysis of each workload in your environment, performance benchmarking, and predictive analytics. Many attempt to do this manually on spreadsheets, but without the right tools this can quickly become complex and time-consuming. Armed with the right tools, however, this key process can be accomplished far more quickly, and deliver far greater insights into your performance opportunities. Step 3 - Determine Optimal Pricing Plans Every cloud service provider offers a variety of pricing plan options to accommodate varying workloads and requirements. For example, on AWS you can use a pay-as-you-go model called the On-Demand pricing plan, or by paying some upfront costs, lower your overall hourly rate. There are also a few different types of plans that allow you to reserve capacity for future use. One of the great advantages of cloud computing services is that you only pay for what you use. Since you can obtain resources rapidly only when you need them, and release them rapidly once you are finished using them, effective management of resources and requirements results in significant cost savings. Once you become familiar with the available pricing plan options, you ll need to identify and understand the pattern of On/Off times and Active/Idle times for each of your workloads. Based on the usage pattern, you can then determine the optimal pricing plan that is most cost-effective for your configuration. 7

8 The Tools Why Choose Amazon Web Services (AWS) As stated earlier, for the first time ever users have options, choices of where to move their workloads for optimum efficiency when they perform the necessary migration away from Windows Server 2003 before July 14, Choices such as what operating system to move to, and what platform to run those operating systems on. Making the right choices can dramatically increase service levels while, at the same time, reducing operating expense. Developers can find more or fewer advantages, utilities, and other useful tools depending upon choice of platform. These choices come from a variety of providers, including Microsoft, Amazon, Google and others. Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers. Amazon EC2 s simple web service interface allows you to obtain and configure capacity with minimal friction. It provides you with complete control of your computing resources and lets you run on Amazon s proven computing environment. Amazon EC2 reduces the time required to obtain and boot new server instances to minutes, allowing you to quickly scale capacity, both up and down, as your computing requirements change. Amazon EC2 changes the economics of computing by allowing you to pay only for capacity that you actually use. Amazon EC2 provides developers the tools to build failure resilient applications and isolate themselves from common failure scenarios. According to NetworkComputing, quoting The 451 Group s Carl Brooks, Amazon stands alone in cloud infrastructure delivery, and everyone else is following behind or carving out their own niche. Amazon EC2 Running Windows Server Amazon EC2 running Microsoft Windows Server (2003 R2, 2008, 2008 R2, 2012 and 2012 R2) is a fast and dependable environment for deploying applications using the Microsoft Web Platform, including ASP. NET, ASP.NET AJAX, Silverlight, and Internet Information Server (IIS). Amazon EC2 enables you to run any compatible Windows-based solution on our high-performance, reliable, cost-effective, cloud computing platform. Common use cases include Windows-based application hosting, website and web-service hosting, data processing, media transcoding, distributed testing, ASP.NET application hosting, and any other application requiring Windows software. AWS provides pre-configured machine images (AMIs), which enable customers 8

9 The Tools Why Choose Amazon Web Services (AWS) to start running fully supported Windows Server virtual machine instances in minutes. You have a choice of many versions of the software, with or without SQL Server. By using one of our AMIs, the Microsoft software licensing is handled by AWS and included in the monthly bill. Amazon EC2 running Windows Server provides seamless integration with existing Amazon EC2 features like Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), Amazon CloudWatch, Elastic Load Balancing, and Elastic IPs. Amazon EC2 benefits include: Elastic Web-Scale Computing - Amazon EC2 enables you to increase or decrease capacity within minutes, not hours or days. You can commission one, hundreds or even thousands of server instances simultaneously. Of course, because this is all controlled with web service APIs, your application can automatically scale itself up and down depending on its needs. Completely Controlled - You have complete control of your instances. You have root access to each one, and you can interact with them as you would any machine. You can stop your instance while retaining the data on your boot partition and then subsequently restart the same instance using web service APIs. Instances can be rebooted remotely using web service APIs. You also have access to console output of your instances. Flexible Cloud Hosting Services - You have the choice of multiple instance types, operating systems, and software packages. Amazon EC2 allows you to select a configuration of memory, CPU, instance storage, and the boot partition size that is optimal for your choice of operating system and application. For example, your choice of operating systems includes numerous Linux distributions, and Microsoft Windows Server. Reliable - Amazon EC2 offers a highly reliable environment where replacement instances can be rapidly and predictably commissioned. The service runs within Amazon s proven network infrastructure and data centers. The Amazon EC2 Service Level Agreement commitment is 99.95% availability for each Amazon EC2 Region. Secure - Amazon EC2 works in conjunction with Amazon VPC to provide security and robust networking functionality for your compute resources. Inexpensive - Amazon EC2 passes on to you the financial benefits of Amazon s scale. You pay a very low rate for the compute capacity you actually consume. 9

10 The Cloudamize Solution Start with the right tool for your assessment: Cloudamize Assessment Tool for AWS. Cloudamize Assessment Tool enables you to measure your existing workloads, project optimal sizing in the cloud to support performance goals, understand total cost of ownership (TCO), and support a highly efficient migration process by defining requirements and providing the corresponding AWS settings for the new environment. Cloudamize collects data from your existing on-premise environment, both physical servers and virtual machines, and maps each to specific AWS options, finding the best AWS configuration for that specific workload, and providing the best performance at the lowest possible cost. Success Story: Large Financial Company Cuts Costs by 45% This use-case involves a Cloudamize customer in the large financial industry. Their environment included a total of 1,100 server instances, or virtual machines, all running Windows workloads, with 75% running on Window Server To understand the current environment, assess costs, and determine the best strategy for migration to AWS, Cloudamize collected data about their infrastructure over a 30-day period. This was used to generate a clear understanding of what their infrastructure would look like in AWS, what improvements they could expect in performance, and how much they could anticipate in cost reductions. Cloudamize produced a high-level cost analysis to support the necessary business decisions and provide detailed migration settings. By transitioning from on-premise to a cloud solution on AWS, the company reduced their annual IT spend by over 45%, a savings of over $800, % 800K 75% reduction in annual IT spending savings achieved by moving to AWS Windows Server 2003 environment migrated to AWS 10

11 Get Started - Plan Your AWS Migration with Cloudamize Planning your migration from Windows Server 2003 requires more time and more work than you may anticipate. With less than a month until withdrawal of extended support, the time is now to begin using Cloudamize Assessment Tool to collect and analyze the data that will help you plan your most cost-effective and performance enhancing upgrade. Get started today. Visit for more in-depth information about making the most of your move from Windows Server

12 About Cloudamize Cloudamize is a cloud analytics company that helps businesses make data-driven decisions at every stage of the cloud lifecycle. Customers and partners utilize the SaaS application to effectively assess, plan, and manage workloads within the cloud. With Cloudamize, companies have experienced significant monthly savings on their cloud deployment, while simultaneously increasing performance. With more than half a million servers analyzed to date, customers trust Cloudamize to provide detailed visibility into their workload metrics and recommend optimal strategies to actively manage their cloud infrastructure. Cloudamize, Inc Market Street Suite 2502 Philadelphia, PA Cloudamize, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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