Server 2003 Support Ending, Users Abundant

Monday, July 13, 2015 @ 03:07 PM gHale

Much like Window XP for end users, enterprises are still rely heavily on Windows Server 2003 even though support is coming to an end Tuesday.

According to a June report covering 200 enterprise data centers totaling more than 90,000 servers, only 7 percent of enterprises were completely free of Windows Server 2003, which is ending its support July 14, according to Softchoice, a technology services company.

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During the first half of 2015, 21 percent of servers scanned were still running on that operating system, down from 32 percent in 2014 and 43 percent the year before that.

A survey of more than 1,300 by Spiceworks showed that only 14 percent of IT managers who had Windows Server 2003 have completed the migration.

In May, another IDC brief estimated that there were 1.5 million licensed installations of Windows Server 2003 around the world.

Another survey of more than 1,300 IT managers at companies of all sizes by Spiceworks showed 14 percent of IT managers who had Windows Server 2003 have completed the migration. The majority, 76 percent, have either migrated partially or were still in the planning stages as of January of this year, when the survey was conducted.

And 8 percent said they don’t have any plans to upgrade, even though 85 percent of those sticking with the old operating system said they had concerns with security vulnerabilities, 72 percent worried about software compatibility, and 66 percent said they had concerns with compliance risks.

Of those who said they hadn’t yet migrated, 51 percent said the old systems were still working, 48 percent said they didn’t have time, 37 percent pointed to budget constraints, 31 percent said that software compatibility was a factor.

Manufacturing remains a perfect case of where an industry with extremely expensive custom-built software that cannot go offline and cannot move to newer hardware. It can cost as much as the business initially invested, if not more, to upgrade.

And that’s if the vendor or employees who created the original applications are still even around.

With Widows Server 2003 ending its support, the software will not get security patches, and doesn’t offer many of the security features that newer releases of the operating system have had added in.

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