Is an antiquated server OS putting your business in peril?

If you are among the 57% of customers still running Windows Server 2003, you are facing a serious deadline on July 14, 2015. That is the day Microsoft will mark the End of Support (EoS) of that aging operating system.

But, what does it mean to you?

To learn more register for this EoS webinar from Citrix and   Microsoft.

In a nutshell Microsoft will no longer offer support to customers running the 12 year old server operating system. “So, what?”, you say, “I never call their help desk anyway”. If only it were as benign as that. In reality Microsoft will no longer issue service packs, hot fixes or any other updates to remediate threats and vulnerabilities after this deadline. Remember the zero day attacks that surfaced on Windows XP mere weeks after XP EoS? Now take that and put it in your data center. Not so benign now, is it?

The concern has even great impact on the operation of your business all up. If you continue to run applications on this soon to be unsupported operating system then you run the risk of failing compliance audits. And if you fail these compliance audits then companies like Visa and MasterCard could stop doing business with your organization.

Risk Impact
No more updates Data center vulnerability
Unsupported applications Loss of accreditation
Fail compliance audits Suspension of credit card transactions

I look at Server 2k3 like my 1929 DeSoto automobile. Both were really great…in their day. But neither one is adapted to the way we operate today. Our IT consumers need more than simple remote app access from the beige box underneath their desks. They demand mobile workstyles, access to their apps and data from anywhere and on any device. And the app delivery technology that best suits their needs can turn on a dime, unlike my old car. A lot has changed since we deployed that Server 2003 with XenApp 4.5.

Sean’s Top 5 XenApp Advancements since Server 2003:
  1. Support a multitude of devices
  2. Scale to 100,000s of users
  3. System Center integration
  4. High end graphics support
  5. Support any cloud

Let’s face it, the average modern user accesses 3.2 different devices throughout their day. And on each device the best app delivery technology and access to data could vary given any number of contextual elements.

The story of Pete:

Pete, our business worker, starts his day at 08:30 by filling in his expense report on SAP using his Windows Phone. He pulls out his wrinkled receipts from his wallet and launches a XenApp hosted instance of SAP. At 10:00 am Pete finds himself at a Starbucks using his iPad but he needs to use several LOB apps, so he launches a full Windows 7 desktop with XenDesktop and Receiver. At noon Pete is in his cubicle using his corporate laptop and launches Word 2013 streaming with App-V.

Unlike when we deployed Server 2003, Pete’s delivery technology needs to adjust to best suit his real time needs. And Pete is not even a very demanding user.

The first step to take as you begin your migration journey is a full assessment of the existing app landscape. The best tool in your tool chest to do this? Citrix AppDNA of course.

With AppDNA 7.5 you get a thorough analysis with amazingly detailed reports on your entire application landscape complete with an effort calculator estimating the “cost” of app migration. And by using the RED (problem app), Amber (needs a shim) and green (good to go) report against each of your target operating systems you can effectively scope out the project and the people before you have your next sip of coffee.

Don’t let the Server 2003 deadline be a dark cloud over your data center’s head. Embrace it and take the opportunity to modernize your app delivery technology to best align with today’s users. Continuing to run Server 2003 in today’s data center is like trying to drive my 29 DeSoto from Boston to San Francisco. Even if I made it, it would be risky, full of struggles, slow, and Chrysler sure as heck won’t support me when I break down.