What’s your excuse?

Why are you missing the deadline to migrate to Windows Server 2003? And maybe more important, is it defensible?

Previously I blogged about the risk of missing the End of Support deadline for Server 2003. Today, when looking at the End of Support (EoS) deadline imposed by Microsoft on July 14, 2015, I hear more and more of the same reasons for not tackling a migration.  These excuses are much like belly buttons. Everyone has at least one and they aren’t worth anything.

Take these most often repeated laments of the server admin:

  • “I have too many applications amassed over the past 13 years!”
  • “I am pretty sure I have apps that are incompatible with Windows Server 2012 R2.”
  • “I think I have apps that won’t work with Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9, 10, 11…”

But this doesn’t have to be the case. If you leverage the right tools from your tool chest you can get control of your 13 year old app library and start that migration today. The tools that I am speaking about are Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp plus AppDNA of course.

Server 2003 Migration Excuse #1: Too Many Applications

Let’s take a look at the first excuse, “too many applications”. With AppDNA you simply point it at the highest level folder (directory for you IT veterans) and set it to import the MSI’s that it discovers. In a matter of minutes it will find all of your apps in the subfolders and generate reports back to you letting you see your entire application landscape. No more hushed conversations about apps you may or may not know about. It is all spelled out for you in black and white. Well, Red, Amber and Green actually.

Server 2003 Migration Excuse #2: Application Compatibility Challenges

As for the second excuse on our list. Yup, AppDNA removes that one as well. With the RAG reporting AppDNA will tell you for certain if an app has a conflict, what versions it conflicts with and specifically why it is in conflict. Sometimes you can “fix” it by applying a shim to the app (Amber). Sometimes there is no issue at all when you thought there was (Green) and yes, sometimes an app is just a hard stop (Red) and needs to be recoded or retired.

Server 2003 Migration Excuse #3: Application Remediation

But what about the apps that get reported back by AppDNA as being Green or Amber for Windows Server 2008 but Red for 2012R2? You’re right. That can be a sticky wicket. But here is your out. Use the RAG report to figure out what exactly is causing the app to be Red for Server 2012R2. Maybe it is an OS check that the app does at install. If this is the case you could Sequence that app with App-V on an older OS like Windows 7. Then stream it and run it on a XenApp or XenDesktop on 2012R2 hosted environment. Because the app does an OS check at install only you are virtually skipping that at launch. Check with the vendor on App-V supportability of course.

And finally we will tackle the apps that simply show as Red for 2012. Do you recode or retire? You may get lucky enough and find that the app is Red on Server 2008 R2 and Server 2012 R2 but is still green for Server 2008. For these apps you could deploy them to a XenApp environment running on top of Server 2008. Even if this is a short term work around at least you will meet your EoS deadline and keep your business running after July 14, 2015.

How do I get started?

  1. You can start today with a free trial of XenDesktop
  2. Sign up for this joint Microsoft and Citrix webinar on Server 2003 End of Support
  3. Visit http://www.citrixandmicrosoft.com/ for additional resources on this winning partnership

Start your migration today with Citrix XenDesktop, XenApp plus AppDNA and save your excuse making for things that really need them: your anniversary, your spouse’s birthday, Valentine’s Day…