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The Department of Homeland Security is worried. Should you be?

ken-adams

By Greg Chabot

 

Yes, I know that it’s their job to be worried. But most of the time, what they worry about is something that we should be worrying about as well. So when I heard about this alert , I definitely paid attention and read it carefully. If your environment runs Windows Server 2003, you might want to check it out as well.  

 

The alert was issued just a couple of days ago by the Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) within the Department. The subject was the end of support for Windows Server 2003. The alert pointed out that after the July 14, 2015 end of support date, systems running this environment:

  • Are at far greater risk of malicious attacks and of data exfiltration
  • May encounter compatibility problems with both hardware and software
  • Run the risk of becoming non-compliant with private, industry and government regulatory regimes

The US-Cert’s call to action urges users to upgrade to a currently supported operating system or cloud-based services.

So what we’ve heard since last summer about this end of support event is true. There is a threat … and it is real, severe, and imminent. So why is it that:

  • 94 percent of those running Windows Server 2003 intend to migrate, but only 24 percent are ready to do so
  • 60 percent of those running Windows Server 2003 do not have a migration plan in place

Maybe everyone thinks that there’s plenty of time left. A good eight months, if my calendar calculations are correct. But if you take a close look at what needs to get done during that time to ensure a successful migration, you’ll probably agree that eight months is nothing. This is an environment-wide process so the scope is impressive. It’s also something that MUST be done right or else … This is a process than should not be hurried.

Migrating to a new operating system or to cloud-based services is exciting, since it opens up new possibilities and capabilities for the organization to align itself with the New Style of IT. But it is also complex and carries significant risks if it is not done properly.

 

All of this is could explain why the Department of Homeland Security is issuing this alert now, and not next May or June or July. They know the importance of sound advance planning and unhurried execution. If that approach makes sense, then HP and Microsoft have a great way to implement it. Our joint Windows Server 2003 Migration Program will help any organization large or small smoothly transition from Windows Server 2003– cost-effectively, quickly and with confidence. The program includes planning workshops, migration services, management, converged infrastructure and converged systems, plus flexible financing and asset disposal – exactly what’s need to migrate FROM Windows Server 2003 and TO Windows Server 2012 R2 or a cloud-based approach.

 

So if you haven’t begun your migration from Windows Server 2003, read the alert, go to the HP | Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Migration Program page, and do what people who specialize in avoiding disasters are telling their own people to do: start migrating NOW.

 

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About the Author

ken-adams

I thoroughly enjoy writing about HP and the synergies with our Alliance Partners.