All Microsoft Windows server software versions eventually become obsolete and support is no longer available. When Microsoft stops supporting older versions, updates are no longer available. This means that updates that fix security vulnerabilities are no longer released. As result, the software becomes a target for hackers.
Recently a vulnerability was discovered in Windows Server 2003 running IIS6. Unfortunately, since the software is no longer supported, a patch update will not be released and organizations using these systems risk a security breach.
5 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Windows Server Software 2003 and 2008
1- First and foremost, the software is not being supported and is vulnerable:
Windows Server 2003 extended support ended on July 14, 2015
Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard Service Pack Support End Date April 9, 2013
2- The latest software versions are engineered with higher security standards to protect your organization from cyber crimes and secure your data.
3- Built in advanced auditing capabilities helps recognize suspicious behavior and detect security threats quickly.
4- Improved virtualization with better security and faster performance, so your cloud environment can server your employees wherever they are.
5- Newer software combined with new hardware will perform faster and improve productivity throughout your organization.
Should you Upgrade the Software only or Replace your Server?
Depending on the age of your current server, there maybe an option to upgrade the software only and continue using the same server. When doing so, confirm that your server hardware meets the minimum software requirements.
Although computer hardware can last many years, reliability and performance degrades as the equipment ages. Not to mention that replacement parts become more difficult to source, should there be a failure.
If your server is a mission critical server that everyone is highly dependent on, reliability and high availability is very important and you may want to consider replacing the hardware with a new server.
- A new server will offer better performance, allowing users to access information faster and be more productive in serving customers more efficiently.
- It will be more reliable, preventing unexpected downtime and loss of productivity.
- It will also be less costly to maintain, since the equipment and software is all new.
- Your IT department will spend less time fixing issues related to older technology relieving IT resources.
There’s alot to think about when it comes to making a decision on upgrading or replacing a server. The old thought of, “if it aint broke don’t fix it”, may haunt you down the road. Server outages are costly and its always best to be prepared. Ask yourself:
1- How will everyone be able to work when the server is down?
2- How much downtime is reasonable for my business and how much will it cost in lost business and productivity?
3- How will we get back on track, should there be a server outage?
4- If a new server is required, how quickly can it be setup and data restored in the event of an emergency?
5- Does my business continuity plan include options to reduce downtime, in the event that my server fails?
Many businesses cannot risk downtime due to a server failure. Mission critical servers need to be reliable, offer high performance and be highly available to maximize productivity and the bottom line.
Author and Senior IT Consultant
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