14 Days to go!! Windows Server 2003 End of Support – Transform your data center with Sysfore

July 14, 2015 marks a transition, which is the end of Microsoft’s support for Windows Server 2003/R2. This means you need to ensure your business has a plan to migrate the applications and workloads that are currently relying on Windows Server 2003 onto Windows Server 2012 R2 or Microsoft Azure.

Sysfore as a Microsoft partner assists you to flawlessly migrate and transform your data center with its Free Assessment process.

Why now:

Today, Windows Server 2003 is in the extended support phase, which offers a continuation of certain mainstream support items such as paid per-incident support, security updates, and ongoing use of the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

Once extended support expires on July 14, 2015, all these support activities will be eliminated. Microsoft does offer for-fee custom contracts — which extend for a limited period beyond the termination of extended support — to customers that are actively working to migrate to a next generation product. This option is intended only for organizations that are making a proactive effort to migrate off the product being supported beyond its normal life cycle.

Windows Server 2003- What end of Support means:

End of support for Windows Server 2003/R2 can have a dramatic impact on your business. It will mean no more updates or patches from Microsoft, which can result in a less stable and less secure infrastructure for your organization.


Migration Process with Sysfore:

The end of support for Windows Server 2003/R2 could signal the beginning of a new stage in your organization’s evolution, and taking advantage of the Microsoft data center  transformation vision can help your business reach that next stage.

To assist you with data-center and application migration and innovation opportunities for your organization, Sysfore adopts the  Microsoft four-step assessment process that helps you build and optimize a plan for your company.



Discover:  Discover and Catalog all of the software and workloads your organization is running on Windows Server 2003/R2

Assess:  Once you have a catalog, you will need to assess what you have by categorizing and analyzing your cataloged applications and workloads based on several factors such as type, criticality, complexity, and risk.

Target:  Choose a migration destination for each application and workload among the following migration targets: Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft Azure, Cloud OS Network, and office 365.

Migrate: With an understanding of what is still running on Windows Server 2003, what needs to migrate when, and where to migrate to, you can make a plan and begin to migrate. With Sysfore we hand hold you in this process and help you migrate flawlessly with our Free Assessment Process

Key benefits of transforming your data-center:

Datacenter without boundaries

This gives you the ability to go beyond the resources you have on-premises by more easily accessing cloud resources when you need to. You can take advantage of cloud resources to build new applications or websites that require global scale in a snap; scale infrastructure at a moment’s notice to meet the most demanding business requirements; and reduce storage, backup, and recovery costs.

Cloud  Innovation everywhere

The innovations built into Microsoft datacenter products—especially in storage, networking, and identity—are the result of the deep experience and expertise Microsoft has gained from working with massive-scale enterprise cloud deployments.

Dynamic Application Delivery

With Microsoft’s world class infrastructure, IT professionals can respond to business needs with greater speed and agility. Enhanced automation enables them to provision, deploy, monitor, and manage applications and infrastructure from a consistent platform across clouds.

Windows Server 2003 R2 and Windows Server 2012 R2:

Windows Server has seen much advancement in the past 10 years, and today the current version is Windows Server 2012 R2.



Enterprise-class scale and performance

Windows Server 2003 R2:

  • Scales to 64 logical processors and 1 terabyte of memory (x64 versions)

Windows Server 2012 R2:

  • Scales to 320 logical processors and 4 terabytes of physical memory (x64 versions)
  • Scales to 64 logical processors and 1 terabyte of memory on a virtual machine
  • Supports up to 64 nodes and 8,000 virtual machines in a cluster

Shared nothing live migration with Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA)

Windows Server 2003 R2:

  • Not available

 Windows Server 2012 R2:

  • Enables migration of virtual machines among Hyper-V hosts on different clusters or servers with no storage sharing, using Ethernet connection only—with virtually no downtime
  • Offers faster live migration among Hyper-V hosts by establishing an efficient memory-to-memory transfer of data using RDMA

Hyper-V Network Virtualization

Windows Server 2003 R2:

  • Not available

 Windows Server 2012 R2

  • Enables isolation of network traffic from different business units or customers on a shared infrastructure, with reduced need for virtual local area networks (VLANs)
  • Enables moving of virtual machines as needed within virtual infrastructure, while preserving virtual network assignments
  • Performs site-to-site (VPN), NAT, and forwarding functions with an in-the-box multitenant gateway
  • Makes full management of HNV gateway possible through Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager
  • Supports guest clustering for high availability

Low-cost, highly available file-based storage

Windows Server 2003 R2:

  • Not available

Windows Server 2012 R2:

  • Offers new SMB 3.0 protocol enhancements and low-cost “commodity” hardware with new File Services for storing server application data such as SQL databases and VHDs for Hyper-V on file shares
  • Automatically rebalances Scale-Out File Server clients
  • Tracks SMB client connections per file share, and then redirects clients to the cluster node with the best access to the volume used by the file share
  • Enables leveraging of commodity storage into virtual storage pools, which can then be provisioned as Storage Spaces
  • Provides virtualized drives that can be formatted and accessed just like a physical drive, which can also be dynamically resized with the addition of more physical drives to the storage pool
  • Includes storage tiers, write-back cache, parity space support for failover clusters, dual parity, and the ability to automatically rebuild storage spaces from storage pool free space

Backup and recovery

Windows Server 2003 R2:

The backup utility (Backup) in Windows Server 2003 helps back up directories, selected files, and system state data, including Windows Server 2003 operating system registry information (simple utility)

Windows Server 2012 R2:

 Windows Server Backup role in Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 has the following enhanced features:

  • Ability to back up and restore individual virtual machines from a Hyper-V host server
  • Improvements to managing backup versions and backup retention
  • Ability to back up volumes greater than 2 terabytes and with 4-KB sector sizes
  • Support for backup of Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs)
  • Ability to report system state components
  • Hyper-V supports incremental backup (backing up only the differences) of virtual hard disks while the virtual machine is running
  • Microsoft Azure Online Backup (cloud-based backup service) offers offsite protection against data loss from failure with a cloud-based backup solution, which allows files and folders to be backed up and recovered from the cloud

Hybrid applications

Windows Server 2003 R2:

Requires virtual private networks (VPNs) or other form of point-to-point connectivity for communication among geographically separated parts of an application

Windows Server 2012 R2:

  • Protects existing investments in on-premises applications
  • Unifies application management
  • Provides flexibility to build and deploy hybrid applications on-premises and in the cloud
  • Provides a common development environment for .NET developers to build cloud (Azure) and on-premises applications

Windows PowerShell 4.0

Windows Server 2003 R2:

Provides more than 100 cmdlets

Windows Server 2012 R2:

  • Provides more than 3,000 cmdlets in over 100 modules and includes several significant features that enable easier and more comprehensive control and management of Windows-based environments
  • Enables the deployment and management of configuration data for software services and the environment in which these services run through Desired State Configuration (DSC)

 Simplified, feature-rich Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

 Windows Server 2003 R2:

Not available

Windows Server 2012 R2:

  • Provides simplified wizard-based setup procedures for Remote Desktop Services deployment
  • Includes a unified management console for virtual desktops, session-based desktops, and applications
  • Simplifies the creation, assignment, and patch management of pooled and personal virtual desktops and provides a richer experience on different devices, in various locations, and over changing network conditions
  • Provides online storage deduplication and session shadowing

For more information on how you can upgrade to Windows Server 2012 R2, signup for our Free Assessment or write to us at info@sysfore.com

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