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The next major operating system to get the ax from Microsoft is Windows Server 2003. Slated to have its mainstream support ended on July 14th, businesses that currently use the software need to begin making plans to upgrade their system as soon as possible. With this server operating system no longer being supported by Microsoft, your data will be vulnerable to the latest online threats.

It’s best practice to upgrade your server’s OS (and all of your software for that matter) every time a new version is released–not every twelve years. One reason to upgrade is that the latest software is built to handle the demands of modern businesses, which gives you a competitive edge over companies running older software. Security is another big part of why you should upgrade, and in the case of Windows Server 2003, the need to upgrade by July 14th is urgent because Microsoft ending mainstream support means that they will no longer be providing security updates and patches to protect you from the latest threats.

If you want to dig in your heels and hang on to your precious Windows Server 2003, you have the option to purchase custom support from Microsoft. However, this isn’t a tangible option for the small business. According to Processor magazine, Microsoft is charging upwards of $200,000 for this service. Your business is better off just upgrading to the latest OS for your server, especially if you’re working in a field like health care that requires your technology to be up-to-date in order to comply with strict security standards.

Upgrading from Windows Server 2003 isn’t difficult, but it does require you to take an accurate assessment of your applications to find out if they can transfer to your new system. For example, you may run into some issues when attempting to move older applications that run off a 32-bit operating system to a newer OS. Issues like this can be worked around, but it requires the skills of a knowledgeable professional, which is time and expense that must be factored into the upgrading cost. When upgrading your server to a new OS, it’s best to go about it with a well-thought-out plan so that your upgrading process won’t run into any surprises that will take your server offline any longer than it needs to be.

NTConnections can work with your business to make the upgrading process as quick, easy, and affordable as possible. We can come up with a time-saving plan that accounts for any discrepancies that might hinder the upgrading process of an older system, and we can migrate your data to a temporary server that your business can operate from while we equip your server with the latest OS. This way, the productivity of your business won’t skip a beat.

It may be that upgrading the software on an older server unit isn’t the most efficient option for your business. A lot has changed in twelve years, and your old server units have likely experienced some wear and tear and require more maintenance. Technologies like server virtualization and cloud computing may be a better data-hosting option for your business than trying to update your old system.

Whatever the best route is for your business, NTConnections will guide you in it so that your organization isn’t stuck using older software that leaves your data vulnerable and your business inept. Call us today at (703) 288-9767 to learn more.