Time is running out for organisations that are still using Windows Server 2003 as Microsoft will cease to provide support for the server operating system (OS) on 14 July 2015 onwards.
Since this means that such organisations can no longer turn to Microsoft for technical support, they need to be prepared to face extensive losses — due to data loss and prolonged downtime — should their servers fail, said Chuah Yeow Chong, Executive Director, APJ Global Support & Deployment Services Sales, Dell.
Besides that, such businesses would not be able to install the latest specialised applications from independent software vendors as those applications do not support the outdated Windows Server 2003, he added.
Following this announcement, both Microsoft and Dell are urging IT leaders to quickly migrate off Windows Server 2003 to protect the applications and data residing on old servers. The move also presents an opportunity for businesses to realise the business benefits of moving to modern platforms such as Windows Server 2012, as outlined by IDC Asia/Pacific's study.
Benefits of migrating to Windows Server 2012
Last December, IDC Asia/Pacific was commissioned by Microsoft and Intel to uncover the benefits gained by 88 organisations in the Asia Pacific region which moved to Windows Server 2012.
Titled "Understanding the business value of migrating to Windows Server 2012", the study found that the three main benefits include:
1. Increased virtualisation density, which enables IT to do more with what they have. Hyper-V — Microsoft's virtualisation capability that is embedded in Windows Server 2012 — provides more capacity to virtualise environments without being manpower intensive. Large organisations were found to have virtualised about 48 percent of the average 121 servers, while smaller firms virtualised about 45 percent of the average 20 servers. Moreover, businesses were able to increase their virtual server densities to about 17 percent after migrating from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012.
2. Increased levels of automation, which reduces costs, time and errors. Automation is a critical feature for IT to minimise time and errors associated with repetitive tasks. Windows Server 2012's PowerShell enabled 38 percent of the small firms to automate an average of 10 tasks while 34 percent of large businesses were able to automate an average of 19 tasks.
3. Reduced manhours due to increased automation, allowing IT teams to focus on other things. On average, small firms saved 20 hours per month, while large organisations saved 30 hours per month after migrating to Windows Server 2012. These companies were also found to have experienced improved levels of security; as well as increased ability to maintain compliance, manageability and overall performance in their IT infrastructure after the adoption of the modern platform.
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