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End-of-Life Software: What You Need to Know

Microsoft pulled its support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015.

This is not rare in the IT world, as tech products will inevitably reach a point when support from the manufacturer is no longer available, and thus, the software reaches the end of its life.

If your company is one of the many using Windows Server 2003, the reality of losing support can create a great deal of stress for you and leave you with a lot of questions. We are here to tell you that an upcoming end-of-life date doesn’t have to leave you pulling your hair out. You can look at it as an opportunity to upgrade to the latest and most powerful software available. Read on to discover what an end-of-life date means for you and how to navigate the upgrade process.

Failing to Upgrade Can be Dangerous and Costly

Many businesses put off upgrading their software because of the perceived costs and hassle. However, when a software product reaches end-of-life, the costs and hassle of continuing to use that software without the support of the manufacturer will over time outweigh those created by upgrading.

Going back to the example of Windows Server 2003, Microsoft will no longer be providing updates and security patches for this software system. If this date passes and you’re still using Windows Server 2003, you’ll be completely on your own. That means you will have to take on every responsibility to ensure Server 2003 is stable and secure.

Even if you are willing to take on the extra work involved with not upgrading, there are also financial costs you’ll need to consider. Without the security patches that Microsoft has provided up until now, your infrastructure will become vulnerable to attack. You will be forced to spend your company’s resources on manually adding security defenses like intrusion detection systems, network segmentation and advanced firewalls.

In fact, David Mayer, Practice Director of Microsoft Solutions for Insight Enterprises, said in a Q&A that companies who fail to upgrade from Windows Server 2003 before the EOL date should expect to spend an additional $1,500 per server each year to provide the level of extra protection needed to continue operating without security patches from Microsoft.

With the extra costs and work involved with operating on an unsupported product, does putting off an update still seem like a good idea to you?

An End-of-Life Date Can Be a Great Opportunity

As we mentioned earlier in this post, the end-of-life for an offering doesn’t have to be a cause for panic. With a little foresight and the help of a professional IT service provider, you can take advantage of an upcoming end-of-life date to upgrade your IT infrastructure to the latest software available. In many cases, going from an older version of a product to the most recent version can be more efficient and cost effective than upgrading to an intermediary version, and then upgrading again to the newer version at a later date. If you find yourself facing an approaching end-of-life date, you shouldn’t panic: it may present a simpler way for you to move to the latest and greatest version!

Take Action Now

If you’re concerned about how to handle a Microsoft product nearing end-of-support, Aventis Systems can help. We offer a full suite of Microsoft software along with software installation and migration services. Contact us today to get started.

Browse our slides below to learn more tips on how to avoid EOL software pitfalls.



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