As an IT professional, you may be aware that Windows 2003 Server, released 12 years ago, will see extended support come to an end on July 14, 2015.

Windows 2003 Server has been a great product for Microsoft and was the successor to Windows 2000 Server. For IT professionals, the platform gave plenty of future-focused features like Distributed File Systems (DFS), support for storage area networks (SAN), virtual disc services like network attached storage (NAS), and RAID (multiple disk drives placed together at once), which increased the capabilities of systems and allowed more storage space.

However, upgrading from Windows 2003 Server is absolutely imperative for you and your customers. Without upgrading, the cost of managing workloads will become more expensive, email accounts will become at-risk for security breaches, computers and software will become vulnerable to malicious attacks, and outdated software will present compliance issues.

Not to worry though – just because Windows 2003 Server is going away, it does not mean that the features, abilities, and versatility of the platform are leaving. Replacing the system will be Windows Server 2008, Server 2008 R2, and Server 2012. As technologies improve, the reason for upgrading is quite clear, and in this blog post we’ll address a few key reasons for why you should upgrade.

1. Increased Level of Security

With security being a top-level concern for IT professionals, you’ll be glad to hear that Windows 2008 and 2012 Servers both contain updates to security that will give you more peace of mind. 2008 contains features like file encryption, BitLocker, user account control, and a security configuration wizard which gives more power in creating, editing, and modifying security policies. 2012 contains many updates to what was added for 2008 with compatibility with even more modern technologies.

2. Virtualization

Virtualization was still in its infancy when Windows Server 2008 was getting its bearings as a new product, but now in 2015, virtualization is as hot as ever. Virtualization is good for business because of higher application availability, greater productivity, and overall lower costs on capital and operation – something that we are quite sure the CFO, as well as the CTO – will love.

3. Better Storage Options

Data is easier to manage in Windows Server 2012 and 2008, and with more data in business than ever, it’s a problem that the new platforms will solve. Enhanced terminal services in 2008 will help IT professionals who want to see if there is any extraneous information floating around while 2012 comes with a deduplication tool so space can be saved and business can run as usual.

4. Fewer Versions

You might have been overwhelmed by the amount of choices for Windows 2003 Server but the options have gotten simpler for 2008 and 2012. 2012 especially has gotten simpler with 4 specific offerings towards Datacenter, Standard, Essentials, and Foundation.

With the changes in mind, we believe the future is bright and those looking to continue with the Windows Server line will be in store for some great changes. If you’re one of those individuals, watch for our Thursday post where we will be sharing a checklist for IT professionals who want to make the transition.

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