From death comes new life

From death comes new life

Summary: Windows Server administrators in the datacenter face the need to deal with Windows Server 2003 end-of-life support.


Larry Dignan's posting last week about the latest Intel Xeon lineup potentially being an "economic no brainer" for the upgrade cycle, really got me thinking about what will drive the next upgrade cycle in the Windows Server datacenter environment. A few phone calls got me an interesting consensus opinion though; the upgrade that's on the mind of the datacenter administrators that run Windows isn't the hardware. Their concern right now is on migrating a large number of Windows Server 2003 systems to Windows Server 2008R2.

The issue isn't, in many cases , of wanting to perform the OS migration because of a perceived need (especially in a managed hosting environment), it's simply the fact that in July of this year, Windows Server 2003 mainstream support retired and moved into the category of Extended   support, with the additional costs and delays that entails.  So this means it's time to move on to Windows Server 2008, at least in the minds of many customers.

Unfortunately, for a lot of businesses, this also means that other changes to their server environment might need to be made.  For example, in Windows Server 2003, Microsoft included support for migration from Novell Directory Services/eDirectory, to Microsoft Active Directory. In Windows Server 2008, this support has been dropped, which means that this directory service migration requires a Windows Server 2003 domain controller to remain in place while the migration is performed. This isn't a big deal in a mixed environment, but if you are end-of-life-ing your Windows Server 2003 installations, you need to make sure that any task that requires that operating system to be in place had better be completed before you pull the plug on that last Server 2003 machine.

This does play well into Intel's server processor strategy, however, as customers are often more willing to do bare metal installs on new hardware at this point in the operating system upgrade cycle. And since businesses tend to evaluate their license needs and physical infrastructure requirements before proceeding with these server OS upgrades, the increased processing power and virtualization/consolidation message should play very well with businesses making this move.

Topics: Operating Systems, Emerging Tech, Hardware, Servers, Software, Windows

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  • 2008 is a DEBACLE

    From the UI changes for the sake of change to the horrible UAC to the draconian security, it's a PITA and a nightmare for us.

    And it's not just me but most of our Windows admins and the other admins.

    2008 = HORRIBLE UI.
    • Huh?

      2008 has the same UI Server/Windows has always had. Took me less than 5 minutes to set up what I needed set up, plus the start menu search makes things even easier to find.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • You are kidding, right?

        OOB (Out of the box), things like Network control panel, changing the IP, etc are nightmares. As is hiding the menu bar by default (yet you can alt-F to bring it up).

        Sure you can set it to classic but that doesn't get it 100%.

        And don't get me started on the role vs feature BS.
        • What version are you using?

          I have standard, and it works similar to Windows 7. The UI shouldn't be difficult to use.
          The one and only, Cylon Centurion
          • 2008 and 2008 R2

            For those of us who have been around Windows servers since NT it's a huge step in the wrong direction.

            2003 was basically 2000 with some tweaks.
            2008 is the crapfest Vista/Win 7 UI applied to a server. We are all going "Where did they put it?"

            It's almost as horrible of a UI as Vista and Windows 7.
    • Really?

      Been using it since the day it came out and is not much different UI wise than anything else Windows. I mean if you can't find some of those basic things you speak of then you really should not be touching the system.

      The UAC is great and is more security so as an admin I applaud the UAC and wish people like you had some sense to understand it. Its not perfect but my uptimes are 100% unless I do patches so we are fine with it here.
  • End-of-life - comparisons? Will MSFT "fix" 2008 Server ?

    I would like to see comparisons to other server platforms or server vendors

    Like Novell Linux vs RedHat's Enterprise vs Microsoft Windows 2000 and now 2003 vs newer server like the many no offered by Ubuntu and other Linux distributions

    Many see it as "Vista" Server and are not enjoying the prospect or the cost of migrating to a server they will not like and will have many security holes and other problems anyway

    What are Microsoft's plans for fixing Windows Server 2008?
    • Have you tried.....

      Windows 2008 R2? Its different than Windows 2008 so you may want to check it out. And its only x64 by the way. It does run better than Windows 2008 so I would check it before worrying about what they will do.
  • Forced migration

    I run FreeBSD 3.9 & 5.5, Solaris 10, mac osx server 10.5.8. I dont "need" to migrate anything. What works, it works.
    Having to migrate because your vendor is not supporting the previous version is not acceptable. As a matter of fact I don't need any support for my FreeBSD systems, they just work, same as worked 6 years before.
    When something is good you dont need to change it!
    • Nobody said you "have to" migrate...

      But it is a really good idea to do so.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • good idea to do so

        because your vendor need money?

        I dont see another reason to migrate. You now, you migrate when your life is miserable.
        • Not at all

          Money isn't the issue. Look at Windows XP, the
          longer it sat on the market, the more and more it
          was picked apart, piece by piece.

          If it works, great. Don't change a thing. But
          eventually, you will upgrade sooner, rather than
          later to keep up with the times.... Or be left by
          the wayside.
          The one and only, Cylon Centurion
          • FreeBSD systems are not "picked apart"

            and they are running longer than anything with a MS OS inside. Not picked apart. No left in the wayside. Up & Running, everything working fine, DNS, routing, db's, SSH, mail & so on. No need to migrate when what you have is good. There is not left in the wayside: is all about your need and a server that work, or not. If it works, you stay in. If not, you migrate.

            The true value of a system is the numbers of years is able to fulfill his purpose.
  • FreeBSD

    I certainly hope that you have kept your FreeBSD installations current; it's not like there are a lack of security updates.

    Nor are there a lack of version updates, as 7.2 is officially "legacy", 7.3 RC2 is pending, and production release of 8.0, with many significant changes is available.

    Windows Server 2003 users don't "have" to upgrade, they can move to paid extended support.
    David Chernicoff