Wednesday, 22 April 2015

End of support for Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 is a server operating system produced by Microsoft, which was released in April 2003, but from the 14th July 2015 Microsoft will be ending support for this product.

All software products have a lifecycle. End of support refers to the date when Microsoft will no longer provide automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance.

After this date users will no longer receive security patches that help protect PCs from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, assisted technical support from Microsoft or software and content updates.

Departments using operating systems running unsupported software are exposed to risks and will need to update their systems to mitigate these risks posed to the University. Possible actions departments could take are: 
  • Upgrading any Windows Server 2003 to a later version along with associated services and software 
  • Moving the physical server to a virtual environment maintained by CiCS 
  • Finding out if the services running on the server are already provided centrally by CiCS eg. FTP, web services, VPN 
  • Determining if the service needs access to the internet 
  • There are some virtualised versions of Windows Server 2003 provided by CiCS and the Storage and Server Team are in the process of contacting departments so that they can be migrated to the latest version, Windows Server 2012. 
Errol Sweetland,  IT Support Manager in CiCS, is also contacting departments running Windows Server 2003 to discuss options as there are now just a few months until support ends.