Windows Server 2003 migrations: “Are We There Yet?”

By John Richardson, Senior Manager

With the July deadline for Windows Server 2003 migrations approaching, our teams have been wondering when everyone will complete this critical migration.

As of July 2014, Microsoft said that more than 8 million Windows 2003 Servers in the U.S. still needed to be migrated. However, recently, one of our OEM partners that had a list of customers who might still have Windows Server 2003 reported to us that 100-percent were done or didn’t need any help.

So maybe we’re almost there?

Or maybe not. In March 2015, we ran a public webinar on the migration and had more than 130 people from 97 different companies sign up to learn how to complete this challenging migration. Based on the limited scope of our outreach, we might unscientifically guess that there are still quite a few companies with a long way to go.
That’s not surprising, given the difficulties of this migration – from staffing, to risk management, to applications that don’t want to be migrated. In the webinar, Datalink Project Manager Paul Johnson, who has run dozens of migration programs, stresses the needs for:

  • Program management – Keep the entire effort disciplined and ensure the assumptions made at the start hold true or are revised quickly when the unexpected occurs.
  • Discovery and analysis – Get a complete picture of which applications need to be migrated, their associated assets, how the applications are used, what outages can be taken during migration, and which applications will need help migrating.
  • Planning – Take all the inputs from discovery and analysis and determine a realistic plan that answers these questions: how do you get this amount of work done with a given budget, schedule, and resources? Which risks can be anticipated?
  • Execution – If the previous steps are done well, this step should be a no-brainer, but always prepare for the unexpected.

Put these four elements together in the right combination for your needs, and you could be closer to a successful migration. Of course, the Datalink team is here to help you navigate the steps with our turnkey Windows Server 2003 migration program.

John Richardson,
Consulting Services