Getting rid of Windows Server 2003... but how do you eat an elephant?

  • Posted on May 10, 2016

Server 2003

On our first blog we identified Windows Server 2003 as the elephant in the room, and compared a Windows Server 2003 migration project to re-wiring the home. We also put forward the case for driving to real business value from migration projects. So, as the old saying goes (and from a purely hypothetical perspective!) just how do you eat an elephant?

First, we need to be clear: as stated in a previous blog this time last year, the best way to approach a Server 2003 modernization is to view it through the lens of your applications. This is what people are interacting with day in, day out and this is where the real change can be made.

For each application, we split the actions broadly into three areas:Graph 1

  1. Retire/Isolate
    Some applications simply are not worth migrating off Server 2003, it might be too costly or perhaps you want to sunset the application. So don’t. Isolate it and lock it down if you can’t shut it off.
  2. Infrastructure Modernization
    For relatively modern or off the shelf applications, you may be able to move them onto modern hardware. With the right tools, this is a simple, easy way to move off Server 2003. The downside is that there is no opportunity to improve the applications function or business value.
  3. Application Modernization
    For applications which are not compatible with newer operating systems, they will need to be modernized in some way. This can be as simple as remediating them to have them work on the latest .NET framework, or could be a chance to rework the complete application user experience in line with updated business needs and/or get your applications cloud ready.

As depicted in the graph above, the various methods of modernizing each deliver varying levels of value back to the business, we call this the Modernization Value Continuum, and a standard project typically involves all three. The more you look to application modernization though, typically the more future-ready your IT can be.

Which brings us back to the question - how do you eat an elephant? Well of course the answer is "One bite at a time". To eat the Server 2003 elephant you need the right tools & processes to slice up and consume the project.

The processes are developed by helping many large clients modernize ageing, legacy systems, and the tools are specifically designed to identify & perform the processes at industrial scale. More and more organizations are realizing it makes little sense for them to try and eat this elephant on their own, and are looking for partners to help them. As a recognized specialist in the Microsoft ecosystem and specifically Modernization, Avanade have developed a fixed-price four week Modernization Proof of Concept aimed at providing you with:

  • A comprehensive Server 2003 retirement report
  • Migration of two applications for you to give you an idea of what to expect in your environment, with your application portfolio.

Image 1

If you want to know more, take a look at our brochure and prepare to take your first bite.

Next up in the series, we will take a look at approaches to tackle SQL Server 2005 end of support, and how it links into this modernization journey.

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