As of July 14th, Microsoft will no longer support Server 2003, a critical date for many businesses. Instead of being a date to dread, this could be a golden opportunity to simplify business IT and cut costs for years to come.
Back in 2003 there was no such thing as the cloud and on premise servers were necessary. Technology has vastly improved since then and today’s cloud environment runs cleaner, utilizes better technology, cuts back dramatically on the use of electricity to reduce an organization’s carbon footprint. In addition, the Internet is now far more reliable as a core element of any IT strategy.
For some organizations whose main server dependency is email, collaboration and storage, a move to Office 365 may be all they need to truly take advantage of a cloud environment. As discussed in our blog last month, In this scenario, the most logical step forward is to take advantage of Microsoft Azure to move those applications to the cloud. Even moving email and storage to Exchange Online and Office 365 can take a huge management pressure off any business if running currently on premise" , for Amaxra—a small business without a dependency on legacy applications—moving our office was a breeze thanks to our use of Microsoft’s cloud technology.
But what if an organization has more than just email? What if it depends on essential applications running on those old servers? In this scenario, the most logical step forward is to take advantage of Microsoft Azure to move those applications to the cloud. In our experience, applications running in a current Windows Server on premise environment can be migrated to Azure far easier than other cloud providers. Plus, Azure has the right tools to manage remaining on premise Windows systems. This way, businesses can extend an existing datacenter to the cloud. It’s an excellent experience accessing any data of any size with the added advantage of utilizing the latest analytics and performance metrics, such as Microsoft’s Power BI. Azure is secure, flexible and far less costly than other solutions, and allows you to continue using applications that do not (yet) have a cloud counterpart.
Another advantage Azure offers is scale. Most businesses have demand peaks which historically led to investing in expensive hardware, using it for a limited time, then being stuck with it for the long run. No more. With Azure you can simply increase the amount of resources available for a specific duration and you only pay for what you consume. When it's time to ramp down, just go to your Azure portal and shut down the resources you no longer require. Lower cost, lower impact on the environment.
Even if you have many servers and don’t think you have the funds to upgrade, think again. The initial cost of moving into the cloud may surprise you. Then once you’ve made the move, the cost of your entire network will drop. Even moving email and storage to Exchange Online and Office 365 can take a huge management pressure off any business if running currently on premise.
Although running in the cloud is simple, the process of migrating is complex, so set yourself up for success by partnering with someone who understands it thoroughly. With a migration done well, you’ll never miss 2003 or those noisy, power hungry, hot servers it ran on.