If the subject seems a little overplayed, it’s only because it’s extremely important. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, starting July 15th, Microsoft will not longer be supporting Microsoft Server 2003. No updates, no patches, no support – nothing. This is important, since 35% of businesses (9.4 million servers) are still using Microsoft Server 2003. If you haven’t read our blogs on it yet, take a look at the following topics:
- Microsoft Server End-of-Life FAQ
- Is there life after end-of-life for Microsoft Server 2003? (No.)
- Three options for moving away from Micorsoft Server 2003
If you’ve already read these blogs, you know now that it’s not a matter of if you’re going to switch, it’s a matter of when. But what you may not know is that Microsoft has added some incentives to upgrading Microsoft Server 2003.
What’s the incentive?
It’s not your standard rebate or cash back – it’s also not a blanket discount. Does that mean it’s not valuable? Of course not! According to CRN Magazine, the incentive is a 10% subsidy that allows them to turn around and purchase other ancillary services and solutions.
What does that mean?
One of the easiest examples (and likely the one Microsoft would love to see you choose) is a cloud migration. If you elect to move your physical server that currently uses Server 2003, Microsoft is offering an incentive to move over to Office365. With the incentive you would gain access to more featured packages at a lower price point. Similar incentives exist for the backup and disaster recovery products that Microsoft has as well.
Is this self serving?
Somewhat, but your business still stands to benefit. Microsoft wants to see small businesses in the cloud, which is significantly more profitable for them in the long term. But the reality is – that moving your infrastructure to the cloud means cost efficiency, agility and mobility. If you’re still educating yourself, you can read up on cloud solutions in our blog.
The important thing to remember is that getting off Server 2003 sooner than later means benefitting from pricing and incentives. Rather than waiting until the last minute when organizations discover on their own that updates are no longer available, start now. You don’t want to wait until 9.4 million other servers need to be upgraded. You also don’t want to wait until support ends and your risks increase tenfold. Start exploring your options now, make an educated decision and begin your upgrades now. This will give you time to work out any kinks and scale these upgrades to other locations.