End of Life for Microsoft
Microsoft Server 2003 is already End Of Life and Microsoft SQL 2005 is quickly approaching End Of Life on April 12, 2016. It is of the utmost importance for businesses to establish a plan to migrate away from these systems to a modern, faster, secure solutions and ASON is here to assist you in every step of the process.
What Does It Mean for My Company?
Let’s take a look at some of the key points of what the End Of Life for these pieces of software really means for your business operations in the most practical terms.
No More Patches or Updates; No More Security.
In the simplest sense this means that Server 2003 and SQL 2005 will no longer receive patches and updates from Microsoft; this statement belies the true repercussions and potential consequences of continuing to actively use these systems in your business or network. No new patches or updates means no new security fixes regardless of what exploits surface publicly; even if it is one day after the expiration date. Attackers are more sophisticated and profit-oriented than ever and the tools to infiltrate and exploit networks and systems were never more available and easy to use than they are right now. Security holes in your server and databases not only puts your customers and clients at risk of a data breach but it is also a liability for your company in terms of lost revenue and hefty fines in the event of a breach as well as being in violation of PCI and HIPAA compliance.
No Longer Compliant with PCI and HIPAA Standards.
It’s important to reiterate that last point; PCI and HIPAA compliance requires up-to-date patches on all databases and operating systems. If your business needs to be PCI or HIPAA compliant you will automatically be out of compliance come April for SQL 2005 and July for Server 2003. It is mandatory to upgrade to a newer solution simply to maintain these compliance standards. Microsoft estimates that 82% of SQL servers are running at least one instance of SQL 2005 and one in five Windows servers are running Windows Server 2003 which translates to a lot of vulnerable software. Nobody wants to be at the center of the next breach such as those that happened to Target and Home Depot. SQL 2014, for instance, has been voted the least vulnerable database application for six years in a row offering a very comfortable assurance of its ability to secure important data.
What Options Exist; What Do I Gain?
There are more benefits to upgrading to more modern and secure versions of Server and SQL than simply mitigating risk and maintaining compliance. Let’s examine some of the perks that come along with upgrading your software solutions.
Better Efficiency; Lower Cost of Operation.
SQL 2014 and Server 2012 R2 offer substantial gains in performance speeds and hardware utilization which means greater speed and efficiency for you and that translates to lower costs of doing business. There are multiple strategies for upgrading your Windows Server operating system and ASON can provide a detailed analysis of what each solution means for you and can help you find the best solution possible for your company.
Integration with the Cloud equals Peace of Mind.
Many options come along with upgrading your SQL databases as well. Implementing Azure cloud services for backup can secure off-site data in case of a disaster and speed up restoration of your database many times over allowing you to get back to business as usual after an emergency faster. Taking that idea a step further the upcoming release of SQL 2016 will allow databases to be completely hosted in the cloud rather than on on-site hardware reducing operation costs, costs of hardware maintenance and adding the potential to reduce any down time as well.
Virtualization offers Flexible, Dynamic and Cost-Effective Solutions.
Many businesses over-spec their server needs and end up paying for hardware they do not utilize. Migrating your server and database to the cloud allows you to only pay for the hardware that you require and offers the flexibility to easily and instantaneously upgrade to more powerful options, even temporarily if necessary, when the need arises without having to purchase all new on-site systems.
Don’t Get Left Behind Again; Software that Stays Current.
You may be saying “If I need to update now then I can’t wait for SQL 2016 to take advantage of cloud hosted database servers.” Microsoft’s Software Assurance addresses this issue by insuring that you are entitled to the latest versions of your software so you don’t ever find yourself in the position of being short on time and expending company resources to replace an outdated solution that is facing end of support.
ASON Brings it All Together; Reliable Solutions for Your Company.
ASON can guide you through the myriad of upgrade options and help you find the unique solution that works best for your company and your style of doing business and brings 24x7x365 technical support to you, all the while easing the transition to new software with a modern, secure and reliable approach to these software solutions. Time is running out to upgrade your Windows Server 2003 machines. All versions of Windows Server 2003 will no longer receive critical updates or maintain regulatory compliance, which can affect your applications and services.
Failing to plan or take action to migrate will put your business at risk:
- Payment Compliance | Lack of PCI compliance means that Visa & Mastercard will no longer do business with an organization
- No patches for security upgrades | there were 37 applied in 2013 alone
- No safe haven | physical and virtual data will be vulnerable to any and all security threats
- No compliance | customers will start to fail standard compliance audits
Take Action Now | Get up to speed
Allow ASON to help migrate your Microsoft 2003 Server(s) and SQL Server(s) to the latest supported version that will equip and protect your vital information structure.