Microsoft Windows Server 2012 was the fifth version of the Windows Server operating system. Released to market in September 2012, and shortly followed by it’s successor Windows Server 2012 R2, in October 2013.
All Microsoft products and packages follow a fixed lifecycle policy. At the end of life Microsoft will no longer provide support or security updates for their products. These dates tend to be pre-determined from the day of launch, clearly setting out expectations from the start.
Mainstream support on Windows Server 2012 ended in October 2018, with extended support available until January 2023, however Microsoft has since extended this until October 2023.
|Type of Support||Mainstream||Extended||Beyond|
|Request to change design||Available||Not Available||Not Available|
|Security Updates||Available||Available||Not Available|
|Non Security Updates||Available||Available||Not Available|
|Self Help Support||Available||Available||Available|
For full details on the different levels of support please see Microsoft here.
What this means for your Windows 2012 Server OS
October 2023 seems a long way off, and realistically it is over 2 years until the extended support comes to an end. However there is plenty to consider in looking to upgrade your Windows Server 2012 operating system.
Existing hardware and the compatibility to new operating system
Newer operating systems often require additional memory and processing speed to work effectively. Older servers may not have the capacity to cope with a newer operating system due to the advancement of technology in recent years. Simply installing a new operating system without fully establishing your hardware capability will most likely mean that your existing server and software may not work. This can cause a loss of data and your staff being unable to carry out their tasks.
Existing packages and software compatibility
Most businesses use a variety of software packages from third parties, such as accounting, customer relationship and design software. These third party packages are written to be compatible with the available operating systems at the time of their own launch. By upgrading your existing operating system, it is possible that third party packages will not be compatible to your new operating system. An in-depth review of all the software packages that your organisation will ensure that the correct upgrade is implemented. If they are not carefully considered, the upgrade may mean that your employees are unable to use software that is vital for their role which can be detrimental to your day to day work.
Current and emerging market options
The technology market is constantly evolving, depending on your unique requirements and the packages/software there are a variety of options available when it comes to replacing your server. These include cloud, onsite or hybrid servers. Before any decision should be made on the type of server you need, we strongly recommend an in-depth consultation to evaluate the type of server best suited to your needs.
Finally, and probably one of the most important to consider is the budget. Depending on the type of new server hardware or operating system upgrade this can be a costly project. With forward planning on the upgrades required you can identify the budget and put this in place in advance. It might be that you need to plan the project to take place immediately or in the future. MPR IT Solutions will ensure that following the audit and consultation of your requirements, the costs involved will be clearly explained and set out.
Time scale – don’t leave till last minute
October 2023, is a long way off, however the project to upgrade an operating system or migrating to a new server can be time consuming.
If you are looking to upgrade your server or operating system we strongly advise that you do not delay in considering your options. For more information and to discuss your requirements contact our team on 0800 030 20 30 option 1.Read more
by Nicki Dowsett in Industry News
Windows Server 2003 Support Ending
Microsoft have recently announced that from 14th July 2015 they will no longer be offering support for the Windows Server 2003 server. This means that if you or your business are still operating on the 2003 if anything goes wrong they will no longer be able to assist you, and you should now be thinking about looking at alternative options to ensure safe and secure running for your systems.
There are three options to consider with Windows Server 2003 support ending, each of which has its own benefits –
Allowing access anywhere anyhow. Office 365 means you can have a cloud based system that can be accessed on your desk top, laptop, tablet or smart phone anywhere in the world, with all the familiarity of Microsoft programmes such as mail, calendar, word, excel and power-point. Accessing your files and email could not be simpler. Emails can be branded to your business no more google or Hotmail email address for the small business allowing marketing for your business to be more efficient. With 1TB of storage per user there is plenty of storage for each user, files can easily be shared for your team to be able to access data simply and effectively. No more emailing files back and forward as required. They can be shared not just within your company but also your clients if needed.
Windows Server 2012 R2
With Windows Server 2003 support ending, small businesses can benefit with Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, a cloud based solution designed specifically for small businesses. Simplifying the integration of optional cloud-based application such as Office 365 and Azure, this option can help minimise the time and effort you spend on IT. Essential is a flexible and affordable server solution specifically priced for small business with up to 25 users and 50 devices. Your data is protected with backups using a wizard or you can use cloud storage for a greater protection. Backups can be run daily on individual PC’s and is easily protected with file history. Access remotely is provided in a secure for users and admins to files, client computers and servers, My server app for Windows 8 is a touch friendly way to access all your data and perform light tasks from desktops, laptops, and tablet devices. Integrating Office 365 you can create your own accounts in Server 2012 and associated mailbox will be created at the same time, all password protected with access from either local or cloud based. Providing server virtualisation, SME’s can now focus on the business and not worry about IT infrastructure.
Azure is a cloud platform with a collection of integrated services, storage, data, networking and app, all of which help you to move faster, be more efficient and save. It is the only major platform ranked by Gartner an industry leader for both Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). Its combination of managed and unmanaged services allow you to build, deploy and manage applications any way you like. Some cloud solutions ask you to choose between your data centre and public data, however not Azure, its hybrid solution gives you the best of both worlds. Storage, backup and recovery are more efficient and cost effective. Applications can be on premises and cloud based. Sharing the same tested platforms as Skype, Office 365, Bing and Xbox, this offers 99.95% availability and round the clock support on Azure. This platform can be easily and quickly scaled up or down to meet your needs and you pay only for what you use with per minute billing and a price match to competitors you will get best value for money.
What does this mean to you?
With Windows Server 2003 Support Ending, you and your business are at risk. With no more support offered if anything goes wrong, you could lose valuable data and ultimately time and money not to mention a whole lot of stress. It is important you start to review your options sooner rather than later. If you are still on Windows Server 2003 or not and would like to investigate any of these option, please contact us at MPR IT Solutions to discuss the best option for you and your business. We can support you through the migration from start to finish and also continue to support you for the long term. Contact us:
Telephone: 0800 030 20 30
Web: www.mpr-it.co.ukRead more