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Windows 2003 End of Support Poll By @AppZero_Inc | @CloudExpo

Most IT administrators are painfully aware that Windows Server 2003 will reach the end of extended support in July 2015

2014 State of Readiness for Windows 2003 End of Support: Poll Results

Most IT administrators are painfully aware that Windows Server 2003 will reach the end of extended support in July 2015. This is a big deal because Windows Server 2003 has been a monster success since it was released 11 years ago. From 2003 to 2010 this platform was the workhorse for applications deployed at both small businesses and large enterprises.  And, even though Microsoft released a major update with Windows 2008, late in 2008, most enterprises stuck with Windows 2003 until Windows Server 2008 R2 launched on October 22, 2009.

The newest Windows Server platform is 2012, R2 and little is publicly known about the number of production instances.  As of the summer of 2014 however, it was widely reported that Microsoft believed there to be 22+ million Windows 2003 Servers still running production applications.

What is happening today? Surveying the Enterprise
Last year, AppZero undertook the "State of Readiness for Windows Server 2003 End of Support" Survey in an effort to assess how serious this event is to enterprise IT.  We surveyed Fortune 1000 IT professionals at a series of industry events, to assess their readiness for the impending end of support of Windows Server 2003.

This year AppZero is again conducting the survey at many IT industry events, online on the AppZero website and via polls during select webinars.  While there are still ongoing efforts to gather more data and the full report is not scheduled for public availability until the end of 2014 there are few selected data points worth sharing now.

In Sept, 2014, Microsoft and AppZero presented a webinar to 240 attendees. Those interested in viewing the webinar can watch it here. During the webinar we asked a series of poll questions to understand the participants' understanding and readiness for the Windows Server 2003 End of Support.  The results of those polls, comparison to survey results from last year and implications of market changes are outlined below.

Selected 2013 Report Highlights

  • More than half (52%) of the respondents have 100 or more machines running Windows Server 2003.
  • Only one quarter (24%) of respondents already have an upgrade plan in place for remediating the risk of WS2003 EOS.
  • More than one third (35%) will be moving their applications to the cloud as part of their upgrade process.
  • An additional 40% are "unsure" which likely translates into roughly half of respondents ultimately choosing to move to the cloud.

In 2013 more than half the enterprises surveyed had a material number of Windows Server 2003 machines. Only a small number of respondents had remediation plans and the largest segment was unsure where they would migrate their application.

Selected 2014 Poll Highlights

  • 38% of the respondents have 1,000 or more machines running Windows Server 2003.
  • Only one quarter (25%) of respondents already have an upgrade plan in place for remediating the risk of WS2003 EOS.  No change from last year.
  • 43% will be moving their applications to the cloud as part of their upgrade process.

In 2014 many of the enterprises responding in the poll had a Windows 2003 end of support challenge with more than 1,000 machines to remediate. The responses show that the market is still in the process of planning how to migrate with the largest segment wanting to move to the cloud.

Fast forward to the September 2014 poll results. There is likely some difference in the groups between the survey group and the poll group. That difference is that the poll group would likely have IT professionals who have Windows Server 2003 servers while the survey group would include all IT professionals.

Let's set the context of the webinar attendees who took these polls:

What type of business is your organization?

Possible Answers


Percent Response

Enterprise


53%

SI/Consultant


47%

 

Enterprises: How many servers in your organization are running Windows Server 2003?

Possible Answers

Percent Response

1 - 100

28%

101 - 500

30%

501 - 1000

6%

1001 - 4999

27%

5000+

11%

The poll indicates enterprises attending the webinar either have a small migration challenge or a really big (enterprise) class challenge.  The total number of production servers under management by respondents having more than 1001 servers equaled 150,000.

Enterprises: What is your level of readiness for Windows Server 2003 end of support?

Possible Answers


Fall 2014

Fall 2013

Don't know when EOS is


2%

27%

I know when EOS is, but have no plan


9%

20%

I have started to research technical options

53%

16%

I have an upgrade plan


25%

24%

Other


11%

13%

These results show that the market has become more educated and more aware of Windows Server 2003 end of support, compared to last year. Somewhat hard to believe is that there has been no change in the number of people who have an upgrade plan. Presumably, Microsoft has gotten the word out but the action of "get up and move" is not evident in the year over year data.

As part of your upgrade projects, will you be moving applications to the cloud?

Possible Answers


Fall 2014

Fall 2013

Yes


43%

35%

Not Sure


27%

40%

No


23%

22%

Other


7%

3%

The move to the cloud continues its steady growth in popularity. Not moving to the cloud held steady at about a quarter of responses, statically identical to last year. All the "Not Sure" and "Other" fence sitters are also trending towards cloud as the destination.

Conclusion
It is clear that the WS 2003 end of support event is a critical decision point for IT, raising many questions including:

  • What operating system will I move to?
  • Will my environment be physical or virtual, on premise or the Cloud?
  • Which apps do I modernize and which do I retire?
  • What resources are required in terms of people and dollars?
  • Can I risk being out of compliance?

AppZero can help answer those questions and "up-level" your applications onto the modern platform (OS) of your choice, and we can connect you with Sis who will help if you don't have the in-house resources.  Contact us at info@appzero.com to get started.  And check back here at the end of year when we'll reveal the statistics from the full 2014 Survey Report.

More Stories By Greg O'Connor

Greg O'Connor is President & CEO of AppZero. Pioneering the Virtual Application Appliance approach to simplifying application-lifecycle management, he is responsible for translating Appzero's vision into strategic business objectives and financial results.

O'Connor has over 25 years of management and technical experience in the computer industry. He was founder and president of Sonic Software, acquired in 2005 by Progress Software (PRGS). There he grew the company from concept to over $40 million in revenue.

At Sonic, he evangelized and created the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) product category, which is generally accepted today as the foundation for Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Follow him on Twitter @gregoryjoconnor.

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