Why Windows Server 2003 end of life signals $100 billion opportunity for tech industry

“This migration will impact millions of IT professionals and nearly every technology segment including hardware, software, cloud, mobile and services.”

The Windows Server 2003 end of life represents a US$100 billion opportunity for the technology industry, focused strongly around migration-related solutions including the purchase of new technology hardware, software, cloud-based solutions, and associated services.

That’s according to a new report released by global ICT firm Spiceworks - The Great IT Upgrade - that examines the financial and technology impact Windows Server 2003 end of life will have on IT departments.

Findings show that sixty-one percent of companies have at least one instance of Windows Server 2003 running within their environment, representing millions of installations across both physical and virtualised infrastructures.

As a result, companies are allocating an average of US$60,000 for use in migration-related projects.

“This migration will impact millions of IT professionals and nearly every technology segment including hardware, software, cloud, mobile and services,” says Sanjay Castelino, VP of Marketing, Spiceworks.

“IT professionals are taking steps to migrate prior to the end of life deadline and technology companies who can offer a clear, elegant migration path have a multi-billion dollar opportunity to help IT departments transition effectively.”

The survey found a majority of IT professionals have started the migration process in advance of the July 14, 2015 deadline.

Fifteen percent of respondents have fully migrated their environment while 48 percent have partially migrated and 28 percent remain in the planning stages.

Furthermore, eight percent of IT professionals have no plans to migrate at all and of those who plan to keep Windows Server 2003 after end of life, 85 percent cited concerns with security vulnerability, 72 percent were concerned with software compatibility, and 66 percent cited concerns with compliance risks.

Windows Server 2012 R2

Findings show that sixty-four percent of IT professionals are planning to migrate from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012 R2 and 14 percent are planning to migrate to Windows Server 2012.

When asked why, 56 percent of respondents reported they’re moving to the latest version of Windows Server, 39 percent cited software standardisation and ease of management, 37 percent said they already own Windows Server 2012 licenses, 37 percent cited features and functionality, and 36 percent are seeking additional virtualisation capabilities.

Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 were cited by 39 percent and six percent of IT professionals respectively as their migration paths of choice while nine percent of respondents plan to migrate to Linux/CentOS.

Virtualisation leads the way in terms of migration approaches

Seventy-four percent of IT professionals who are either fully, partially, or planning to migrate, plan to move applications currently running on Windows Server 2003 to a virtualised environment.

Of those, 34 percent plan to move applications from a physical to a new virtual environment while 31 percent will be moving applications from a physical to an existing virtualised server.

Twenty-three percent plan to move their applications from an existing virtualised server to another virtualised server, and 22 percent plan to move applications from an existing virtualised server to a new virtualised server.

Respondents also cited plans to purchase hardware and software as part of the migration process - thirty percent of respondents plan to purchase new physical servers and operating systems, and 16 percent plan to purchase standalone server software for existing hardware. Only 12 percent of respondents plan to move to a cloud/hosted solution.

Finally, twenty-two percent of IT professionals said they don’t plan to upgrade every system currently running Windows Server 2003.

And of those who are not fully migrated cite lack of time and budget constraints as key barriers to full migration.

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