By the time this blog is published, there will be fewer than 100 working days before the end of Extended Support for WS2008 on January 14, 2020. Wow, time flies. Are you still running WS2008 in production? If you’re concerned about the impending lack of support for the OS from Microsoft, what should you be doing during the final countdown period?  

VirtaMove recommends that you embrace the simple message on the cover of the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”: DON’T PANIC.

VirtaMove’s business is moving legacy Windows Server applications to modern servers, every day. We’re not panicking and neither should you be. We’re still moving WS2003 applications to WS2012, WS2016, and WS2019. We’re also still moving 20-year-old WS2000 applications to modern Windows Servers. If you still have some WS2008 applications to move, you have time to move them over the next 12-18 months. Just don’t expect to move all your legacy WS2008 applications by January 14, 2020.

Moving some of your legacy WS2008 applications by January 14, 2020 is a clear win

Doing nothing at all for the foreseeable future isn’t a clear win. Without operating system patches and support from Microsoft, you’re exposing your servers and your business to potential security exposures. Security breaches on older systems become well known, widely documented, and exploited over time. It’s clear that too many organizations are running old systems and failing to modernize. The results are increased risk and a stifling of innovation.

What can you do in 100 days?

While there’s no need to panic, the first step in dealing with the WS2008 deadline is to start planning during the countdown period for WS2008 server modernization. Get budget together and then develop an action plan to upgrade your servers. 

You’ve got some options for your action plan. For instance, you could consider moving your legacy apps to Microsoft Azure. Microsoft has announced a three-year extension of WS2008 support for organizations that move their WS2008 workload to Azure, and Azure only. 

However, if you’re running WS2008 workloads on AWS, GCP, or any other non-Azure cloud, you’ll still need to upgrade. This means that all those WS2008 instances on AWS will need to move to a supported cloud-hosted OS like WS2012, WS2016, or WS2019. VirtaMove can help with that.

A better option: a stateful re-install gets you fresh options

The best approach is to plan for a stateful re-install of legacy WS2008 applications on new, more secure WS2012, WS2016, or WS2019 servers. VirtaMove can help you with that, whether you run those servers in the cloud or in-house on VMs.

New servers open the possibility of managing server workloads with modern cloud management and DevOps tools. New servers also let you get more life out of legacy applications, as well as better and more secure performance. If you move all the way to WS2019, VirtaMove has demonstrated that legacy workloads can run and be managed in Windows Docker containers.

It’s time to get moving: 100 work days and counting

You’ve got approximately 100 work days to plan for and address the pending WS2008 EOL deadline. If you’re running applications on old Windows systems:

  • Upgrade your hardware and operating systems to close known hardware security exposures.
  • Move and install legacy applications onto modern, secure operating systems like WS2016 and WS2019 systems to eliminate WannaCry and other malware exposures.
  • Plan and get budget. Moving legacy applications to a secure modern OS is the best first move that can delay or eliminate costs associated with system redevelopment or security exposures.

An automated migration tool can help you make the most of 100 work days. The VirtaMove Migration Intelligence Suite can:

  • Isolate older application stack and dependencies from the underlying OS.
  • Move your legacy applications to new WS2012, WS2016, or WS2019 servers.
  • Automatically capture state and re-install old software stack components in the right place on the new OS.

You don’t need install scripts or source code for your legacy applications. Migration Intelligence saves weeks and months of effort usually needed to upgrade applications to new servers and test them. 

If you’re ready to move and need help with upgrading your Microsoft Server applications or would like to understand Migration Intelligence, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We modernize applications and move them to new secure Windows operating systems every day and are pleased to share what we know.