e-book: How to handle the migration to Windows Server 2012

By Brian T. Horowitz

To slightly steal a line from “Game of Thrones,” “July 2015 is coming.” As Microsoft plans to cut support for Windows Server 2003, companies will need to migrate to Server 2012 or face incompatibilities between their legacy applications and the latest OS.

Businesses — such as hospitals and electric utilities — run about 23.8 million physical and virtual instances of Windows Server 2003, Microsoft reported in July 2014, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The transition also provides an opportunity to standardize your business applications in one operating system, according to Al Gillin, program vice president for server and system software at IDC.

“If you can standardize your business on Windows Server 2012 and have just one operating system, it’s going to be more efficient and less expensive to operate than if you’ve got Server 2012, Server 2008, Server 2008 R2 and Server 2003 R2,” Gillin said.

The migration from Windows Server 2003 also enables companies to take stock of which applications they’ll have to move to the new IT environment.

“Any migration should start with an analysis of all applications, processes and users requiring access to ensure that appropriate resources and applications will be available when the migration takes place,” said Michael Tweddle, executive director of product management at Dell Software.

Targeting multiple destinations

Companies can migrate applications from their Windows 2003 environment to destinations depending on their workload. Options include cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure and Office 365 as well as a virtualized environment like VMware vSphere.

“Migrate applications to the best target destination for them, whether that be another internal application or straight to a cloud-based provider in a software-as-a-service format,” Gillin advised.

Windows 2003 instances can be migrated into a virtualized environment on a single server containing hypervisors and multiple instances and stacks of software. “That means you’re going to take 10 Windows Server 2003 instances and roll that onto a new single machine,” Gillin said.

The migration to the Windows Server 2012 OS may also require a server refresh. Dell PowerEdge servers powered by Intel Xeon processors offer management features for reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) by providing automation capabilities.

Gaining energy efficiency

By upgrading servers to new models such as the Intel Xeon-powered Dell PowerEdge line, now in its 13th generation, as well as upgrading to Windows Server 2012, companies can reduce energy consumption, free up storage space and improve existing cooling capacity.

Energy efficiency is the first factor companies should consider when deciding whether to upload a server as well as an operating system, according to John Fruehe, senior analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. “Newer platforms are going to be energy efficient, and that’s going to be a huge issue with customers,” he said.

Upgrading to a new server with Intel Xeon processors will also bring improved control over power consumption.

Migration tools

Several tools help to ease the migration to Windows Server 2012, includingMicrosoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit. MAP is a networkwide inventory that lets companies collect information about their entire network from a single, networked computer.

Meanwhile, Dell ZeroIMPACT Migration Services steps companies through the migration, and Dell ChangeBASE provides comprehensive compatibility tests to make sure the applications can run on Windows Server 2012.

During the transition, companies can use a tool such as Dell Enterprise Reporter for auditing, analyzing and reporting. The application lets companies collect, store and report on configurations in Active Directory, fileservers and SQL Server databases.

Download the following e-book to learn how to overcome the challenges during the transition from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012.

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