For many organizations, compliance might be the most compelling reason to move from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012 R2.
In a nutshell, depending on the jurisdiction that your organization falls under, there is likely to be one or more bits of legislation that dictate that you must be running a supported operating system on certain systems. Depending on the legislation, it could be just computers that host financial data, or in some jurisdictions it could be every computer that is used in the process of conducting business.
The key is that the wording of the legislation usually says that the OS or the application needs to be supported. This is why the name End of Extended Support is quite important. It’s not just a technical term, it has legal meaning.
The only way to deal with this status, beyond migrating away from Server 2003, is to organize to get a custom support agreement with Microsoft. If you have a custom support agreement, Server 2003 becomes a supported operating system, and then not an operating system that violates compliance regulation.
In the next post I’ll talk about why Server 2003 will be one of those things that compliance auditors will be looking for once the EOS deadline expires in less than 100 days time.