One unusual problem that turns up when migration occurs, especially workloads have been moved off “bare metal” hardware and virtualized, is “what do we do with the bare metal hardware once the workload is migrated?”
If your organization has a process for decommissioning hardware that can no longer be utilized, then it’s simply a matter of decommissioning the hardware using that process.
But from time to time you are going to be asked “well, can we do something with this hardware now that it is not being used for “Workload X””?
The answer to this question is important. I know of several instances where physical to virtual migrations have been blocked politically because there was no great answer to the question “well what will we do with that expensive server we purchased a few years back?”. For some organizations, especially those that don’t have a strong IT focus, there is a strong belief that expensive equipment should be used until it falls apart. That virtualizing the workload, making that original hardware, is a little bit wasteful.
Just as some organizations have stayed with Windows Server 2003 because they’ve taken the pragmatic approach that “it just works”, some organizations keep using the same hardware because “it still works and we want to extract as much value as possible from it”.
There are a variety of things you can do with hardware that is no longer required to host production workloads. In most organizations, test labs are chronically underfunded. Repurposing hardware to a test environment allows you to expand your test lab without worrying about the cost.
Alternatively, with the improvements made in SMB 3.0, a computer that might have performed adequately as a file server when running the Windows Server 2003 operating system will be capable of performing much better when running Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2012 R2.
Just because you can’t do a direct upgrade from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012 R2 doesn’t mean that once you’ve migrated a workload off a server that is physically running Windows Server 2003, you can’t install a fresh copy of Windows Server 2012 R2 to give the hardware a new lease on life.