Unless you’re already deeply into the migration process, it’s probable that your organization won’t have migrated all workloads from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012 R2 or another operating system by the time that the end of extended support date rolls around in July 2015.
Even if you are likely to have migrated your workloads by July 2015, the migration process itself involves making selections about which migration workloads to move first and which to leave until last. While it might seem that it shouldn’t matter which migration workloads you start with, there’s a lot to be said for tackling the easy workloads first rather than leaving them until the end.
Tackling the easy workloads first allows you to get some runs on the board. To a certain extend you’ll also be learning by doing, and the lessons you learn in migrating the easier workloads will help you out when it comes to dealing with the harder ones later on. It’s also reasonable to assume that you’ll get through migrating the easy workloads fairly quickly. If you start with the hard workloads, you’ll make slow progress as you have to deal with the inevitable complex roadblocks that hard workloads will throw up.
So what constitutes an easy workload? Well I’ll cover my backside and say that “your mileage will vary” – but in general easy workloads are:
- Any built in Windows Server 2003 role or feature. These are generally easy to migrate because they’ll come with migration accelerators from Microsoft as well as reams of TechNet documentation and maybe even their own MVA course showing you how to transition from one OS to the next.
- Any product or application that comes with a stack of migration advice and tools. It’s a lot easier if someone’s already done the hard lifting. Some third party products come with tools that allow you to migrate and provide excellent documentation on how to get from Server 2003 to Server 2012 R2
What constitutes a hard workload? If there isn’t any documentation about how to move it, then you can put it in the “hard” basket. You’ll have to figure it out yourself. It may be straight forward, or it may be like trying to surf in quicksand.
Start with the easy stuff, so that if your surfboard does get stuck in quicksand, you’ll have at least finished migrating most stuff before the end of support date role around.