“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by” - Douglas Adams. Author, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
It’s not just people that are excellent procrastinators. Organizations are excellent procrastinators as well. When a deadline exists with another year in its date, it’s easy to convince yourself that dealing with it is not particularly urgent. Even though Microsoft was shouting from the rooftop for years about the end of support for Windows XP, many organizations didn’t really start doing anything about moving their fleet of computer off the operating system until the deadline was right on top of them. Even now, quite some time after support for Windows XP expired, around 18% of the world’s computers are still running the Operating System. Attrition by hardware failure seems to be more effective in getting recalcitrant organizations off Windows XP than planned migration does.
And even though Microsoft has been shouting from the rooftops about the end of support for Windows Server 2003, there appears to be a similar lack of urgency felt by organizations about transitioning away from the operating system.
The Windows Server 2003 EOL deadline is closer than you think. It’s closer than you think for the following reasons:
- Although you can make a ballpark estimate on how long it will take to migrate all your workloads away from Windows Server 2003, you don’t really know how long it will take to migrate a specific workload until you’ve actually migrated it.
- Any ballpark estimate that you make, unless you’ve performed a large number of migrations, is going to be a guess. This is because unexpected things happen and that it’s hard to come up with a reliable estimate about the amount of time needed to deal with unforeseen issues.
- Although it’s possible that you might migrate workloads more quickly than you estimated you would, the reality is that it’s more likely that your estimates are wildly optimistic
EOL is 14th of July 2015. If you haven’t started migrating yet, and if you’ve estimated that it will only take 6 months to migrate from Windows Server 2003, and your estimate is out by 25% (so instead of 6 months, it takes 7 and a half months), you’ll really have needed to have started your migration around mid November 2014. And if you’re 6 months estimate is just a complete guess that’s more than 30% off target, you’ll need to have started your migration before you started reading this article to have any hope of completing it before Windows Server 2003 EOL.
EOL is 14th of July 2015. If you haven’t started moving workloads, what are you waiting for?