End of support is around a month away, yet there are still millions of servers running the Windows Server 2003 operating system in operation. Eventually there will be very few servers running Windows Server 2003, but it might be that future migrations will be caused by attrition rather than any direct plans.
Last year I was talking to some server admins who had one arm of the company where NT 4 was still in use. Now if I remember correctly, NT4 support expired in 2004. Yet there were still some organizations out there running it a decade later in 2014.
These server admins worked for organizations that were focused on manufacturing rather than information technology. When I chatted with these admins about why NT4 was still in use, they said that everyone in the organization knew that the should get off the platform, but that management’s view was that as long as the machines kept running, there was no need to replace them.
When I asked about how they found compatible replacement parts, the reply was that they were relatively easy to come by if you knew where to look on eBay. That the cost of keeping these machines running, once you knew the tricks, wasn’t so extreme that management prioritized moving to a newer platform.
I suspect that the same thing, at a much larger scale, will happen with Windows Server 2003. That, for the most part the people that were going to have migrated by the deadline have done so already. That the people that haven’t migrated will deal with problems as they arise. As one administrator suggested, if they hit a problem they can’t solve, then they will get around to migrate the workload.
The clear implication is that for a not insubstantial number of organizations, it doesn’t matter what ticking clock Microsoft sets with regards to end of support, it will be the organization, and not Microsoft, that decides when those resources will be put out to pasture.
Can’t say that I agree with it, but I do understand that point of view.