Windows Server 2003 Migration Challenges and Options - Part 2

This is part two of a three part series discussing the end-of-life (EOL) of Windows Server 2003. As mentioned in part one, on July 14th, 2015 Microsoft will end support for all versions of Windows Server 2003. There will be no more customer support or security patches from Microsoft after that date.

Previously, we discussed the risks of continuing to run unsupported versions of Windows Server 2003, which consists of many factors such as security vulnerabilities, higher costs in maintaining the outdated software and noncompliance issues. When a software company announces the EOL of a product, you generally have 24-30 months to plan and execute an effective and efficient migration strategy.

Hardening and Protecting Your Legacy System

There are some companies that are unable to immediately start migration due to the operational risks and costs associated with platform migrations.  Others may be using, older, custom applications that can only run on Windows Server 2003.  In both these instances, the customer has to ensure that critical applications and processes are supported by the new platforms.  These companies still need to be able to defend against malware without access to security patches, protect their infrastructure against Zero-day threats, and meet their regulatory and compliance obligations and internal security standards.

Server hardening solutions will help secure, monitor, and harden legacy systems as well as new platforms.  They will help mitigate unnecessary cycles of emergency patching and prevent malware from accessing critical applications, even within compromised physical servers.

Symantec Data Center Security Solutions

While running a legacy system has significant challenges, it is not impossible to maintain. Symantec offers simplified, cost effective solutions for the protection and eventual migration from Windows Server 2003. Symantec Data Center Security: Server Advanced provides the most comprehensive and rigorous set of security controls to help when you either choose to, or cannot migrate off of Windows Server 2003 yet. This will help organizations meet security and compliance requirements while they set the pace of their system migration.

Symantec Data Center Security: Server Advanced provides protection from known and unknown OS and application vulnerabilities, and Zero-day threats.

Symantec Data Center Security: Server Advanced identifies all server operating systems running in your environment, allowing you to effectively prioritize and manage the server migration process.  It provides policy-based protection that will detect and protect against malware, targeted attacks, and even the abuse of user privileges.  In addition to intrusion detection and prevention protection,

Symantec Data Center Security: Server Advanced offers real time file integrity monitoring, configuration monitoring, and event logging so that you are able to support your continuous monitoring objectives and support compliance programs like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards, and other industry regulations.  DCS: Server Advanced also gives you the ability to create such micro-segments of security containers per application instance, so that you can apply the right policies to the asset groups. 

As previously mentioned, this is not a permanent solution, as maintaining server hardening solutions on a legacy system is the right thing to do, but does not solve for the migration itself. While using Symantec Data Center Security: Server Advanced, you will also be solving for the initial steps for your system migration. In the final part of this series, we will be discussing the migration process itself.

Learn more here: W2K3 Migration Landing page: http://go.symantec.com/2003migration

PartnerNet Landing page: PartnerNet