In short months, Microsoft will end its extended support for Windows Server 2003, leaving organizations that don’t migrate to newer platforms without support, facing increased maintenance costs and possibly violating industry compliance standards.
For organizations that delayed updating their environments, what’s ahead may seem daunting, and it won’t be without challenges, but it also provides many opportunities for IT to modernize, according to IDC.
One hidden opportunity is the chance to look more closely at the implications of migrating applications to the cloud, possible benefits of a converged infrastructure, or to look more closely at your supporting physical infrastructure (UPS, Rack, Power Management).
The end to extended support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015 – mainstream support ended nearly five years ago in July 2010 – provides the perfect time to review and raise discussions around infrastructure and power. Think of it like checking smoke alarms when daylight savings time begins and ends. It’s always a good time to check, but now you have a trigger.
The phase out gives you an opportunity to look at:
- Check the batteries: UPS life expectancies fluctuate on several factors: placement, temperature, cycling, maintenance and battery chemistry and storage. Need something in here that speaks to changing the battery at least once during the life cycle of the UPS. Now is a perfect time to determine whether batteries are still under warranty – typically two years – require extended coverage or need to be replaced. Batteries are integral to the life of a UPS and you should, of course, make sure they support new technology.
- Network connectivity: Upgrading on-premise equipment may not be ideal for every organization. Your current infrastructure transition could accompany moving some data off-premise through a private, public or hybrid cloud or to a co-located data center. If that’s the case you will need to look at how to maintain critical networking equipment in order to keep a reliable connection to those off-premise servers.
- UPSs versus compatibility: Many legacy UPSs aren’t cut out for the demands of today’s equipment. Compatibility is already top of mind with your platform migration, and it should also be when looking at your fleet of UPSs. Improvements to UPS firmware and features in recent years have ramped UPSs up to best support today’s complex infrastructures and software. This is where you could talk about the new on-lines if you want.
- Extended warranties: Something here that highlights the extended warranties you might want to purchase when buying a new UPS or one that is within the warranty period to align your UPS warranty with your IT gear, making them coterminous
These are just a few critical considerations to make while you’re modernizing your server infrastructure. Remember a chain is as strong as its weakest link, and the most modern infrastructure in the world can be handicapped by inefficient or worse, incompatible, power performance.