Everything Must Go: A guide to Preparing Your IT Strategy for the Windows Server 2003 End of Life

It’s the end of life as we know it for the Windows Server 2003 and there’s still a lot to consider before the July 14 end-of-service date. The upcoming migration has support, security and cloud functionality implications, so it is important to evaluate components such as power management and virtualizationstrategies. Going beyond the server provides several benefits, ranging from improved security and enhanced scalability to capabilities for expanded virtualization.

That’s not to say that achieving these benefits won’t come without complications and challenges that must be addressed as well. Whether you remain on premise or deploy to the cloud, here are four steps everyone can incorporate into their IT strategy:

Take inventory. Calculate the entire wattage consumption of your current environment prior to making any changes. How many servers currently running Windows Server 2003 are going to be replaced? Are there any other pieces of ancillary equipment that will need to be upgraded? It’s also important to examine your current power infrastructure by asking how many existing uninterruptible power systems (UPSs) and rack power distribution units (PDUs) you have supporting your equipment? Once your inventory is accounted for, you will have a better understanding of what is required, the potential cost for upgrades and which equipment can still be utilized.

Examine server and equipment performance. Is your new deployment going to require an upgraded switching component to connect to the cloud? Are you planning on scaling out storage over the next few years? It’s important to establish a standard (including UPS systems) to ease future growth. Scaling has implications on compatibility and power infrastructure planning. Have you had any disruptions or alarms within the past six months? This may point to potential issues within your current deployment. Verify your existing UPS model and determine the age, efficiency, power factor and the last time the batteries were replaced. Older UPSs may be costing you from an energy consumption standpoint, and aging batteries that need replacing may put you at risk for downtime.

Evaluate new IT equipment deployment. If you have opted to stay on premise, how many new servers will you be deploying? If you are planning to migrate to the cloud, how many network switches require protection? Now that you have evaluated the legacy equipment you will keep, as well as the new IT equipment you will be deploying, you can make an intelligent decision on the most appropriate power protection strategy for your IT environment. It’s also important to calculate the total wattage consumption for all new devices and combine them with your previous legacy calculation you determined in step one, disregarding any equipment that has been removed.

Select the correct power protection solution. Once you have calculated the total wattage consumption for all planned devices in the new environment, you can now move onto selecting the right power protection solution. Check with your facility or building manager to determine the available electrical options, as there may be some limitations which will impact your decision. Next, examine required backup runtime, determine if network-ready is a requirement and consider future expansion; then select accordingly the power protection infrastructure that best suits your environment.

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