back to article Don't panic as Server 2003 rushes towards end of life

It is time to upgrade. In about a month Server 2003 will receive its farewell set of patches and reach the end of its officially supported life. You have been putting off the upgrades. I have been putting off the upgrades. With the weekends left to do this quickly evaporating, what's the checklist? Making a single checklist …

  1. Mr_Pitiful

    They can have my 2003 SBS.....

    ... When they pry it from my dead hands!

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: They can have my 2003 SBS.....

      ...because the likelihood of being able to successfully upgrade from 2003 SBS to anything else is so close to zero as to be a mere rounding error in infinity.

      Luckily I no longer have any involvement in any of the train wrecks that still use 2003 SBS. Don't get me wrong, it was a fantastic value product and while it had some quite lunatic restrictions was still rather well featured. As long as you don't want to upgrade it. Ever.

      1. Tezfair
        Thumb Up

        Re: They can have my 2003 SBS.....

        I'm still installing SBS 2011. None left in the channel, they are all on my shelf :)

        1. Archaon

          Re: They can have my 2003 SBS.....

          I wondered where all those went...

        2. Zacherynuk

          Re: They can have my 2003 SBS.....

          Hehe - we have some too! Was tempted to add futures speculation to companies house description ;)

  2. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

    It's time

    It's time to create that final set of VM's of Server 2003 here for archiving. It'll fit nicely next to XP, 2000 (all variants) .... I loved the heck out of 2003 Enterprise; it was a worthy successor to 2000 Advanced Server which was bullet proof.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: It's time

      It's also time to create that final set of VM's for XP Pro x64, given the joint heritage.

  3. chivo243 Silver badge

    Vendors leaping early

    Thanks to a software vendor dropping a bomb during a phone conference, that they no longer support 2003 Server or SQL2005, which is the configuration of our rig for their product, I've already installed a VM Server 2012. Testing begins this week.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Vendors leaping early

      Leaping early?

      Do you work in the public sector, it's be coming for years. Many of ours dropped 2003 about 3 or 4 years ago.

    2. Archaon

      Re: Vendors leaping early

      I don't think a few months before the deadline is really early? Server 2003 isn't even supported on most readily available hardware...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Being picky...

    "In about a month Server 2003 will receive its farewell set of patches and reach the end of its officially supported life."

    "Windows Server 2003 support is ending July 14, 2015"

    I make that 2 months.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: I make that 2 months.

      Right, so a big panic over nothing! We've still got ages.....

  5. ZenaB

    DFS Changes

    > Serve those same files on a Server 2012 R2 system with default settings on hardware three times as powerful and watch the whole thing grind to an halt.

    Wait, what? Why? Sources?

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: DFS Changes

      Long story short: it was intentional. DFSR was increased in the number of files it can read/write simultaneously, and more besides. <-- Server 2012 R2 <-- Server 2012 <-- 2008 R2

      Each iteration becomes progressively more powerful. It also becomes more and more impossible to replicate the same files on the same (or even 4x better!) hardware, and run other workloads besides.

      The new DFSR is far more capable and efficient regarding replicating flies. It just does NOT play nice with its neighbors. In fact, in many situations, even after turning everything down in the registry I haven't been able to get it to play nice. 10M files seems to about do for it. At 50M files it gives me nothing but grief.

  6. Alister Silver badge

    The thing is, although all of our important stuff was migrated some time ago, I'm really really going to miss Server 2003 R2, it was just so rock solid (for a Windows product).

    We've got 2008, 2008 R2 and 2012 R2 running in various places, and not one of them is as reliable as 2003 R2 was. They all have their own idiosyncrasies which seem to translate into unexplained crashes or downtime.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone tried


    I gave it a go the other day, joined it to a test server 2012 domain (at 2008 level) and took a step back slightly confused that it worked so well (as a backup domain controller in that case).

    Not tried PDC but my guess is probably quite well.

    For some people who have a small 2003 domain they want to keep running but not with the attack area of MS server it is quite interesting*

    * until the legal guys shut it down for just working, without fancy licenses I guess.

  8. Zacherynuk

    Zentyal is good - it does actually work. (I have also seen some synology NAS devices running samba as a read only DC)

    What do you use instead of Outlook though ?

    1. PVecchi

      I would go for Zarafa but I'm surely biased as I've been using it (and selling it) for many years replacing very happily SBS, Exchange and now even Office365 and GoogleApps.

      If you are looking for a full AD replacement try also Univention.

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