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There's still 8 million Windows Servers 2003 in use as you read this

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November 28, 2014

It is estimated that approximately eight million Windows Server 2003 are still out there in the wild, and not all of them will be replaced like-for-like, it would appear.

To be sure, Windows security updates and patches for Microsoft's 11-year-old operating system will no longer be made available by July 14, 2015 when the server's extended support expires.

Reseller contacts told us businesses are still in the planning stages, and don’t expect much movement for several months yet.

Earlier this summer, HP Enterprise Group vice president Bill Veghte told us that 11 million Windows Server 2003 machines were in use worldwide, with 2.7 million of them in Europe.

Veghte was the former Microsoft executive who launched Windows Server 2003. According to Gartner, some eight million servers running the OS are still out there globally, and it expects that about 71.3 percent of them to be replaced by the end of 2015.

However, only 5.5 million servers will be replaced with other systems as customers choose to virtualize, said Errol Rasit, research director at the market watcher.

“July 14, 2015 is when the end of support occurs and we expect that to be a major year for servers, though some customers will still run systems out of support,” he said.

System integrator and consultant Avanade, set up as a joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture in 2000, say that some migration projects will not run smoothly and will be hit by delays as a result.

The partnership previously predicted that about 19.4 percent of businesses running Windows Server 2003 will miss the end of support deadline.

Gartner market researcher Rasit said some major data centers will be easier to migrate than remote and branch office locations, including retail banks where they continue to run physical servers on site.

Peter Dutkovsky at Tech Data said Windows Server 2003 will have a “different flavor to it”.

“There will be opportunity to sell replacement servers, just like-for-like, industry standard to industry standard servers, maybe with a little bit more horsepower, more modernised engines inside. But there will also be an opportunity to look at consolidating servers, sell larger servers with more virtualization as well”.

This translates into more potential to sell software and “configuration opportunities” he added.

Source: Accenture.

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