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02/02/10

Windows Server 2000 Reaches EOL - Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade


The Windows 2000 Server platform lifecycle will end in July, 2010. After this date, customers still relying on this platform won’t be able to benefit from security hotfixes, patches and service packs, presenting serious concerns around data security, server reliability for mission-critical workloads and regulatory compliance.

In no particularly order, here are the top ten reasons to upgrade from Windows Server 2000 to Windows Server 2008 without delay.

Category: General
Posted by: GHN

Maintain a secure and reliable server platform.

Based on 10-year old code, Windows 2000 Server will no longer be supported with patches, security hotfixes and service packs after July, 2010. At a time when security breaches are becoming both more sophisticated and more targeted, this is a huge concern and needs to be addressed quickly and efficiently.

Today’s breaches no longer announce themselves with widespread system crashes, but instead fester quietly, often siphoning user credentials and customer data for later transmission.

Maintaining a secure network perimeter is key to both running a reliable business infrastructure as well as staying in compliance with ever-more stringent regulatory requirements.

Leverage the power of new applications and server hardware.

Windows Server 2008 R2 supports 32-bit Windows applications, but it also readies your organization for the future with the ability to run native 64-bit applications on today’s power efficient and scalable hardware.  In addition, Windows Server 2008 R2 has an even wider scope to serve third-party software with support for PHP and the enhanced IIS 7.5.

More efficient management

Windows Server 2008 R2 can significantly decrease the complexity of managing day-to-day tasks in the datacenter. Customers will find key management interfaces redesigned for increased efficiency and ease-of-use, such as the new Server Manager that can be accessed remotely.

Windows Server 2008 R2 also improves on the popular PowerShell feature introduced in Windows Server 2008. PowerShell 2.0 significantly enhances the earlier version with the inclusion of more than 600 new pre-built cmdlets as well as a new graphical user interface (GUI) that adds professional-level development features for creating new cmdlets. Using PowerShell 2.0 administrators can easily automate day-to-day management tasks unique to their environment.

Experience a faster and more reliable server

Windows Server 2008 R2 builds upon four generations of server releases to provide improvements to performance and reliability, including new kernel and security architectures, new management features, and virtualization out-of-the-box. This opens up a new landscape for turnkey virtualization scenarios and business continuity.

Windows Server 2008 R2 supports the latest in software and hardware performance technology, including 64-bit operation, the ability to run up to 256 logical processors and support for the latest CPU-level technologies, like Second Level Translation (SLAT) for much improved memory management.

Save Power, Save Costs

Spend less on server hardware and facilities costs by consolidating your servers with Windows Server 2008 R2’s built-in virtualization technologies. Additionally, there are new power management features to keep your servers running lean and efficient on today’s hardware.

Windows Server 2008 R2 uses a 'balanced' power policy, which monitors the utilization level of server processors and dynamically adjusts processor performance states to limit power to the needs of the workload. The result is a much-improved server power consumption scenario that Active Directory Group Policy can extend to the Windows 7 desktop, and with which customers are reporting up to 18% savings over Windows Server 2003.

Security has come a long way

Security in Windows Server 2008 R2 is generations ahead over what was available with Windows 2000 Server. It’s not only a hardened operating system, but also includes several new security innovations, including Network Access Protection, Federated Rights Management, and a Read-Only Domain Controller, all of which help to provide improved levels of protection for networks, data, and businesses.

Secure Startup and Windows Service Hardening limit network access and privileges and protect against data theft. A redesigned Windows Firewall has much more granular traffic screening controls and Windows BitLocker™ helps protect server data.

Enable management for organizations of all sizes

With the IT Generalist in mind, we have consolidated UI designs for core management consoles, including the new Active Directory Administration Center as well as the Windows Server Backup Utility, which now has flexibility for designing backup jobs and has also been built to run faster and use less disk space.

Wide-scale leveraging of PowerShell as the platform for new management consoles, enables parity between the command line and the GUI as well as allowing a greater degree of customization and automation. Windows Server 2008 R2 has also proliferated the use of Best Practice Analyzers, allowing IT administrators to run these analysis tools quickly and easily across a wide variety of server roles to keep your IT infrastructure running smoothly and reliably.

Enable cutting-edge server virtualization

Perhaps the most significant difference Windows 2000 Server administrators will see when working with Windows Server 2008 R2 are the powerful possibilities opened up with in-box virtualization. Hyper-V™ allows Windows Server administrators to use virtualization to consolidate server sprawl, reigning in both hardware and facilities costs.

But virtualization is also an enabling technology, providing the opportunity to build new competitive work scenarios for users, design in-house business continuity plans and easily map new datacenter resources to dynamic business needs. This last is enabled via one of Windows Server 2008 R2’s marquee features, Live Migration.

With Live Migration, administrators can move virtual machines across physical servers in a matter of milliseconds, which means migration operations become invisible to connected users. That means administrators can respond to changing business requirements quickly and without a service interruption for users.

Customers employing System Center Virtual Machine Manager for Hyper-V will also enjoy additional management and orchestration scenarios, including a new VM-oriented Performance and Resource Optimization feature and updated support for managing failover clusters.

Easily deploy new applications and work resources

Microsoft has much evolved the Terminal Services platform over the last four server generations. Utilize Windows Server 2008 R2’s new Remote Desktop Services and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure to easily deploy remote applications, virtual applications and virtual desktops to clients using Active Directory.

You’ll also enable users with new performance enhancements over Terminal Services, including better audio and graphics performance, Web access updates and better integration with local peripheral hardware.

Run a faster network

Microsoft has also done a ground-up rebuild of its TCP-IP networking stack and related technologies, since the advent of Windows 2000 Server. The redesigned “next generation” TCP/IP, included in Windows Server 2008 R2, provides vastly improved performance offering up to 45x faster throughput and more efficient routing of network traffic.

Using the combination of Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 in a branch office scenario can provide up three times better bandwidth throughput combined with an average of 35% less WAN bandwidth used via the new BranchCache feature, according to early customer deployments.  

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Act Now

If your company is one of the 2.1 million - 3 million estimated users continuing to rely upon Windows Server 2000, we urge you to consider upgrading your servers now, before the End of Life on your server leaves your business vulnerable.

Contact us for information on our Dedicated Windows 2008 Servers and our Managed Windows 2008 Servers if you would like our help.


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