Retirement, this word can invoke many different feelings when spoken. For those that are up in years, they can look at retirement as one big, long vacation! Woohoo! Can’t wait, right? But for those that are ‘retiring’ from playing their favorite sport at a ripe age of 30, they may not be so enthusiastic about the concept. And so there are different reactions to this word ‘retirement’. For me, I would like to retire sooner than later so that I have some good years left….but I digress.
So what is all the fuss about the retirement of the Windows 2003 Operating System (OS)? Actually, there is a big fuss about it. Many servers that have been running along just fine thank you, are now being forced to upgrade to a newer version of Windows in order to receive Windows updates and the same level of support and service as before. But as with all things that must retire, we can look at this from a different angle and perspective. We can try to positively grasp the concept of the ‘retirement’ of software as being inevitable and actually necessary.
1) Keeping Up with the Latest in Technology - Each company wants to be on the ‘cutting edge’ of technology and the leader in their industry. Older operating systems just can’t support the latest and greatest without major revisions and, most likely, custom code.
2) Security Updates – The increasing skill and resourcefulness of software hackers continues to change, evolve, and grow. The structure and firewalls needed to constantly ward off the ever changing attacks needs to also change, evolve and grow. These changes can require major rewrites that can dictate the need for a complete overhaul instead of simply receiving a patch from Microsoft. New vulnerabilities that have no defense are nothing to ignore.
3) Communicating with Newer Connected Objects – You are an application server. And all of your connected server friends have upgraded to MS 2012. Your SQL server, because they upgraded to get the latest SQL database
Your web server, for obvious reasons and your backup server, because to add new backup functionality, and your operating system; just to keep up.
The upgrade of an OS can be painful. New servers are many times needed, application testing required, and other changes may be necessary to make it all work. But the benefits can outweigh the deficits in so many areas. Remember; when there is no ‘advancement’, there is ‘retirement’. After so long, I guess we all have to go out to pasture in order to make room for the newest, latest and greatest versions…and so it is with operating systems.