Windows Server 2003 is the server realm equivalent of Windows XP. As is the case with XP, it's hard to let go. But, what will you choose to replace it? Windows Server 2008 has promise. What about Linux? And, if you choose Linux, which distribution will work best for you? Have you considered a commercial Unix to cure what ails your data center? Whichever one you choose, you'd better hurry. Windows Server 2003, as much as you love it, is beyond Microsoft's end of life for mainstream support. That date passed you by on July 13, 2010. (Extended support, however, will be available through March 2015.)
Your next choice will affect your data center strategy for the next five to 10 years.
Make sure its an informed one.
If you can't quite make the leap from Windows Server 2003 to the somewhat alien Windows Server 2008 offerings, you're not alone. In fact, two years into the Windows Server 2008 life cycle finds corporate IT executives scrambling for answers in a "reluctant to upgrade" effort when considering Microsoft's latest server OS. It's frightening to face the unknowns of upgrading when confronting the threat of major hardware upgrades, application incompatibilities and the ever-present plague of security problems. All this uncertainty, plus a still-suffering economy, makes you want to think outside the proprietary vendor box.
Microsoft's vast and persuasive marketing engine has convinced you that Redmond's way is the only way, and that it alone is the purveyor of all that works in the data center.
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