Shinjiru, a Malaysia-based hosting company with a global client base, gained competitive advantage by adopting the most recent iteration of Microsoft’s Windows Server for a scalable, reliable platform that offered exactly what their customers wanted: enhanced tenant self-service capabilities, better scalability, as well as efficient cloud and datacenter management/orchestration capabilities.  To support this, Shinjiru migrated from its existing virtualization platform to Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V. The migration enables their customers to have greater control over their resources and costs, and Shinjiru can now easily support a wider range of technologies including Microsoft and open source.

Shinjiru also wanted a server platform that would increase self-service capabilities, and support popular new service offerings, such as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and disaster recovery services. Besides Microsoft technologies, they had to support multiple open source technologies, including Apache, PHP and MySQL. Above all, the solution had to provide a cost-effective method for managing virtualized environments across multiple datacenters.

As the company researched options, which included VMware and a few open source virtualization platforms, staff members noticed a marked technology shift among their clients.

Since turning to Windows Server 2012, Shinjiru has dramatically increased the efficiency of its infrastructure with the ability to support 64 nodes and 8,000 virtual machines in a single cluster and perform live migrations.

Counting Down to End of Support for Windows Server 2003

Shinjiru’s move to the latest version of Windows Server has been timely: Microsoft has officially started the one-year countdown to the end of support for Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2 that will happen on 15 July 2015. Organizations still running on Windows Server 2003 will need to migrate their servers in order to avoid security, compliance, additional costs and compatibility risks.

The globally popular and trusted 11-year-old server operating system powers IT infrastructures of many organizations in Asia Pacific, providing computing workloads for all kinds of enterprise applications supporting email, web and Line of Business applications.

According to Spiceworks, a global professional network of more than 5 million IT Professionals,  66% of organizations who use its tools in Malaysia are still running at least one instance of Windows Server 2003 as of June 2014.

In accordance with Microsoft’s Product Support Lifecycle Policy, assisted support, including updates and patches, from Microsoft will no longer be available after 15 July 2015. While companies can continue to run Windows Server 2003 after this date, this leaves servers and applications vulnerable to security threats and downtime, and may no longer meet compliance requirements.  Maintenance costs for aging hardware will also increase along with costs for intrusion detection systems, firewalls and network segmentation.

The technology landscape has changed dramatically in the 11 years since Windows Server 2003 was first released. The advent of cloud computing enabling trends like mobility and big data have put huge demands on IT infrastructure. Add that to the need to be agile while still managing costs, it is clear that Windows Server 2003 is not optimized to meet current business needs.

Enabling the Move to the Cloud Platform

A server operating system upgrade can be challenging but Microsoft has worked to ease the migration for customers in three ways:

  1. Provided training and tools to partners in Asia Pacific build capacity and capability to manage complex projects, especially those involving  server and application migrations
  2. Launched the Windows Server 2003 end of support countdown website which provides customers with guidance for the entire migration process along with information about the services and tools available, and provides.  These services, from assessment and training, through to comprehensive platform migration services and risk management, help customers prepare for a mobile-first, cloud-first world.
  3. A Migration Planning Assistant is also available to help organizations analyze their Windows Server 2003 workloads and generate a summary report showing recommendations and Microsoft partner offerings.

For organizations moving their applications and other workloads to the public cloud, they can choose Microsoft Azure, an open and flexible cloud platform that enables organizations to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters. App developers can build applications using any language, tool or framework, with the ability to also integrate these public cloud applications with the existing IT environment.

Organizations running email and communications workload on Windows Server 2003 can move to Office 365, a cloud-based productivity and communications service that include access to Office applications plus other productivity services, such as Lync web conferencing and Exchange Online hosted email for business, and additional online storage with OneDrive and Skype.

Follow Microsoft Malaysia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MicrosoftMalaysia) and Twitter @MyMicrosoft for additional updates.