Migrate Active Directory from Windows Server 2003

Written by Greg Keller on May 2, 2017

Share This Article

As we all know, Microsoft Windows Server 2003 has been at the end of it’s life for a while now. Interestingly though, we still run into organizations that have Windows Server 2003. We find that these organizations are tied to it for a variety of reasons, but the one that sticks out the most is that they still use it for Active Directory.

The End of Microsoft Windows Server 2003

evolution of directory services

When Microsoft ‘end-of-life’s a product, it ceases to provide product and security updates. Once that happens, it means that your server is vulnerable to being compromised. This is a huge risk to have on a server that is housing some of your most critical data.

The challenge for many of the organizations that have Windows Server 2003 is that they don’t want to purchase another piece of hardware to place in their office or data center. In fact, they may not even want, or have, their data center anymore. Many of these organizations are shifting their infrastructure to the cloud.

The trend toward the cloud, makes the prospect of upgrading to Windows Server 2012 or even Server 2016 less appealing. What’s the point in starting all over again with on-premise servers?

The second issue that we find with those that want to migrate Active Directory from Windows Server 2003 is the cost. Microsoft Windows Server pricing and the overall cost of Active Directory gets prohibitively expensive very quickly.

Finding a New Solution

Struggles with Active Directory

As a result of these two issues, many organizations are thinking about what to do with AD and their Windows Server. One option that has been coming up frequently is looking into the state of the art technology in the identity management sector. The IT sector has changed dramatically since Windows Server 2003 was introduced and used in earnest. Today, the cloud is a fixture, and web applications are much more common. Windows isn’t even the dominant platform with Mac and Linux systems becoming much more popular (Forbes).

With these changes, a new generation of solution emerged called Directory-as-a-Service® (DaaS). In the cloud identity management category, this IDaaS platform is delivered from the cloud and works well for both cloud and on-prem situations. It integrates with Mac, Windows, Linux, Office 365, G Suite, AWS, and more. There are no servers or software to manage. Security, backup, availability, and redundancy are all taken care of by the virtual identity provider. With all of this functionality readily available, it’s clear to see that Directory-as-a-Service really is a replacement to Active Directory.

Migrate Active Directory from Windows Server 2003 to DaaS

For those who want to migrate Active Directory from Windows Server 2003, a cloud directory service such as Directory-as-a-Service can be an excellent alternative to Active Directory. Watch the video above or read this case study to see a first-hand account of how IT departments are migrating from Active Directory

If you would like to learn more about how JumpCloud could help you to “break up with Active Directory” and migrate to next generation identity management, you can reach out to us directly or read through our Active Directory Migration Guide. If you’re the type of person who likes to get their hands on the product, sign-up for a free IDaaS account and check out the cloud directory for yourself. Your first 10 users are free forever.

Greg Keller

JumpCloud CTO, Greg Keller is a career product visionary and executive management leader. With over two decades of product management, product marketing, and operations experience ranging from startups to global organizations, Greg excels in successful go-to-market execution.

Continue Learning with our Newsletter