By Ryan Squires Posted October 23, 2018
Believe it or not, there are still a large number of organizations that run Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003. Most of the time it isn’t necessarily because they want to, but they’re often stuck doing so for a variety of reasons. The reasons for continuing to use Windows Server 2003 after its end of life (EOL) can include: custom applications, its usage as a domain controller and Active Directory® instance, upfront cost to purchase newer software and hardware, and implementation time. With that in mind, how can an IT organization effectively replace Windows Server 2003?
Reasoning Behind Sticking With Windows Server 2003
In the case of determining whether or not to stop using Windows Server 2003, it is important to understand why exactly the IT organization is using the platform still. If you’ve built a home grown custom application that is tightly tied to Server 2003, then it may be difficult to upgrade or switch off. Of course, IT organizations know their needs best, but two potential ideas to consider are emulating Windows Server 2003 through virtualization or finding a replacement software-as-a-service (SaaS) based application. With tens of thousands of high-quality B2B SaaS applications, you may be able to find one that meets your needs.
Another major reason that we still see people leveraging Windows Server 2003 is because it still functions as the domain controller and Active Directory instance. For many organizations, this reason may be due to the fact that the server and software essentially cost nothing aside from power, floor space, and some management time. The challenge here is that at some point the server will fail, the software will stop working, or there will be a security vulnerability that will simply present too much risk to ignore. What results from any of these situations is that the organization will need to replace their Windows Server instance, but they don’t need to do it with another on-prem, expensive Windows Server instance. Admins can implement JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® and eliminate problems corresponding to failed hardware or security issues arising from a lack of continuous software support.
With respect to upfront costs and time to implement, the Directory-as-a-Service solution addresses each. There is no huge upfront cost to implement JumpCloud, just pay for the amount of users that you need on a monthly basis. Next, implementation time is cut into a fraction of its previous amount because with no on-prem hardware/software to setup and configure (AD servers, identity bridges, FreeRADIUS, system management solutions, and more) all the IT admin(s) need to do is fire up their JumpCloud account, log in to the admin console, and begin doling access out to users. That sounds much easier than setting up a server and installing/configuring software from scratch.
Learn More About JumpCloud
For those that use Win2003 as their identity provider, the next generation of cloud directory service is available to replace Windows Server 2003 and it’s called JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service. As a vendor neutral platform, JumpCloud allows you to connect users to their systems (Windows, Mac®, and Linux®), applications (on-prem or in the cloud), and networks via RADIUS regardless of location and all with a single set of credentials. It’s Active Directory and LDAP reimagined for the cloud era. To begin managing users today, sign up for a free account. Your free account will allow you to manage up to 10 users free forever, no credit card required. If you want to learn more, drop us a line or visit our YouTube channel.