Home » VirtaMove Blog » How to Upgrade Your Windows Server Applications Easily

How to Upgrade Your Windows Server Applications Easily

Some Practical Advice

At VirtaMove, we’ve moved thousands of Windows Server applications from WS2003 to new OS versions and servers for hundreds of large customers like Glaxo, TD Bank, CIBC, Metlife, Clorox, IBM, and many others. Read on for some practical advice on how to upgrade your Windows Server applications easily.

How big is the problem of upgrading Windows Servers applications?

More than 3 years ago, Microsoft announced the end of support (EOS) for Windows Server 2003. The extended service period for WS2003 ends in 6 months, in July 2018. When EOS was originally announced by Microsoft, approximately 22 million WS2003 servers were in use worldwide. Since then, approximately 40-50% of those servers were decommissioned, and an estimated 3 million servers were upgraded and their applications ported to new operating system versions (quite a few of them were upgraded using VirtaMove). Based on VirtaMove market surveys, we estimate that there are still more than 7 million WS2003 servers, more than 1 million WS2000 servers, and many legacy Windows NT servers in production worldwide.

In 2017, Microsoft announced extended support for WS2008 Servers (under certain pre-paid terms) until 2026. VirtaMove estimates that there are more than 40 million WS2008 servers in production use. The number of WS2012 servers is estimated to exceed the number of WS2008 servers.

Almost 50 million servers will need to roll forward during the next 5 to 8 years – by which time many of the WS2012 servers will also roll forward to newer servers. The scale of the problem is significant. If you need to modernize your servers to take advantage of the new security and management features of WS2012 or WS2016, then you’re facing the remediation and migration of many applications. Most large corporations will need to undertake this with careful planning and budgeting. While you can turn to manual upgrades and re-installation to move some of the easy applications, solving the problem in scale may require you to consider automation tools.

If you’re struggling with the problem of moving legacy WS2003 applications to new servers, you should know two key things:

  1. The problem is widespread, so you’re not alone.
  2. Rolling applications forward to new servers isn’t a one-time exercise. It won’t end with EOS for WS2003.

End of Support is only one reason to upgrade WS applications

Operating systems eventually reach EOS, prompting many reasons to upgrade applications. One reason may be audit and compliance requirements. If you’re operating in a regulated business, running on an unsupported OS won’t meet these requirements.

Security exposures may be another reason. Older OSs such as WS2003 and WS2008 have security holes that hackers can exploit, as demonstrated in recent ransomware such as WannaCry and Petya.

Perhaps you want to address both compliance and security issues; however, you want to defer or avoid the cost of developing new applications or retraining staff, which happens all too often when applications need to be completely redeveloped in order to move them.

You might also want to run on better, faster hardware or on a scalable Cloud service that supports only newer OS stacks. Maybe you want to take advantage of newer application management tools that are available on a new OS, or use technical innovations such as Windows Containers, which are available only on WS2016. New stack or database features can also drive the need to move applications forward. Maybe you just want to declutter your applications.

For these and many other reasons, standing still and running on legacy servers is rarely a wise or long-term strategy when it comes to computing platforms.

Upgrading Windows Servers applications by hand: the unbearable pain

Many companies attempt to solve the Windows modernization problem by migrating applications by hand, using in-house resources or a combination of internal resources and contractors. However, hand migration suffers from a shortage of skilled resources, missing developers, missing installation scripts, unknown authorization and security codes, incompatibility of development libraries, and a host of other technical issues, many of which are anything but obvious. Planning, executing, and testing hand migrations is expensive, time consuming, and highly resource intensive for application owners and users.

All too often, customers discover that ISVs don’t provide an affordable or practical way forward for their applications. Also, many vendors focus on upgrading only their portion of the application stack, and omit all the tools and software that may be part of a complex application.

So, I’ll just re-install the app on a new server. Simple, right?

Not so simple, actually. Moving always involves database upgrades and migrations, porting user profiles, OS changes, and detailed new platform acceptance testing and cut-over. Each step needs to be executed and implemented in a reliable, timely way.

How application monitoring can help

With thousands of application migrations under our belt, we know that application monitoring provides the best, first step for any app migration project. Application monitoring can help you:

  • optimize server resources based on actual usage factors
  • determine application dependencies
  • reduce security exposures

Who’s using which apps, and how?

Detailed application usage tracking data helps you make business decisions about when, where, and how to move applications, based on:

  • which applications are being used, which users are using them, and when they’re using them
  • which functions or features of an application are used and how they’re being used

Usage tracking data shows when apps are gathering dust. Perhaps those applications are candidates for decommissioning. It doesn’t make sense to spend money on migrating or upgrading unwanted apps. Knowing which apps are not being used is an easy way to eliminate work and save time and money.

Application monitoring also helps determine which apps are experiencing expanded usage. Perhaps you should upgrade in-demand apps or prioritize moving them to new servers to accommodate user demand and improve application performance.

Some applications experience seasonal or periodic growth in demand. Such applications might be good candidates for Cloud migration or may be better hosted on in-house servers based on these factors. Application monitoring is key to determining usage trends and variables.

If you know which application components need to be moved based on actual usage, you won’t need as much application owner involvement in both the discovery phase and the application user acceptance phase. That’s a significant time saver.

What do all these apps depend on?

Intelligent application monitoring can provide insights on application dependencies. When it’s time to move applications to new servers (both on the Cloud or inhouse), you’ll know ahead of time about all the dependencies and stack components that need to move too.

Knowing which application components need to be built and moved means that the application can be built dynamically on the fly, based on actual past application usage. This simplifies migration and often eliminates user testing post migration. More time saving.

Less exposure is a good thing

Application monitoring can also reveal security issues, such as re-used common admin passwords, unusual off-peak EXE calls, and other potentially serious security exposures.

Putting detailed monitoring in place before you undertake a Windows Server application migration project is a best practice for most migration projects. It helps you green light and determine when you know enough about an application to move it to new servers. With application monitoring, the entire migration process gets simpler, faster, cheaper. In other words, smarter.

Automating application migration

In any application migration project, you need to discover applications and determine all application dependencies. Then the applications need to move in isolation, with appropriate re-configuration on the fly. Finally, you’ll need to verify the migration, then cut over users to the new server after testing is completed. Having a migration methodology will help you achieve all these steps effectively and efficiently, each time.

Your migration methodology can benefit from automating many of these critical steps. Automation can help you scale the problem of moving a large number of applications from outdated operating systems such as WS2003 to WS2012 or WS2016 in a way that manual migration just can’t. In fact, with the right automation tool, you can simply script many steps at the command level.

Application migration bench marking shows productivity improvements of 100 to over 1000% for automated migration methods versus manual efforts.

Procrastination is another word for stalling

We tell our customers that the second-best time to upgrade your Windows Server 2003 applications is Now. The best time, unfortunately, was 36 months ago. Many Microsoft customers believe that procrastination is easy – when in reality procrastination wastes time and energy, and holds you back from embracing change and creating a future.

Running on operating systems that have reached end-of-support is risky business. If you want Microsoft’s new security and operating system features, you’ll need to move your applications forward, and not just off Windows Server 2003 to 2008. After nearly a decade of use, we’re finding that many VirtaMove customers are migrating from WS2008 now and moving forward to WS2012 or WS2016 to avoid excessive extended support fees.

If you’re still running WS2003, you need to get to work. You need to modernize. We’re here to help.


To learn more about how automation can help drive your application migration projects, give us a call. We’re always happy to help and eager for even the toughest challenges.

social position

Share this post

Comments (70)

  • Elba

    Hey very interesting blog!

    at 0
  • Joellen

    This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger.
    I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post.

    Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

    at 0
  • agen judi slot mesin

    Tһiіs іs really fascinating, You’re an overly professional bⅼogger.
    I have joined your feеd and look forԝard to in queѕt of extra օf your great post.
    Also, I haᴠe shared our website in my sociɑl networks

    at 0
  • khoquet.com

    We are a bunch of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.

    Your site offered us with helpful information to work
    on. You have done a formidable task and our entire group will probably be thankful to

    at 0
  • funny bernie Sanders t shirt

    I got this webѕite from my pal who informed mme on the topic of this web site and at the momnent this time I
    am visiting this ᴡeb siute and reading very informative content here.

    at 0
  • http://www.atomy123.com/

    I read this paragraph fully about the resemblance of hottest and previous technologies, it’s awesome

    at 0
  • Leaf Max CBD

    Super-Duper website! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read
    some more. I am bookmarking your feeds also

    at 0
  • Pure Optimum Keto Burn

    Wow! Thank you! I constantly needed to write on my
    blog something like that. Can I take a fragment of your
    post to my blog?

    at 0
  • New Flow XL Review

    I’m honored to get a call from a friend immediately he identified the important recommendations shared on the site.
    Going through your blog article is a real amazing experience.
    Thank you for considering readers much like me, and I desire for you the best of success like
    a professional in this field.

    at 0
  • InstaFrost Air Conditioner

    I visited several blogs however the audio feature for audio songs
    present at this site is truly superb.

    at 0
  • id test rollex11

    Your style is really unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from.
    I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark this page.

    at 0
  • Alpha Extracts CBD Reviews

    Hi there very cool blog!! Guy .. Excellent .. Wonderful ..
    I will bookmark your site and take the feeds additionally…I’m glad to search out numerous useful info here
    in the post, we need work out extra strategies in this regard, thank you for sharing.

    at 0
  • Andres

    I wanted to follow along and let you know how great I
    liked discovering your web blog today. I will
    consider it a great honor to operate at my place of work and be able to utilize tips provided on your
    site and also be a part of visitors’ comments like this.

    Should a position regarding guest publisher become on offer at your end, you should let me

    at 0
  • live22 apk download 2021

    Fantastic site. A lot of useful information here.

    I’m sending it to a few pals ans also sharing in delicious.
    And of course, thank you for your effort!

    at 0
  • 918kiss 2 android download

    Just wish to say your article is as astounding. The clearness
    on your put up is simply nice and that i can assume you are a professional in this subject.

    Fine along with your permission let me to grab your feed to stay up to date with coming near near post.
    Thank you one million and please keep up the enjoyable work.

    at 0
  • http://marchegabonais.com

    Hello friends, its fantastic piece of writing concerning teachingand entirely explained, keep it up all
    the time.

    at 0
  • Bart

    I’m not sure why but this site is loading very slow for me.

    Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

    at 0
  • id rollex11

    This is really interesting, You’re an overly skilled blogger.
    I have joined your rss feed and look ahead to looking for extra of your wonderful post.
    Additionally, I have shared your website in my social networks

    at 0
  • New Flow XL Reviews

    Good post. I will be dealing with many of these issues as well..

    at 0
  • marchegabonais.com

    Utterly pent content material, Really enjoyed examining.

    at 0
  • mayiling.cn

    Today, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad and tested to
    see if it can survive a 25 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple
    ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.
    I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with

    at 0
  • I1 3Win8

    Somebody necessarily lend a hand to make critically
    posts I might state. That is the very first time
    I frequented your website page and so far? I surprised
    with the analysis you made to make this actual publish amazing.
    Magnificent task!

    at 0
  • top us online casinos

    magnificent submit, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this
    sector do not realize this. You must proceed your writing.

    I am sure, you have a huge readers’ base already!

    at 0
  • Gentille Derma Revitalizing Moisturizer

    Hi, after reading this remarkable post i am as well delighted to
    share my know-how here with mates.

    at 0
  • Solvolt Charger

    I like looking through an article that can make people think.
    Also, thank you for permitting me to comment!

    at 0
  • Spark Aura Skin Serum

    Hello there, You’ve done an excellent job. I will certainly digg it and personally
    recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this website.

    at 0
  • Viking XL Review

    Wonderful items from you, man. I have be mindful your stuff previous to
    and you’re simply too fantastic. I actually like what you’ve
    got here, certainly like what you are saying and the way
    in which during which you say it. You make it entertaining and you
    still take care of to keep it smart. I can not wait to read much more from you.

    This is actually a tremendous web site.

    at 0
  • Sal

    Terrific article! This is the kind of information that should be shared
    around the internet. Disgrace on Google for now not positioning
    this post upper! Come on over and discuss with my website
    . Thanks =)

    at 0
  • New Flow XL

    Thank you for any other informative website. Where else may I
    get that type of info written in such an ideal way? I have a project that I am just now operating on, and I have been on the glance out for such info.

    at 0
  • Keto Lite

    I do not even know how I ended up right here, however I thought this publish was
    good. I do not recognise who you are but definitely you are
    going to a famous blogger if you happen to are not already 😉 Cheers!

    at 0
  • Insta Frost Portable Air Conditioner

    Hi there, all is going well here and ofcourse every one is sharing information, that’s really good,
    keep up writing.

    at 0
  • walnut.ut.ac.ir

    Perfect piece of work you have done, this internet site
    is really cool with good information.

    at 0
  • www.hltkd.tw

    Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a twenty five foot drop,
    just so she can be a youtube sensation. My
    iPad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know
    this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

    at 0
  • Allan

    Greetings from Florida! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to check out
    your site on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I
    get home. I’m amazed at how quick your blog loaded on my phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, very good blog!

    at 0
  • Ashli

    Utterly indited content, regards for information.

    at 0
  • Manie

    You made some really good points there. I looked on the net to find out more
    about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.

    at 0
  • Bodycor Keto Pills

    I like this internet site because so much utile material on here :D.

    at 0
  • New Flow XL Male Enhancement Pills

    Hello my family member! I wish to say that this post is awesome,
    great written and come with almost all important infos.
    I would like to look more posts like this.

    at 0
  • Green Leaf Hills CBD Review

    Hey there, You have done a fantastic job. I will definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends.
    I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this website.

    at 0
  • Green Leaf Hills CBD

    We are a group of volunteers and starting a
    new scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with valuable info to work on. You’ve done an impressive job and our
    whole community will be thankful to you.

    at 0
  • TechPro Wifi Booster

    Great site. Lots of useful info here. I am sending it to a
    few friends ans additionally sharing in delicious.
    And certainly, thanks for your sweat!

    at 0
  • Cool Portable AC Reviews

    You’re so interesting! I do not believe I’ve read anything like this before.
    So wonderful to find someone with a few unique thoughts on this issue.
    Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This website is something that is needed on the web,
    someone with a little originality!

    at 0
  • Cryogen Portable AC

    Hello, its nice article about media print, we all understand media is a impressive source of facts.

    at 0
  • Cool Portable AC

    We are a bunch of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community.
    Your web site provided us with helpful info to work on. You’ve performed
    an impressive job and our entire community shall be grateful
    to you.

    at 0
  • https://patinajeartistico.es

    Wow, this paragraph is nice, my younger sister is analyzing these kinds of things,
    thus I am going to convey her.

    at 0
  • MaxExtend Male Enhancement

    Good day! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog.
    Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out
    pretty fast. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not
    sure where to start. Do you have any points or suggestions?

    Many thanks

    at 0
  • playboy2 slot

    Great blog right here! Also your site rather a lot up very fast!
    What web host are you the use of? Can I am getting your associate hyperlink
    for your host? I want my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

    at 0
  • lpe88 game list

    Greate post. Keep writing such kind of info on your page.
    Im really impressed by it.
    Hi there, You have done a great job. I will definitely digg it
    and in my opinion suggest to my friends. I’m sure they will be benefited
    from this website.

    at 0
  • Ice House Air Conditioner

    I like this post, enjoyed this one thank you for putting up.

    at 0
  • IceHouse Portable AC

    I don’t even know how I stopped up right here, but I believed this publish was
    once great. I don’t recognize who you’re however certainly you’re going to a well-known blogger in case you are not already 😉 Cheers!

    at 0
  • TechPro Wifi Booster Review

    I always used to study post in news papers but now as I am
    a user of web therefore from now I am using
    net for content, thanks to web.

    at 0
  • forum.adm-tolka.ru

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly feel this website needs a great deal more
    attention. I?ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the info!

    at 0
  • Live22 Ios 2021

    Does your site have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an email.
    I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.

    at 0
  • http://www.smokymountainadventurereviews.com/goto.php?url=https://geoweb.rsl.wustl.edu/community/index.php?/profile/34321-petramworw/&tab=field_core_pfield_11

    Hi there, yeah this ρost is genuinely nice and I have lеarned lott of things ftom іt about blogging.

    at 0
  • xe88-my.com

    I think the admin of this web site is genuinely
    working hard in favor of his website, because here every information is quality based stuff.

    at 0
  • MaxExtend Male Enhancement

    We’re a group of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme
    in our community. Your website offered us with helpful info to work
    on. You have done an impressive job and our whole group will likely be grateful to you.

    at 0
  • sgbet99

    Thankfulness to my father who shared with me concerning this web site, this web site is in fact remarkable.

    at 0
  • Cryogen Air Conditioner

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the finest blogs on the web.

    I’m going to recommend this blog!

    at 0
  • forum.adm-tolka.ru

    Really no matter if someone doesn’t be aware of after that its up to
    other visitors that they will assist, so here it happens.

    at 0
  • Helio CBD Oil

    Hey there, You’ve done a fantastic job. I’ll certainly digg it
    and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this website.

    at 0
  • Keto Redux Reviews

    I am glad to be a visitant of this utter site, thanks for this rare information!

    at 0
  • Vintage t shirts etsy

    Hey tһеre! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new applе iphone!

    Just wanted to saʏ I love reading throսgh your blog and look forward to all your
    posts! Carгy on the fantastic wоrk!

    at 0
  • Misty

    I was reading through some of your posts on this site and I
    believe this web site is really instructive!
    Continue putting up.

    at 0
  • Slimingo Reviews

    It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this outstanding blog!

    I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my
    Google account. I look forward to new updates and will share this website with my Facebook group.
    Talk soon!

    at 0
  • Terese

    You could definitely see your expertise within the paintings you write.
    The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe.

    Always follow your heart.

    at 0
  • IceHouse Portable AC

    Greetings I am so delighted I found your website, I really found you by error, while I was searching on Askjeeve for
    something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a
    marvelous post and a all round enjoyable blog
    (I also love the theme/design), I don?t have time to read through it all at the moment but
    I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much
    more, Please do keep up the awesome b.

    at 0

    Hello, Neat post. There is an issue along with your web site in internet explorer, would test this?

    IE still is the market chief and a large section of other people will pass over your magnificent writing because of this problem.

    at 0
  • rokph.com

    These are truly enormous ideas in concerning blogging.
    You have touched some nice things here. Any way keep
    up wrinting.

    at 0
  • Karaoke Design

    Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is valuable and everything.
    However imagine if you added some great pictures or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with images and clips, this site could definitely
    be one of the best in its field. Fantastic blog!

    at 0
  • real money online casinos michigan

    Neat blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A theme like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog jump out.
    Please let me know where you got your theme. Cheers

    at 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.