By the time you read this, Microsoft is shortly going to retire both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 operating systems – assuming that you are reading this before January 14. If you still are utilizing these software in your business at this point, you need to upgrade, or else deal with the security consequences of dealing with unsupported software. Here, we’ll review your options.
First Option – Purchase Upgraded Hardware and Migrate Your Data
Frankly, we’re starting out with the least desirable option, as it is the most expensive (even before considering how much the price will be increased due to the time constraints). While our professional IT consultants could work at speeds fast enough to get all your data migrated to the appropriately updated servers and workstations, the slow nature of IT projects makes all potential consequences of waiting much more likely.
It is important that we clarify something: it isn’t as though your unsupported technology will no longer work, per se. However, it will become remarkably more difficult to find the hardware, software, and operating systems that will operate properly, leaving your business more vulnerable to the many problems that unsupported software creates.
If upgrading is your chosen approach, there is the chance that your existing hardware is capable of supporting Windows 10. Here are the minimum specifications required to do so:
- Processor – 1 GHZ or faster
- RAM – 1 GB for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
- Hard disk space – 16 GB for 32-bit or 20 GB for 64-bit
- Graphics card – DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
- Display – 800 x 600 resolution
Remember, this is the bare-bones minimum, so operating at these specs isn’t going to be super-efficient. Our recommendation is that you have at least a 2 GHz dual-core processor, supported by between 4-to-8 GB of RAM, and a hard drive with at least 160 GBs of space.
Second Option – Virtualization
Another option you have is to leverage the flexibility of the cloud, and migrate your data over to a virtualized environment. Nowadays, doing so can be far more cost-effective than purchasing new hardware, and you have a lot more options. Businesses now use virtual machines in AWS and Microsoft Azure to deliver Windows 10 and other software titles in a powerful and cost-effective way.
Furthermore, by eliminating the need for large purchases of infrastructure, virtualization can bring a business some considerable cost reductions. A monthly billing structure allows a virtualized solution to become an operational expense as compared to a capital one, and the typically included maintenance adds another way that costs are kept more efficient as compared to investing in hardware to be kept on site. You will need to look into an inexpensive thin client, but this would give you the option of using your existing hardware.
Third Option – Microsoft 365
Admittedly, Microsoft 365 won’t do much to resolve any problems you have with Server 2008 R2, it is a good option if you are really crunched for time to upgrade. With Microsoft 365, you get Windows 10, as well as a comprehensive Microsoft Office 365 productivity suite (including Microsoft Teams, Outlook email, and OneDrive storage space) and security tools that allow you to retain control of your organization’s data.
If you would like more control over your productivity software than other cloud-based systems provide, Microsoft 365 Business is a good option. With affordable and easily scaled licensing, this is most likely your fasted upgrade option.
While both Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 were helpful and useful Microsoft solutions during their time, their time has passed and are no longer viable options without the necessary support. If these software titles are still present on your network, you need to upgrade today. Discuss your options with one of our expert consultants by calling (818) 579-7370 today.