Windows Server 2003 End of Life

Number: IN14-002
Date: 20 November 2014


The purpose of this Information Note is to draw attention to the end of life for Microsoft Windows Server 2003. Effective July 14, 2015 Microsoft will no longer provide automatic fixes, security updates, or online technical assistance for this product.


As of July 14, 2015, Microsoft will no longer support Windows Server 2003. Organizations running software after its end of support date may be exposed to increased compliance and security risks. Hardware and software compatibility issues may also arise when implementing current technologies which may not have been designed for use with Windows Server 2003.

Migration to an updated operating system can present unique challenges and it is critical that organizations operating Windows Server 2003 plan and test a migration solution before the deadline.

Applications and hardware (including device drivers) may have compatibility issues with more recent versions of Microsoft Windows Server operating systems. CCIRC recommends the following best practices to reduce the risk of compatibility problems:
- Have an accurate inventory of the applications installed within your environment.
- Prioritize and rationalize for applications within the inventory.
- Have a comprehensive test plan.

Organizations will need to identify all infrastructure and hardware dependencies when planning a migration. The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) will help detect and assess readiness by performing the following:
- Discovery and inventory of computers and applications
- Hardware and software migration readiness assessments
- Software usage tracking and capacity planning for virtualization
- Public and private cloud migration

Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit

Suggested Actions

CCIRC strongly encourages Information Technology owners and operators to begin planning their migration to an updated operating system as soon as possible. CCIRC will continue to monitor this situation and update this Information Note accordingly.

Microsoft Product Lifecycle
Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Migration Information
General Windows Server 2003 End of Support

Note to Readers

In support of Public Safety's mission to build a safe and resilient Canada, CCIRC's mandate is to help ensure the security and resilience of the vital non-federal government cyber systems that underpin Canada's national security, public safety and economic prosperity. As Canada's computer security incident response team, CCIRC is Canada's national coordination centre for the prevention and mitigation of, preparedness for, response to, and recovery from cyber incidents on non-federal government systems. It does this by providing authoritative advice and support, and coordinating information sharing and incident response.

Please note, CCIRC PGP key has recently been updated.

For general information, please contact Public Safety Canada's Public Affairs division at:

Telephone: 613-944-4875 or 1-800-830-3118
Fax: 613-998-9589

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