By Harry Brelsford, Founder, SMB Nation, overseer of the new XPmgirations.com effort.
Over the past several months, I’ve studied the question of: “What does the April 8th 2014 date mean for the SMB IT Pro community?” If you are not aware, it is the end-of-life/end-of-service for a portfolio of Microsoft products including Small Business Server 2003, Windows XP and anything else ’03 including office. I have found two common traits in your community.
First: Everyone who is a practicing MSP or SMB IT Pro has that “one” client still running Small Business Server 2003. And with good reason. It just works! But with support ending and all that means (the topic of a future blog), today you need to plan for the orderly transition to a new solution. This blog doesn’t intend to debate the merits of emerging technologies, but rather how to prepare for the forthcoming migration process.
Second: Closely related to my point above, everyone has clients who are running Windows XP as well. Truth be told – I have a few machines at SMB Nation still running Windows XP, and with good reason: It just works! But, again, this all changes on April 8th when support for Windows XP terminates.
So what’s the role of storage in a migration scenario? Everything! At XPmigrations.com, when we deploy “talent” to serve our clients, there is a standard migration process including assessment and data protection. On the server-side, this formal methodology is even more acute. The reasons are obvious – you are moving from “here” to “there” and it’s essential no mistakes are made, including data loss.
The best way to avoid mistakes is to use the right tools. If you’re an IT professional looking for migration solutions, you might also check out some of the tools available at SBS migration, which caters to IT professionals in need of easy-to-use migration solutions.
Remember also, as Laura Shafer, director of product marketing at StorageCraft, mentioned in her recent guest post on SMB Nation, “As technology pros, you can view end of life in another way. It’s not just about forcing change on the unwilling. It’s an opportunity for you to guide the unwilling safely through change and give them a better option in the end.”
All in all, end-of-life can be a scary, but the change is almost always good.
Need more on end-of-life? Check out this great post on managing the entire software cycle.