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3 questions to help you choose the right services partner for your x86/Windows Server migration

 

by Hande Sahin-Bahceci, Solution Marketing Manager, HP Worldwide Converged Infrastructure, SDDC Services Marketing

 

As you’ve probably heard by now, Lenovo and IBM have announced plans for Lenovo to acquire IBM’s x86 server business. Lenovo will take over customer service and maintenance for the x86 business line and related products, and IBM has said it will supply maintenance delivery on behalf of Lenovo for an extended period of time in the interest of continuity for customers. (If the news creates some uncertainties for your organization, check out Project Smart Choice to learn how HP can keep your enterprise moving forward.)

 

Many organizations will face questions about consulting, integration, and implementation services, specifically when it comes to choosing a migration partner and data center transformation expertise. For example: “My workload matters most to me. How do I select a strategic partner for these changes?” “How will I get global expertise and a true enterprise partner for my critical workloads?” The expertise that’s needed may be extensive, ranging across partnering, joint engineering, solution architecture, design (cloud, virtualization, security, big data, mobility), and global project management.

 

Let’s look at a very real migration and modernization scenario here. Microsoft will end support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. This will likely have a dramatic impact on the business of x86 Microsoft customers. There are critical implications for applications as well as the OS (legacy, ISV, custom applications all will need to be evaluated). Custom Support Agreements (CSAs) will be required for support after this date – the potential cost implications of staying on Win2003 will most likely be prohibitive.

 

 So what does Windows Server 2003 end-of-support mean?

  • Risk will increase, because automated updates and security patches will no longer be available.
  • After support ends, according to Microsoft, organizations may fail to meet most industry-wide compliance standards and regulations. This could result in lost business or increase the cost of doing business.
  • Microsoft has stated that without its continued support, virtualized and physical instances of Windows Server 2003/R2 will not pass a compliance audit.

Bottom Line: Businesses should consider the following questions before embarking on their Windows Server 2003/x86 platform migration journey:

 

1. Can your services partner offer strategic application, datacenter, and platform consulting that covers all the stacks from the OS layer up to applications? Finding the right migration and modernization strategy and IT service delivery model for each application and workload is critical when planning your move from Windows Server 2003. Plus, deep storage, networking, and IT management expertise will also be needed to optimize the environment. HP offers comprehensive capabilities in each area globally with a single point of accountability before, during and after migrations.

 

2. Will your services partner be able to move your organization from x86 platforms to non-x86 platforms and help with complex migrations to mitigate risks? Organizations should look for architectural design and platform options that take full advantage of the newest cloud, mobility, big data, and collaboration solutions (which were not even around when Windows 2003 was first released). HP experts can help your organization define the right target environment and take full advantage of Windows Server 2012 R2 and cloud options.

 

3. How will your services partner ensure timely access to the most needed consulting, project management, solution architecture, and integration skills before and after Windows 2003 migrations and x86 deployments? Working with a single accountable partner before, during and after migrations is critical. HP experts can help you reduce the migration risks and speed up the process with disciplined project management and by leveraging tested methodologies, as well as HP software, migration, and ROI tools. And they can access a pool of thousands of Microsoft-trained resources.

 

In addition to asking these questions and weighing the risks when selecting a technology vendor, it’s critical to clarify and understand the commitment of essential channel partners and independent software vendors as well.

 

The success of migrations depends on careful planning, disciplined execution, and post-migration support. HP is one of Microsoft’s largest OEM and Gold Certified Partners, and has been named a Microsoft Global Enterprise Partner of the Year five times. HP provides full support, training and migration, as well as cloud, mobility, collaboration, and big data consulting for Windows Server, built on more than thirty years of partnership with Microsoft.

 

Read more about migration from Windows Server 2003 here.

 

Learn how HP Project Smart Choice can help you keep your business moving forward as IBM exits the x86 server market.

 

On Twitter: #HPSmartChoice

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