With the announcement that Windows Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2 are reaching end-of-life this October, businesses are faced with the option of finding a suitable replacement that fulfills business functions while maintaining existing security posture. Fortunately, businesses have multiple options to evaluate:
- On-Premise Servers
- Cloud Services
- the Hybrid method
Determining the right option for your organization depends on your goals, applications in use, preference, and budget.
The decision to install new physical servers is dictated by data security, infrastructure, and, of course, investment amounts. Because information is stored locally and not transferred over the internet, your data maintains a level of security relating to both physical access to the servers as well as protection behind a network firewall.
While some consider the physical location a benefit, it also requires a layered security strategy to keep your network and data safe. In addition to a firewall with intrusion prevention, the system should also be protected by measures like next-gen antivirus, a web filter, and VPN access for offsite employees.
Because data is stored locally, having the right backup solution will ensure your data is safe in case of a breach or other disaster. Daily off-site backups in multiple locations are the best method for ensuring a usable backup copy of your business data. Discuss backups and disaster recovery solutions with a trusted Managed Services Provider (MSP) or company CIO.
The Cloud is a popular option for organizations looking to avoid future hardware refresh cycles. Your business data is stored within off-site servers and accessed via secure internet connections. This type of infrastructure allows you to avoid having to invest in onsite servers and the in-house IT teams to manage and maintain them.
Cloud services like industry leaders AWS or Azure Cloud already have security measures and multi-location backup options in place. They also monitor for possible attacks and have systems in place to prevent them. Scalability is another benefit of the Cloud—as your organization grows, your Cloud environment can be easily adjusted to compensate for the expansion.
When selecting a Cloud provider, speak with your MSP or CIO to understand and compare the security policies and other benefits each service offers to ensure they align with your specific business needs.
The third option to consider is a Hybrid solution. As expected, an organization can choose to split selective resources between the Cloud and On-Premise solutions.
A typical plan would be to run email servers via the Cloud while On-Premise servers handle business applications requiring higher processing power. Keeping high-use applications on local servers will avoid internet bottlenecks that incur with increased bandwidth. In this case, your internal network will be more reliable and faster so long as it is optimally maintained.
Of course, layered security should be top of mind when considering the Hybrid model as it requires specific planning and maintenance from your MSP or IT personnel who will need to ensure security across both the On-Premise and Cloud systems.
As you navigate the process of researching server replacement options for the Windows 2012 and 2012 R2 end-of-life, you will have questions. Contact the friendly team at PCS to get answers to your questions and request a review of your current infrastructure. We’re happy to work with your current IT team or handle your server implementation and management for you.