Earlier this month, Microsoft discontinued its support for Windows Server 2003. Although this has left many companies in a panic, it presents an ideal opportunity to upgrade to a newer, more secure operating system.
The final chapter has been written in the story of one of the most widely deployed operating systems in Microsoft’s history. As of midnight last Monday, 14 July, the company ceased offering support for Windows Server 2003. This means that there will be no more security updates, non-security hotfixes, free assisted support options or online technical content updates from Microsoft for the ageing platform.
Over the course of the last twelve years, business infrastructure solutions built to run on Windows Server 2003 operating system (OS) helped prepare the way for the information age, by making the use of computing power omnipresent across enterprises as well as small to medium sized businesses.
The OS played the starring role in the success stories of many companies by computerising core business operations such as email and data servers for companies of all sizes over the last decade. New business trends such as mobility, cloud computing, the internet of things, and big data analytics, have along with the arrival of more advanced technology, reshaped the business environment to a point beyond Windows Server 2003’s capabilities and technological limits.
“Windows Server 2003 was not designed for the business requirements of the mobile-first, cloud-first world. Companies still using Windows Server 2003 need to implement additional workarounds to run components in the cloud or when they want to deliver a productivity boost to their employees by connecting them with suppliers and customers from anywhere, anytime, as well as any device,” says Leon Wright, Cloud & Enterprise Business Group Lead at Microsoft SA.
Wright added that many organisations will no longer meet many industrywide compliance standards and regulations after support ends. Running unsupported software also carries with it significant security risks, since companies will no longer receive notifications of vulnerabilities that may affect their servers.
Capitalising upon the modernisation opportunity
The end of support for Windows Server 2003 can have serious impact on your business, but it also represents an opportunity to modernise and upgrade to more powerful, more capable technologies that support improved performance for your organisation.
· Upgrading to newer OS versions like Windows Server 2012 R2 will ensure that businesses have access to a scalable platform that is able to support the way business is being done in the digital era.
· Modernising infrastructure by migrating workloads such as Exchange to Microsoft Office 365 will help staff experience the latest productivity innovations and also reduce your management burden.
· Web applications can be migrated to Microsoft Azure for the improved reach, scale and cost efficiency.
“On the whole, the modernisation process should result in businesses experiencing significant benefits that include improved performance, higher reliability, enhanced security and increased flexibility in responding to business needs,” concludes Wright.
Legion gets a pro makeover
Lenovo’s latest Legion gaming laptop, the Y530, pulls out all the stops to deliver a sleek looking computer at a lower price point, writes BRYAN TURNER
Gaming laptops have become synonymous with thick bodies, loud fans, and rainbow lights. Lenovo’s latest gaming laptop is here to change that.
The unit we reviewed housed an Intel Core i7-8750H, with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. It featured dual storage, one bay fitted with a Samsung 256GB NVMe SSD and the other with a 1TB HDD.
The latest addition to the Legion lineup has become far more professional-looking, compared to the previous generation Y520. This trend is becoming more prevalent in the gaming laptop market and appeals to those who want to use a single device for work and play. Instead of sporting flashy colours, Lenovo has opted for an all-black computer body and a monochromatic, white light scheme.
The laptop features an all-metal body with sharp edges and comes in at just under 24mm thick. Lenovo opted to make the Y530’s screen lid a little shorter than the bottom half of the laptop, which allowed for more goodies to be packed in the unit while still keeping it thin. The lid of the laptop features Legion branding that’s subtly engraved in the metal and aligned to the side. It also features a white light in the O of Legion that glows when the computer is in use.
The extra bit of the laptop body facilitates better cooling. Lenovo has upgraded its Legion fan system from the previous generation. For passive cooling, a type of cooling that relies on the body’s build instead of the fans, it handles regular office use without starting up the fans. A gaming laptop with good passive cooling is rare to find and Lenovo has shown that it can be achieved with a good build.
The internal fans start when gaming, as one would expect. They are about as loud as other gaming laptops, but this won’t be a problem for gamers who use headsets.
Click here to read about the screen quality, and how it performs in-game.
Serious about security? Time to talk ISO 20000
By EDWARD CARBUTT, executive director at Marval Africa
The looming Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act in South Africa and the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union (EU) have brought information security to the fore for many organisations. This in addition to the ISO 27001 standard that needs to be adhered to in order to assist the protection of information has caused organisations to scramble and ensure their information security measures are in line with regulatory requirements.
However, few businesses know or realise that if they are already ISO 20000 certified and follow Information Technology Infrastructure Library’s (ITIL) best practices they are effectively positioning themselves with other regulatory standards such as ISO 27001. In doing so, organisations are able to decrease the effort and time taken to adhere to the policies of this security standard.
ISO 20000, ITSM and ITIL – Where does ISO 27001 fit in?
ISO 20000 is the international standard for IT service management (ITSM) and reflects a business’s ability to adhere to best practice guidelines contained within the ITIL frameworks.
ISO 20000 is process-based, it tackles many of the same topics as ISO 27001, such as incident management, problem management, change control and risk management. It’s therefore clear that if security forms part of ITSM’s outcomes, it should already be taken care of… So, why aren’t more businesses looking towards ISO 20000 to assist them in becoming ISO 27001 compliant?
The link to information security compliance
Information security management is a process that runs across the ITIL service life cycle interacting with all other processes in the framework. It is one of the key aspects of the ‘warranty of the service’, managed within the Service Level Agreement (SLA). The focus is ensuring that the quality of services produces the desired business value.
So, how are these standards different?
Even though ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 have many similarities and elements in common, there are still many differences. Organisations should take cognisance that ISO 20000 considers risk as one of the building elements of ITSM, but the standard is still service-based. Conversely, ISO 27001 is completely risk management-based and has risk management at its foundation whereas ISO 20000 encompasses much more
Why ISO 20000?
Organisations should ask themselves how they will derive value from ISO 20000. In Short, the ISO 20000 certification gives ITIL ‘teeth’. ITIL is not prescriptive, it is difficult to maintain momentum without adequate governance controls, however – ISO 20000 is. ITIL does not insist on continual service improvement – ISO 20000 does. In addition, ITIL does not insist on evidence to prove quality and progress – ISO 20000 does. ITIL is not being demanded by business – governance controls, auditability & agility are. This certification verifies an organisation’s ability to deliver ITSM within ITIL standards.
Ensuring ISO 20000 compliance provides peace of mind and shortens the journey to achieving other certifications, such as ISO 27001 compliance.