As you surely know, the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 family is quickly approaching its End of Service (EOS) date.
Side note: Coretek is absolutely ramped-up and ready to assist you in your migration to Server 2012 R2 (on-premises or Cloud-based), including the possibility of Microsoft funding for assessment and other exciting options. But that’s not why I’m writing today….
Like the XP EOS frenzy early this year, these big-impact EOS timeframes end up causing some strange feelings for your friendly neighborhood server technician. What I mean is, as a consultant, I spend a great deal of my time staying current on bleeding-edge technologies and building automations to eliminate manual installs and deployments, etc.
But today, I needed to test some odd behavior I discovered in preparation for an application migration, and I actually had to perform a manual install of Server 2003 — that’s right, manual — for the first time in what must be years. And because of that, I’m suddenly awash in memories of where I was all those years ago.
But you’re wondering, why a manual installation? Well just to clarify, I’ve long-since deleted all my VMM templates for Server 2003, or any VHDs that I might have had lying around to “hydrate” and test. I searched, trust me. So for this particular test-bed, on this particular evening, I figured it was just quicker to attach the the old CD-sized ISO to the virtual DVD drive, and on I went through that old blue initial setup screen.
And then it hit me… What was different about my life the last time I saw and walked through this setup screen?
It must’ve been around mid-2008, I’m thinking, based on my memory of the day. I think I recall the situation correctly — I had a different president, different employer, different car, different family arrangement, and on and on… Basically a very different life. I guess this setup screen is a bit like a time capsule of memories, like an old song that brings back a day long forgotten. Or maybe I’m just melancholy as the holidays approach…
You know what else I had forgotten all about? That “continue on CD #2” thing. Remember that? And Hyper-V issues like not having the mouse integrations, having to ctrl+alt+left-arrow all the time, and needing “integration Services” installed manually before it can communicate. Ah, how quaint.
Will I ever walk through the blue setup screen again? Surely; after all, I’ll probably be setting up some test beds for other folks like me who long-ago deleted deployment images and templates for Server 2003. But I’ll tell you one thing, the next time I do the install, it will be for building a template in my VMM lab so I don’t have to do it again.
Server 2003 might be antiquated and End of Service, but at least I can pull it forward into the future kicking and screaming just enough to help hasten its demise.