Windows Server

Here at Proxar IT Consulting, we offer a range of services for Microsoft Server technologies. This includes Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 migrations which are end of life. Our main services include:

  • Hosting
  • Migrations and upgrades
  • OS Management 
  • Server Monitoring
  • Updates and patch management
  • Security hardening and assessment
  • Licensing 

Windows Server Upgrades and Migrations 

We often help customers upgrade old versions of Windows Server to new platforms. This can be a straightforward upgrade to Windows Server 2019 for example. Or something more involved like moving server workloads to Azure. In addition to interim upgrades.

On top of this, we can help with your Windows Server needs with migrations and upgrades. And we do this with the following services:   

  • Windows Server Roles and Infrastructure – Active Directory, DNS, DHCP, Hyper-V, RRAS and more.
  • Application Servers – Line of business or other custom applications for example.
  • SQL, Exchange, ADFS or SharePoint Server.
  • File and Print Services – including FollowMe Printing.

Customers might choose to upgrade their systems due to security threats. Or because of compliance and other regulatory requirements. They may also do it because of urgent capacity needs. Or because of poor performance, slowness and reliability issues.

Additionally, it might be because of their need for application upgrades or software compatibility. As well as for end of support. And in some instances, it might be because of hardware lifecycle or support expiry.

If any of these issues above sound familiar, then please get in touch. Proxar IT can help you with all your Microsoft Infrastructure requirements. 

Windows Server end of Support: What does it really mean?

While end of support can be seen as a nuisance, especially if these older systems are working fine. Consequently, this can be an opportunity to transform your IT. And to deliver more efficient and secure services. 

The cost to not upgrade can actually be more. Because the upgrade will still need to happen at some point. When you don’t upgrade there are many risks. Like you wont have security updates for example.

Additionally, it will also raise issues about regulation and compliance. And there will be an additional cost for support patches. And overall it will account for missed innovation opportunities.

Windows Server 2008 free Extended Security Updates

Windows Server 2008 and R2 is still a commonly used platform. But with end of support here, what is a business to do when they’re simply not ready to migrate to a new version yet? 

At Proxar IT, we can migrate server 2008 and R2 services to Azure. This brings three years of free Extended Security Updates (ESU) support. Thus, rehosting these services with no application code changes. As a result, this gives you more time to plan a future direction and strategy.   

If you have existing licenses with Software Assurance then you can truly benefit from significant costs savings with Azure Hybrid Benefit.

5 Great Things about Windows Server 2019

There’s a lot to like about Windows Server 2019. It has a wide range of new features. Such as flexible deployment options and refinements as well as:

  1. The most secure version of the Microsoft Server OS
  2. Server core – the smaller footprint version is now more practical with improved management
  3. Seamless integration with cloud technologies  
  4. Hosts Windows and Linux container workloads
  5. Predicts when servers reach capacity with intelligent system insights

System Insights is the new predictive analytics feature in Windows Server 2019. 

Remote Desktop Server and Windows Virtual Desktop  

Remote Desktop Servers or Terminal Server upgrades are another thing we commonly work with. Whereby the 2019 version is a great option. Office 365 ProPlus, OneDrive for Business sync and OneDrive Files On-Demand are fully supported with Windows Server 2019. And this is a recent change by Microsoft.

Another reason to consider upgrading RDS is that the Office 365 desktop apps will no longer be supported on Windows Server 2012 and R2. And this is effective from January 2020. Similarly, 2008/R2 will be unsupported at the same time.

Additionally, a new exciting option that we offer customers is migrating existing RDS servers to Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD). We can do this with Windows Server 2012 R2, 2016, 2019 session hosts.

This is when we migrate the session hosts to WVD using Azure Virtual Machines. This brings across all of your applications. Additionally, Microsoft will provide the RDS infrastructure, which they manage. So this gives you the flexibility to provide all the applications your staff need. Thus, with fewer dependencies from on-premise systems. This can also be extended with the new Windows 10 multi-session experience.

Migrate Windows Infrastructure to Azure

Hosting Windows Server in Azure provides many benefits. And it’s not surprising that Microsoft describes this as the cloud that knows Windows best. Especially for:

  • Unmatched security
  • Built-in hybrid – Over 3 million Server nodes hybrid enabled with Azure  
  • Most cost-effective – 5x lower cost for Windows and SQL than other clouds 

Migrating Windows Server to Azure can be done in several ways. This depends on how rapidly the migration is to be completed for instance.

  • Rehost: Migrate 2008 and 2008 R2 OS workloads to Azure VM
  • Refactor, Re Architect or Rebuild: Innovate with Server containers and Azure services

                                                                               Rehost                                                      Refactor and Rebuild 
                                                               Migrate to Virtual Machines in Azure      Innovate with cloud native services 

Custom Line of Business Apps 
Web App Azure VMs with Windows Server Windows Containers with Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), Azure Service Fabric 
Database Azure SQL Database Managed Instance Azure Database for MySQL/PostgresSQL Azure CosmosDB 
Microsoft Apps 
Office Workloads Office 365-for SharePoint, Exchange and Teams 
Remote Desktop Server Move RDS role to Azure VMs with Windows Server Windows Virtual Desktop 
ISV App 
ISV APP Azure hosted app (Azure Marketplace) SaaS packaged app (Azure Marketplace) 
Server Roles 
Active Directory Deploy Active Directory in Azure VMs with Windows Server Azure Active Directory and Azure Active Directory Domain Services 
DNS Deploy DNS Servers in Azure VMs with Windows Server Azure DNS 
File Server Azure Files Service and Azure File Sync with Windows Server Storage Migration Service 

At Proxar IT, we can assess your current environment, plan and design. And we can also implement an upgrade or migration, or introduce a new solution.

Additionally, we can help minimise your costs with the savings that can be made with Azure Hybrid Benefit and Reserved Instances. Which can offer sizable discounts compared to Azure pay-as-you-go pricing.

Microsoft Server and Azure Licensing 

There’s a lot to consider with Windows Server licensing including:

  • Core-based processor licensing 
  • Server Client Access Licenses (CALs)
  • RDS CALS
  • Software Assurance
  • Downgrade Rights
  • Azure Server Subscriptions, Azure Hybrid Benefit, Reserved Instances

We always get the best pricing for our customers. We utilize several channels to get the best value. At Proxar IT, we’re a Microsoft Gold Partner and Cloud Solution Provider. This means we offer cloud licensing directly to customers including on-premises and Azure.

Azure Reservations:

  • Azure Reserved VM Instances
  • SQL DB Reservations
  • SQL Managed Instance
  • Azure Cosmos DB
  • Azure SQL Data Warehouse
  • App Services
  • Azure Databricks unit reservations

Server Subscriptions

  • Microsoft Server Client Access Licenses
  • Remote Desktop Services (RDS) CALs
  • SQL Server

Also, we can offer Office licensing including Office 365 and Microsoft 365.

Managing and Monitoring Windows Server

In summary, when we work with our customers, we aim to help them modernise their server environments. And we do this with a fully managed infrastructure as well as hosting in our data centres. We also provide Patch Management and Server Monitoring for clients. And, additionally, we provide hosting for virtual and physical machines either  on-premise or Azure

For more information about Windows servers then please contact us