NT4 users face upgrade dilemma

Hundreds of IT departments are considering their options as Microsoft finally withdraws mainstream support from its NT4 server at the end of this month.

Those still running NT4 face the choice of migrating to alternative operating systems or running the server unsupported. Although datacentre and mission-critical systems are likely to have been migrated already, analyst firm Gartner estimates that 35% of users will still have an NT4 server running in their businesses. Gartner research director Ian Brown said many of those users could find themselves running the NT4 server unsupported during 2005 because they have been unable to keep track of the configuration of all the servers they have deployed.

Microsoft has recommended migration from NT4 to Window Server 2003, but Brown said some users are seriously considering Linux instead. "With a non-mission critical workload, Linux is attractive as support is available informally and it can run [in a basic] OS environment," he said. Another option for users is to choose virtualisation technology such as VMWare or Microsoft Virtual Server 2005, which allow a server to run multiple operating systems as partitions on the same physical hardware.

News source: ComputerWeekly.com

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