VA unable to migrate third-party medical applications – likely to pay steep premium for extended support of antiquated Microsoft technologies

VA Unable To Migrate Third-Party Medical Applications -– February 18, 2015, By Calvin Hennick, FedTech Magazine

July 14 — a date that virtually every agency IT director has circled on his or her calendar getting closer. That’s the day when Microsoft will end all support for its popular Windows Server 2003 operating system. Although the end-of-support announcement came well over a year ago, agencies are still working to get data and applications moved onto newer OSs, and some are already preparing for what they’ll do if they can’t meet the deadline… The Veterans Affairs Department is currently unable to migrate some third-party medical applications that aren’t supported by Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2012. “In order to provide continuity of care, the VA may need to continue to support Server 2003 until the vendors update their code,” says Art Gonzalez, deputy CIO for service delivery and engineering at the VA. That support would have to come in the form of a custom service agreement with Microsoft, which is likely to carry a steep premium……

G2X TAKE: I am sure the VA is not happy about having to pay a premium to support an antiquated platform, but it is not as if this was a surprise. The good news is that there is opportunity through migration. In addition to receiving the security benefits and improved features that come with migration to a newer server OS; a number of agencies are using the switch as an opportunity to downsize or reconfigure their physical infrastructure and reallocate resources. “Veterans Affairs will review each server and determine if it can be vir­tual­ized or if the application running on the server can be consolidated, saving on hardware, support and licensing costs,” says Gonzalez. Firms with capabilities in these areas may want to reach out to Art to see what kind of help may be needed.

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