Editor’s note: The free TechRepublic download “Windows NT to 2003 Migration Risk Management Matrix” is a handy tool for anticipating and managing problems that may occur throughout the NT/WS2K3 migration process. TechProGuild’s “Documenting your network prior to an upgrade from Windows NT to Windows Server 2003” also provides valuable information for IT pros facing a migration. (You’ll need a paid TechProGuild membership to access that article.) And when you’re ready to drill down on the costs involved in a server upgrade, you may want to buy ZDNet’s Financial Scenario Planner: Server Upgrades. If you’d like to preview what the tool offers, you can download a free, limited-functionality version.

Pinpointing the costs
Determining costs is one of the first challenges strategic-level planners must face when considering a new IT initiative. ZDNet’s Financial Scenario Planner: Server Upgrades tool will help you figure out how much your organization is likely to spend on new server equipment. The tool facilitates an organized approach to performing the financial calculations that will determine the most cost-effective option for your organization. The tool includes separate worksheets designed to assess four scenarios: buy, build, lease, and stay. Each sheet enables you to enter actual and budgeted costs in these areas:

  • Variable current costs (telecommunications fees, consulting fees, direct and indirect personnel costs, etc.)
  • Fixed current costs (warranty uplift options, WAN/frame relay/leased line cost, etc.)
  • Implementation charges (implementation tools, temporary staffing, expired asset disposal, etc.)
  • Projected variable costs (telecommunications fees, overpurchase costs, etc.)
  • Projected fixed costs (direct and indirect personnel costs, etc.)

The tool also includes special categories that allow you to factor in:

  • Indirect cost savings—Line of business (non-IT) savings that result from the upgrade
  • Revenue enhancements—Additional revenue resulting from performance improvements or particular features that the upgrade provides
  • Revenue curtailments—Shortfalls that may occur due to performance degradations in your existing server solution

Making a purchase decision on new server equipment entails a lot of homework, but ZDNet’s Financial Scenario Planner: Server Upgrades can help you ensure that no cost considerations are overlooked.