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Future in the IT world

By EVGA ·
I am wondering what other IT administrators are doing about the future life of Microsoft products.

For Example

Let?s say there is a Small to medium Company that has 200 Computers and 6 Servers. One of the Server's is a SQl 2005, and Exchange 2003 the rest are various application servers, File and print server with Microsoft 2003 Standard on all servers.


All 200 Computers are Very old; MPC's (out of Business.) Ready to Collapse any day. Most importantly running OEM XP.

NEXT Problem
Company is Expanding Computers have a compilation of Office 2000 - 2007 and out of installs having to buy more 2007.

Being an IT guy I am constantly bombarded from different Companies of how IT pro's are dealing with what to do in this situation.

This is My Main Idea but not being an expert in any of the area's I wanted to throw this out to the world to fine tune the most cost effective solution with out cutting corners and be completely legal. Also getting to a point where you don't have to spend a large amount of money on an IT Budget every year (keep costs down between write off periods)


My Current Suggestion
1. Upgrade new PC's to Windows 7

2. Physical Servers are brand new in most of these situations and can support ESX and Virtualize with failover between 4 servers (2 acting as SANS, 2 acting as Servers) with Minor upgrades (MEMORY, PROCS)

Virtualize with Server 2008 R2.

3. Upgrade to Windows 2007 OR Wait for 2010 (I don't know)

How about Software Assurance?

4. Upgrade Exchange server to what Once again torn by waiting for 2010 or jumping to 2007


Any Ideas or thoughts would be appreciated

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All Answers

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As to Office suites

by seanferd In reply to Future in the IT world

What are they used for? Mostly a little word processing? Or are MS Office apps all used to their full potential and need to integrate heavily with other MS software?

You may be able to save a load using Open Office. It is very capable.

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Well my responses to your suggestions

by OH Smeg In reply to Future in the IT world

1. Upgrade new PC's to Windows 7

May not be a good idea particularly if there are Any Propriety Software Applications involved that do not work on either Vista or 7. Also is the staff capable of the move to a different OS and issues that come with it?

Depending on what the company actually does it may be a better idea to stick with XP and allow others to Beta Test 7.

Also instead of buying systems with their Own OS's have you looked into M$ Volume Licensing of both the OS and Required Applications?

2. Physical Servers are brand new in most of these situations and can support ESX and Virtualize with failover between 4 servers (2 acting as SANS, 2 acting as Servers) with Minor upgrades (MEMORY, PROCS)

Virtualize with Server 2008 R2.


Again 2008 may not be the best application available will all of the existing software support this option? Is there any Dedicated Hardware/Software that will not work with this?

Also do they require Vitalization or even have the slightest need for it? it's pointless upping the Licensing Costs if it's never going to be used or required.

3. Upgrade to Windows 2007 OR Wait for 2010 (I don't know)

Depends on what the company does here but remember that if they must submit any Electronic Documents as a DOC Format neither of these applications support this option by Default. If they where to loose one Tender for this reason that would not be thanking you one little bit.

4. Upgrade Exchange server to what Once again torn by waiting for 2010 or jumping to 2007

Well any 64 Bit version of Exchange would most likely do here or even with a place this small an earlier 32 Bit Version may be sufficient, it all depends on what they do, how they do it and what is actually required. While new is sometimes better it is quite often worse too so you need to look at the Business itself and see what they do, what they need and so on before fostering changes on them that they do not want.

Don't get me wrong I'm all for change where it improves things but I do not support the idea of change for the sake of change. It's always better to have a Standard Hardware/Software roll out across the entire Network with the only real differences being CPU Power, HDD Space and installed RAM on the Different Computers depending on what the individuals using them do.

For instance you wouldn't have a Graphic Artist designing Web Sites using a Low Powered Word Processing Work Station and you do not need the Secretary who only does word Processing and organizing a Appointment Calender requiring a High End Graphics Station. So you start with a Base Layout of the Hardware and modify the different workstations on what is required. Add in Volume Licensing and you'll save the business a considerable amount of Scratch.

Also on the server side depending on what is actually done here there may be better alternatives to Windows Server Applications, It really all depends on the company involved.

There is no One Size Fits All no matter what M$ would have you believe.

Col

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Thanks for the Response

by EVGA In reply to Well my responses to your ...

I would have to agree with COL the third post. I want to provide a little more information Everything is upgradable to win 7 and 2008 and the reason why i present this along with never versions of everything is one main reason

If I had my way we would be on a open volume license program with windows xp and be able to move licenses around to new computers and i can let the world mature windows 7.

With that being said Having computers on the brink of dieing and losing this OS means that I need to get a new computer and then get some OS and I can no longer get XP in VOL I can get win 7 or win vista. I understand that I can still get oem copies of XP but how long will that really last, and like you said Volume Licensing is cheaper and you right it is. So lets say Microsoft no longer is selling oem xp and I make the decision of windows 7 is my older network going to support Exchange 2003 and along with supporting windows server 2003. I imagine the functionality is better for windows 7 with windows server 2008.


As for Office I agree ,doc is our biggest along with Outlook. Once again functionality is torn between newer versions of outlook with the older version of exchange. I think for a Short term fix is to buy 2007 in vol and do Software assurance will that let me upgrade later if need be. So if i do decide to update my exchange server I can get better functionality out of me office products.
Thanks

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Six of one Half a Dozen of the other really

by OH Smeg In reply to Thanks for the Response

BTW MS is still selling Volume License XP as of 10 minutes ago I checked on their Web Site under a Partners Link. I know that I can supposedly still buy individual Licenses of XP for any customer with Volume Licenses indefinitely. But till Vista was released M$ was still selling Licensed for DOS. After Vista was released they wanted me to buy a Vista Enterprise License and use the Backward License to load DOS. Well as that was $60.00 for a DOS License as apposed to several Hundred for a Vista License I opted to not buy the Vista Licenses.

is my older network going to support Exchange 2003 and along with supporting windows server 2003.

Yes 7 works quite happily with Server 2003 and older versions of Exchange though the 2007 Version of Exchange is not a 64 Bit Application and not a 32 Bit Application so it has bigger Mail Boxes and better Resource Handling and a few other nice features. From my current experience, but you need to understand that I'm still testing and there is no definitive answer yet.

I imagine the functionality is better for windows 7 with windows server 2008.

Except for the Exchange issues there really is no difference.

Once again functionality is torn between newer versions of outlook with the older version of exchange

Only real stumbling block with Office 2007 is the Ribbon which a lot of end users do not like and claim that it is harder to actually use. Well the DOC to DOCx Format is a killer if you for argument sake submit Electronic tenders to Government Departments they will only accept these in the DOC format and if they come in a different format they will ignore them so in effect that Tender was never submitted. Bit of a killer if that is important though.

will that let me upgrade later if need be.

With SA they send out the new software when it becomes available so you can upgrade any time you wish. Though I would check out any changes that may have been made recently tot he Software Assurance Agreement. M$ may have slipped some changes in there.

So if i do decide to update my exchange server I can get better functionality out of me office products.

Not much difference except for the Bigger Mailboxes in Exchange that could not be incorporated into the older 32 Bit Versions but otherwise if that isn't important there are not may differences and certainly none that would be a reasonable excuse to upgrade to newer Software without other reasons.

Col

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Issue is hardware and compatibility

by CG IT In reply to Six of one Half a Dozen o ...

Windows 7 doesn't support peripheral equipment over about 2 years old. This is mostly dependent upon the perhipheral device mfg creating drivers for their products. HP is about the worst company for providing older printer/scanner driver support for Windows 7.

The other factor is application compatibility. Some applications just are not compatible with Windows 7. Again mfg dependent. Some older CD/DVD burning programs are not compatible,as an example. Knowing what programs users use and whether they are compatible with Windows 7 goes a long way in determining whether or not it's financially feasable to upgrade.

These are factors as well as other have to be taken in consideration when planning upgrades.

Virtualization to consolidate servers in a SMB market really doesn't have merit unless the electrical and floor space costs are so high as to warrant it's usage.

So with many financial considerations such as application support and peripheral support, the estimated costs for Windows 7 deployment can just considerably once new peripheral equipment replacement and 3rd part software purchasing & licensing are factored in.

If the overall system works, serves the users well without many problems, upgrading to a new operating system can be simply wanting the latest and greatest rather than providing overall benefits.

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