Chapter 4 - IT Upgrades: Where to start


So you’re going on the offensive with upgrades, you’ve outlined your IT budget, and you’re ready to start upgrading… where do you begin?


Are we consistently dealing with performance operation issues?
Are security holes under attack by malware and viruses?
Is my server over 2-3 years old?
Are you running a current version of Microsoft Exchange?
Are we using 32-bit or 64-bit SQL Server Architecture?
Is my PC hardware 2-3 years old?
Are our operating systems more than 1 version old?
Are any business applications more than 1 version behind the current?

Brand new versions of any software tend to be buggy. By adopting a conservative approach to implementing software upgrades, you get increased stability. However, if you wait until you are several versions behind, the cost of implementation can triple.

The best upgrade bang for your buck is new PCs. New computers are not too expensive, and most PC systems will include the latest version of Windows 10. This gives you a safe base to upgrade to the latest software versions.

The jump from 32-bit to 64-bit operating system is significant. More of a big deal than in the past with other Windows updates. Some programs might not work in the new system. So every software update moves you one step closer to incompatibility issues.

The longer you wait to upgrade your hardware and operating system, the harder it will be. In the future, software will be written for 64-bit operating systems.

Plan for this. If you don’t it sneaks up on you. If you’re far behind with upgrades for hardware and software, you may find yourself in a catch 22 situation.

For example, say your medical document management system runs on XP, and won’t work with Windows 10. If you can’t buy XP anymore, and you need to replace 50 machines, you’ve just thrown money down the 12-year-old software pit.

One day you download an update to XP, and suddenly your application won’t work anymore. Your anti-virus application updates, and it won’t work anymore.

At that point, you have two options: stay on XP and risk hacking and malware attacks, or spend a huge amount of money to bring your medical document management up to date.

Eventually, you’ll be forced to upgrade hardware. Start planning ahead to ensure mission critical applications will operate in your new environment.

Server upgrades: your server is the center of your company. Upgrading to a 64-bit architecture offers many advantages over 32-bit systems. Soaring past the 4GB memory cap of 32-bit systems, 64-bit SQL 2015 Servers offer greater processing capacity for complex queries and essential database operations.

64-bit architecture also supports a larger number of parallel processors. Your upgraded server can support more processes, more applications, and more users on a single system.

Flexible migration rate lets you upgrade at your own pace. Applications that access 32-bit servers can also connect to 64-bit servers without changes to the application code

For large companies with sophisticated applications, 32-bit SQL 2015 to 64-bit SQL 2015 migration gives you operational benefits, expansion, and better security.

Need help picking a place to start? Call SIG today: 918-227-9800.