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Is it enough to just upgrade your IT infrastructure?

Most companies regularly upgrade their IT infrastructure to stay aligned with the support policy of the respective system editor. For example, at present, a lot of IT teams are migrating their Microsoft Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012 R2, because the last date of support for Windows Server 2003 is July 14, 2015.

We know it’s imperative for every company to upgrade its infrastructure, but the question is: Is that enough?

If we compare Windows Server 2003 with Server 2012, we observe a time difference of almost 10 years between the two versions. In the context of technologies, it is considered to be a huge gap. As per my experience: In such projects, many companies simply upgrade the version and retain the processes from the old infrastructure. The key reasons being: non-availability of training opportunities for people, no/insufficient budget for training, dearth of time, and the worst reason (from my point of view) is the age-old conservative mentality / approach – “It is working for me, so, why do I need to change it?”. Now, this means that such companies will be using new technology with old processes i.e. zero improvements. Do you think it is an efficient way of modernization? Don’t you agree that the improvements and all the cool new features of these new Systems would really help improve an organization’s services?

Continuing with the example of the Windows Server versions … in my previous company, people used old batch scripts and ran them manually on every server. When I looked into it, I saw that there were almost seventy lines in the script; and hence, asked: “Do you know that you can use Powershell, and do the same job in less than ten lines? And that you can use the same script and execute it remotely?” I explained, though it is working for the time-being, what would actually happen when this version is upgraded; and how much time would be spent in just running all these scripts, if one refrains from using new features on centralized management.

A very useful feature – the Powershell Desired State Configuration (DSC) – was introduced with Powershell V4. With this feature, one can deploy a specific configuration and also regularly monitor it. This feature helps reduce the time of configuration (and save money), and guarantees that the services will always be configured as per the requirements (maintaining the quality of service). Even if someone accidentally disrupts (or hacks in to) the existing configuration, DSC will auto-reinstate the last-known best configuration. So, if a company undertakes an upgrade, but doesn’t use such useful features that come with the package, it will only lose out on big cost-saving and process efficiency-enhancing opportunities.

Now, do you still think that just ‘upgrading’ is enough, OR is it also essential to consider …. the actual logic behind upgrading the infrastructure and how much money can be saved by efficiently using these new systems? Share your thoughts.

 

To add comments, please visit the SogetiLabs blog: Is it enough to just upgrade your IT infrastructure?

Gregory Bouchu
Gregory Bouchu
Senior Infrastructure Consultant
+41 (0) 22 879 16 50
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