Riordan Manufacturing Computing Platform Upgrade Plan
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Riordan Manufacturing Computing Platform Upgrade Plan
Riordan manufacturing, a plastic and polymers maker, is in the process of examining their computing network hardware and operating systems. Some of Riordans locations are about to have computer upgrades; other locations may also need hard updates. This paper examines Riordans current situation, provides some alternatives to consider, and suggests a plan to upgrade and implement new server and workstation operating systems throughout the Riordan Network.
Existing Computing Platform at Riordan Manufacturing
Riordan Manufacturing has facilities throughout the US and in the Far East. They have a headquarters location in San Jose, CA, a development and manufacturing facility in Pontiac MI, and manufacturing plants in Albany, GA and Hangzhou, China. While some of the locations have adequate computing platforms, other locations, like Pontiac MI, will require upgrades need to be made to their current network to update their existing platforms to be able to incorporate new standards and operating system feature.
San Jose, CA will have the most up to date computer systems once the hardware upgrade already in progress is complete and will be able to accommodate the newer operating system, and meet new software requirements. As the upgrade is still just beginning to be done, it may be possible and desirable to incorporate this hardware upgrade into the rollout of the workstation operating system upgrade.
Albany, GA will need to have upgrades to their work stations. If upgraded to the next operating system, the eight P1-233 MHz workstations with 64 MB of RAM will at least have to memory upgrades. Memory is fairly cheap now and could add to the performance of the computers. If the latest operating system be selected for Albany, more substantial upgrades to their computing platform will need to be done.
At the Pontiac, MI location, all of the computing platforms need to be addressed. Riordan needs to replace their fifteen 486-based computers with systems that are more appropriate for the proposed operating system. If upgraded to Windows XP, the P1-233 and the P2 systems will need more memory – a minimum of 256 Mbytes – to function with the upgrade or will need to be replaced if upgraded to the latest operating system. Although there will be a significant cost for new computers and memory, upgrading to faster, more compatible machines or to adequate memory configurations will be beneficial to Riordan in the long run.
Hangzhou, China is up to speed with their computers. This branch will be the easiest branch to upgrade a system. They meet the minimal requirements, and then some, for upgrading the operating systems of the network. No money will need to be spent on hardware for this branch of the company. The OS upgrade turn over time will be quick and easy.
In summary, there are a few problems that can be resolved with hardware upgrades in the Riordan network. Pontiac, MI needs the most attention at this time as they are way behind the other Riordan locations. Albany, GA just needs to at least put in more memory to the existing computers to be able to accommodate the operating system upgrade. San Jose will not need hardware updates after their ongoing platform upgrade and the China locations computing platform is ready for upgrade now.
Need For Platform Upgrade
Riordan requires this system upgrade to maintain an advantage in a growing market. By upgrading their systems they will be able to maximize efficiency and minimize downtime. The new system offers additional features and advanced security to protect sensitive material that can be found in their network and reduce bottle necks with advanced network monitor utilities. Their current network topology is slow and insecure at best. With technology progressing at such an urgent rate, the need to upgrade is clear. Without implementing an operating system upgrade now, Riordan risks down time, incompatibly issues, and limiting themselves with their networks current ability. Riordan management recognizes the need to upgrade the operating systems on their computing platforms; Riordan management has issued a service request which requests that upgrades to the corporate computing operating systems be investigated. The service request follows:
Platform Upgrade Options
There are several options available to upgrade the current system. The first option is not to upgrade at all. Second, is to upgrade to Windows XP and Server 2003 as the system standards. The final option will be to wait until Windows Vista Client and Windows Longhorn Server are released and install them as standards. Details on each of the options are provided here:
Not upgrading the current system.
Although this option was considered is not a viable option. Choosing not to upgrade the operating systems will leave Riordan in the position of having no-longer-supported computing platforms in their production environment. Network downtime will increase as the computing platform ages and Riordans network computing architecture that supports its primary business will continue to fall behind technically.
Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Pro.
Windows XP Pro requires a minimum configuration of a 233 Mhz Processor, 128 Mbytes RAM, 1.5 Gbytes available on the Hard Drive and super VGA or higher display resolution. Some PC hardware replacements will be necessary and memory upgrades will be required on other computers. If this option is selected, all clients will be upgraded to XP Pro and all servers will be upgraded Windows Server 2003. Windows Server 2003 recommends a minimum configuration of a 550 Mhz processor, 256 Mbytes or more of RAM to a maximum of 4 Gbytes, and a recommended minimum of 1.25 to 2.0 Gbytes of available hard disk space. Servers in the Riordan network could use memory upgrades but should otherwise be sufficient.
Compelling arguments that suggest that Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 would be the correct choice for deployment into the Riordan network include:
These platforms are fully tested, updated with OS fixes, and “burned in” on many production installations. The stability of these operating systems will tend to maintain a stable network.
XP Pro and Windows 2003 Server ae known quantities; training, documentation, and troubleshooting and other procedures are readily available and can be drawn on. Expertise in installation, maintenance and troubleshooting is available from multiple sources: Internet, professional services, educational resources, etc.