Operating systems don’t seem to live as long as they used to. In April Microsoft ended support for Windows XP. A year from now it will do the same for Windows Server 2003. This is just the latest example of a problem that’s not going to go away: OS obsolescence. The clock is already ticking on Windows 7. Microsoft says it will end support for it in 2020, that’s just five and a half years away.
Each time this happens it costs companies time and money. Just look at what’s going on with XP and Server: There are about 450 million devices still running XP—everything from servers to PCs to ATMs, and about 10 million more on Server 2003. While some companies will arrange a private service contract with Microsoft, most are going to have to migrate to a new OS. As a result, some companies are spending a lot of money sending highly skilled IT staff to remote offices—or even hiring remote IT staffers—just so they can swap discs or enter some keystrokes. That’s kind of like having LeBron James wash the team’s uniforms.
Of course some of these devices just can’t make the trip from XP to whatever comes next. They’re operating with hard drives that are, by today’s tech standards, practically antiques. So companies will be getting a lot of shiny, new servers. Some of those will be bare metal, which means more time devoted to keystrokes and disc swapping. Others will be pre-configured, so you can just use the scripts you already have to get them up and running. Maybe.
You see, in addition to costing you money, each of these actions increases the chance that something will go wrong with the install. For example, someone could get distracted and hit the wrong keys. Or that script you were relying on to make things easier will likely need to be tweaked or modified. Given the rate of turnover in IT staff, it’s not unreasonable to expect that good old Biff who originally wrote the script a few years ago is now somewhere else. If you’re a bank or a retailer or any of a large number of other businesses, developing and maintaining scripts isn’t part of your core competencies, nor should it have to be.
There is in fact a simpler, more efficient and less expensive way to handle this problem.
IBM Endpoint Manager lets users perform advanced automation tasks across servers, including task sequencing – without programming skills. It also lets system administrators find and fix problems in minutes across all endpoints – regardless of OS or connection type. Endpoint Manager gives you enterprise application scalability with minimal infrastructure investment, implementation of endpoint configuration policies and automated feature and content updates.
In near real time IBM Endpoint Manager assesses your systems and software. It examines memory, processor, disk space, installed applications, device driver versions and determines the endpoints’ eligibility for migration to a new OS. It will do this for up to 250,000 different endpoints. Once IEM has made its assessment, it tells you on a single central console display, which ones are eligible and which are not. It also gives you a list of what actions, if any, need to be taken on eligible endpoints. Then it will take care of the configuration for you.
It does all this regardless of whether the machine is virtual or physical. It gives you greater control by using a single console to manage configuration on all your servers. Furthermore, the pre-built automation lets you deploy and manage servers for more than 90 different operating systems. All of which lets your IT staff put down the discs and get back to the things that matter.
To learn more, attend the upcoming IBM Endpoint Manager live demo.