Challenges & Considerations
The main challenge in this scenario is cost. With HBF being a charity they do not have a massive IT budget but like most businesses still need quick, reliable computers to work on to ensure they are able to carry out their jobs as efficiently as possible. When a member of staff’s PC is being upgraded, everything must be migrated across successfully and smoothly, ensuring no data is lost and all programmes are re-installed. The upgraded machine should be setup identical to before the upgrade so that the user is familiar with it immediately.
Continue to work on the older machines and put up with the issues they are currently having.
HBF could purchase new machines, and migrate all data and programmes across, this is a relatively costly option at an average price of £400 ex VAT for a mid-range spec machine.
SSD upgrade – An upgrade of the internal hard drive of a machine from a traditional spinning disk drive to an SSD (Solid State Drive) will vastly increase the performance at a fraction of the cost of a new machine (between £60-£100 ex VAT depending on storage capacity). This should increase the life spam of the machine by 3 years or more.
HBF had multiple slow and old machines in the office that were preventing staff from working as productively as possible due to sluggish performance and frequent crashing of the operating system. Everything took a while to load and apps often froze or became unresponsive.
Taking in to consideration HBF’s need for improved performance on multiple machines but with a relatively low IT budget, the sensible solution in this scenario was to implement multiple SSD upgrades on the machines in the office.
Initially an audit was carried out to determine which of the machines were the slowest and most in need of a performance boost, as well as what programmes needed to be migrated i.e. Microsoft Office, Sage etc.
Once Qdos decided on the order of which machines would be upgraded the process of upgrading the machines began, starting with the initial hardware upgrade and re-install of the operating system, and ensuring all updates for the operating system were installed in the process. Next we installed the required programmes including antivirus so that this new installation mirrored the existing setup on the old workstation.
Finally, we migrated the data from the old hard disk to the new, quicker SSD using a USB caddy. The previous hard disk was retained as a backup in case anything was required from it at a later stage.
Typically the SSD upgrade process took around two hours to complete, depending on the data and programmes being migrated. With the new SSD installed there was a significant improvement in the speed of the machines that was noted by HBF staff and it came at a fraction of the cost of a new machine, making it the perfect solution for any company looking to improve performance without spending their whole IT budget.