To upgrade or not to upgrade?

By Dave Kearns, Network World |  Operating Systems

I hope you all watched "The Networked World" last Friday, when Tom Henderson and I debated the pros and cons of upgrading to Windows 2000. Due to the vagaries of publishing deadlines, I'm actually writing this before the webcast -- but I did want to emphasize certain points that may or may not have been emphasized during the debate.

First, in almost all cases it is my belief that you should be updating/upgrading your users' desktops to Windows 2000 Professional. This is especially true for those using Windows NT 3.51/4.0 workstation, but also for those using Windows 9x/Millennium Edition (nobody should be using ME in a business environment). Only if there's an application a user needs to run and its not supported on Windows 2000 would I not plan to upgrade. It is possible that the need to update CPUs, memory or disk space could postpone an upgrade, but that should only postpone it until your budget allows the necessary upgrades.

Second, regarding Windows 2000 Server. This, as we've said all along, takes a fair amount of planning. If you’ve planned, if you've set up a test environment, if you've tested your apps and designed your directory structure -- then there's no need to wait any longer. Windows 2000 Server is the most robust, most stable Windows operating system to ever come out of Redmond, Wash.

But if you haven't planned, if you haven't tested, if you don't have your directory tree laid out and ready to go -- don't upgrade your servers! Take the time, do the planning, and do the testing. It’s absolutely imperative that you do so. Otherwise, you're in for a whole load of trouble -- something no network manager ever needs more of.

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