Keys to cheaper Win 2000 migration

Keys to cheaper Win 2000 migration

Enterprise customers that have well-established procedures for managing their desktops should find moving to Windows 2000 less expensive and less complex than those that have not, according to a new study.

The study, released last week by US analyst The Meta Group concludes that well-organised companies can trim up to $US450 off the average per-desktop cost of upgrading to Win 2000 Professional, the desktop version of the operating system.

Reduced migration costs

`If enterprise users have refreshed their hardware every two to three years, the migration costs related to Win 2000 will be much less,' according to Kurt Schlegel, senior research analyst at Meta Group.

The Meta Group predicts the average cost of a Win 2000 upgrade will be $700 to $800 per desktop. But after certain factors are taken into consideration, those costs could drop to as low as $250 or go as high as $1,800 per user.

The biggest issue that could inflate costs is how fast enterprises choose to replace aging PCs that can't handle Win 2000's requirements, and how many machines they need to replace.

The Professional version runs best on a 300MHz Pentium II machine with a minimum of 128MB of RAM, according to The Meta Group. Microsoft's system requirements, however, are much lower: Pentium-compatible, 133MHz machines with 64MB of RAM are enough, according to MS.

The Meta Group's Schlegel says cost benefits also are likely for users that have established and maintained standard desktops, given that they know what to expect on each desktop during the migration process.

Overall, The Meta Group concludes that Win 2000 Professional is very stable and users should be able to deploy it with confidence, beginning in June.

`Unfortunately, it's a different story with the server,' Schlegel says. `A lot of the benefit is with IntelliMirror and Active Directory, but it's also where there is a lot of complexity.' The Meta Group, like many other consulting firms, is predicting Win 2000 server deployments won't hit critical mass until next year.

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