Strengthening the foundations
Most enterprises have made sizeable investments in hardware.
Some of them are now upgrading to reliable, cost-effective solutions. Shivani
For many organisations, investments in hardware have dropped
considerably. Compared to last year's investment by 76 percent of respondents,
this year, just about 66 percent of will invest in hardware.
Gigabit on the desktop will become a necessity, especially
for applications such as VoIP and video conferencing
However, this does not mean that overall expenditure on hardware
has come down. What it means is that organisations have been able to leverage
their existing systems to meet their growing needs. That said, IT investments
|Strengthening the foundations
Enterprises want to get moreout
of existing hardware investments. The adoption of new technologies such
as 64-bit operating systems and gigabit Ethernet is complemented by a
focus on optimising existing investments.
Dipping IT spends are a pointer
to more effective utilisation of existing resources. Organisations are
also looking at maintenance and strategic upgrades.
In terms of servers, most organisations prefer the Windows
Server and have no plans to shift. Among those using Windows NT/2000, many plan
to migrate to Windows 2003 or have already done so.
Windows 2000 has been deployed by 74 percent of respondents. 36 percent plan
to invest in Windows 2000 during this fiscal. The telecom industry takes the
lead here with at least 67 percent of respondents planning to invest in Windows
2000 servers during 2005-06.
Many have shifted to Windows 2003. During 2004-05, 39 percent of respondents
were using Windows 2003. In 2005-06, 42 percent intend to deploy Windows 2003.
Organisations which are still using Windows NT are also planning to shift to
Windows 2003 during this fiscal.
|An increase in gigabit Ethernet adoption will lead
to cheaper switches. With the infrastructure already in place, it will be
easier to handle gigabit networks and boost application performance
It is interesting that many companies continue to use Windows
NT and have no intention of ditching it for a later version. For instance, Hindustan
Lever (HLL) has Windows NT servers that have been running on four-year old hardware.
HLL will, however, shift to Windows 2003 depending upon application compatibility.
On the other hand, Wockhardt was using Windows NT earlier; it has now migrated
to Windows 2000 and 2003.
The choice of server OS depends on the criticality of functions.
For instance, Wockhardt is using Windows 2000/2003 and Unix-based servers for
various applications depending upon their criticality. Thus their mailing system
is on Windows 2000/2003, and proxy servers are on Linux. For hosting its business
database, Wockhardt uses Unix (AIX and Solaris) and Unix (Solaris) for its firewall.
Linux moves up
|If Windows remains a favourite with many, Linux is
slowly making inroads in the enterprise sector. 32 percent of the respondents
plan to deploy it
If Windows remains a favourite with many, Linux is slowly
making inroads into the enterprise sector as well. 32 percent of the respondents
are planning to deploy it.
Suresh Shenoy, VP-IT, Wockhardt says, "One of the reasons
for Linux gaining ground is due to its performance and reliability over Windows." Wockhardt uses 64-bit Power
4 and 5 processor-based servers to host its databases and it runs these on 64-bit
Linux or Unix.
Users cite adaptability of the operating system and application
integration as the reasons for preferring Windows Server vis-a-vis Linux.
K G Mohan
Although Unix-based servers do not generate the same level
of interest as Windows or even Linux, many still believe that Unix provides
a reliable computing environment. The platform is seen as the default choice
for running high-end or transaction-oriented applications. For instance, Unix
is used at HLL for running ERP, planning, data warehousing, etc. K G Mohan,
VP-IT, HLL believes that Unix servers provide more robust, reliable and secure
environment for running mission-critical applications.
- The number of organisations investing
in hardware has come down
- Windows 2003 is the preferred OS with
more companies planning to deploy it rather than Windows 2000 this fiscal
- 58 percent of respondents plan to invest
in notebooks in 2005-06
Many organisations are in the process of deploying 64-bit
processors. However this transition has been slow. For instance, although HLL
is using 64-bit hardware, it continues to use 32-bit servers. "We are testing
some of our applications on 64-bit Windows 2003," says K G Mohan.
GBE picks up steam
To improve productivity and efficiency enterprises are
adopting new technologies.
The demand for gigabit Ethernet (GbE) is a reflection of this trend
In case of networking, PCs and workstations are of prime concern
of many organisations. Though the investments have come down as compared to
the last fiscal, it is still on the higher side.
Every enterprise has made investments in workstations and PCs. 74 percent of
the organisations plan to invest in these during this fiscal year. Windows 2000
and XP remains to be the most common PC operating systems.
LAN connectivity is another area where investments are rising.
Although 93 percent have already invested in LANs, it's the second highest priority
in networking for the coming year with 66 percent planning to invest in it.
Switches, routers and hubs continue to remain hot favourites.
With top business priorities such as production and capacity
expansion and improving productivity and efficiency, enterprises are looking
to adopt new technologies for achieving the same. For instance, gigabit Ethernet
(GbE) will see increased demand among Indian enterprises. Arun Gupta, Senior
Director for Business Technology, Pfizer, feels that application demands will
drive adoption of gigabit Ethernet. Shenoy believes that as gigabit Ethernet
adoption increases, it will also lead to switches becoming cheaper. Since the
infrastructure is already in place, it will be easier to handle gigabit networks
to boost application performance.
HLL has already started using gigabit Ethernet for server
connectivity and fast Ethernet (100 Mbps) for desktop connectivity. Mohan believes
that gigabit on the desktop will become a necessity, especially for applications
such as VoIP and video conferencing.
- For organisations running Windows, deploying
Windows 2003 on new servers is a good idea. Migrating from Windows 2000
should be considered on a case-by-case basis. For organisations running
NT4, it is time to move
- When investing in LANs, do not go in for
anything lesser than gigabit Ethernet and Cat 6 cabling
- 64-bit Wintel and Lintel servers are a
good idea for fresh deployments, particularly with 64-bit x86 hardware
from both Intel and AMD
- Dual core desktops are entering the market.
This is the time to pilot them for users who run demanding applications
or find their present systems to be unresponsive
Shivani Shinde can be reached at email@example.com