Do you own a business or run a particular area of a company that requires specialized equipment? Maybe you’re a manufacturing company specializing in metal fabrication, woodworking or plastics? Are you an engineering department in charge of running the facilities of a large building complex? Or maybe you have a unique software program that must run on a legacy operating system? All these scenarios have a common thread. You have legacy software running on very old hardware and the clock is ticking.
Consider this if you will. These legacy systems are running some of your most expensive equipment. Your risk is significant. If it fails you can’t produce product. You can’t run your business. You impact other departments. Your labor force is sent home while you wait for parts to be shipped. Maybe you’re down for 2-3 days. For most companies this means thousands upon thousands of dollars lost, not to mention the damage done when you need to let your customer know there will be a delay in delivering your product.
You have a dilemma. Your equipment vendor has no intentions of upgrading the software to a current operating system (maybe the original programmers have long ago left the building) or if they can it’s at a cost prohibitive price. You can try to load an old copy of XP on a new machine and transfer the software but you may run into an encrypted product key that only the vendor can unlock and migrate (at a significant cost).
What solution will reduce your risk, be cost effective and continue to run your equipment without business interruption.
The answer lies in virtualization. Though the technology has been around for many years it’s only become prevalent in the last 10-15 years with the large scale growth of data centers and the need for fortune 500 companies to find a solution for server sprawl. No longer does the use of virtualization be only for big business and technology companies. Small businesses can now leverage this technology to benefit their companies.
Managed Service Providers like Xila Networks offer inexpensive solutions to businesses to overcome the challenges of legacy hardware and software systems (Case Study 1). Utilizing software tools like Oracle’s VirtualBox, Citrix XenServer, or ProxMox along with new hardware Xila Networks can have a legacy system virtualized and up and running in 1-2 days. If the old Windows XP machine which no longer receives security patches from Microsoft gets a virus, not to worry. You have a previous snapshot of the entire system. Restore the snapshot and you’re back up and running in minutes, not days!
Here at Xila Networks, we understand the challenges businesses have on a day to day basis. If your business is concerned about older equipment and worries about the possibility of downtime, maybe virtualization is a path to solving your legacy system challenges. Call us today at 702-664-2160 or visit our website, www.xilanetworks.com.
A Health Care Real Estate and Property Management company based in Las Vegas asked us to provide support for their IT systems. Their previous IT support company was unable to provide a solution for their aging facility management software and hardware. The software vendor wanted to charge a significant amount of money to transfer the license key to a new workstation. Additionally they needed a disaster recovery plan in case any of their systems failed and a proactive answer to keeping their systems running 24×7. Their current environment was as follows:
Windows XP workstation running Siemens Apogee Insight facility management software
Firewalls controlled by prior IT company
Local backups to NAS located in the same office
No software to remotely manage and monitor workstations running critical systems
The following steps were taken to alleviate the current risk factors the client had:
Virtualize XP workstation with Apogee Insight Software
Backup data to cloud
Transfer firewall management to client for future control
Install remote management and monitoring tools on critical system workstations
We virtualized the XP workstation along with the Apogee Insight software, running inside a new workstation with a Windows 7 Professional Operating System. We created periodic snapshots for disaster recovery purposes. They were able to continue using the legacy software at a very reasonable cost and the future ability to move the VHD to a new machine when needed.
For disaster recovery we implemented a 2 step process. Data was backed up locally to the NAS and then concurrently to a cloud site. System states(every single file on the drive) were created for their most critical systems.
Lastly, we transferred firewall ownership to the client for future management and installed remote monitoring software to provide timely alerts when systems failed or were in a degraded state.
Note: This is an example of one type of legacy software but the process can be implemented for any older machine with outdated software.