As a company grows so does the demand for data. As that demand for data grows, the systems which functioned well can no longer carry the load. It’s time to upgrade. That term has been identified with many a company’s worst nightmares, but it doesn’t have to be.
Step One is do your research. Have an objective third party come in to analyze your current situation, familiarize themselves with your current operations and work with you to find the optimal solution. Be prepared by benchmarking your software products to ensure they are compatible with any new operating systems you are planning to implement. Is your internal wiring up to current standards? Do you have the recommended number of redundant systems in place in case of problems?
Step 2 Perform all required hardware equipment checks.It’s a good idea to run some practice scenarios before you actually go live.
Step 3 Ensure that you have backed up all configuration files prior to performing an upgrade of your system, in the event that your upgrade is unsuccessful and you need to restore your previous configuration. If you don’t already have a consistent cloud backup set up, this would be the perfect time to begin the process
Step 4 Access and download the license files required to upgrade (or newly install) and operate the appropriate software
Step 5 Train support staff: The same people who design, architect, and deploy the new network upgrade may not be the same people supporting it once it goes into production. This is especially true if you work for a large organization or hire outside consultants to handle the upgrade.
Step 6 Notify end users : Communication with end users is a key component for the success of a network upgrade. Because the network affects everyone, targeted communications must detail the impact of the upgrade. Understanding how end users access and leverage the network for their specific job role is important when explaining how an upgrade will impact their duties both during the maintenance window and after the upgrade is complete.
Step 7 Don’t forget the importance of a good security program/strategy. When planning and implementing the upgrade, make sure that security is integrated into the entire process. It’s often tempting to forego security measures just to get something up and running.
Step 8 Have a back-out strategy: Just as the rollout plan is critically important, so too is a back-out strategy. It is very important to have a stratgy for what happens when things don’t go as planned. Some might say that when Murphy’s law kicks in, as it sometimes does, you’ll be very happy you spent the time and effort in the event you do. Fortunately, we have managed a number of upgrades for our customers and when we help them plan it, we can anticipate many of the issues and avoid them.
If this is all too much, I will share with you that what we wrote here is the cliff notes version of a major upgrade. It’s a good idea to have our help.
Your IT Guys