Why Leave Token-Ring?Written by Andy Quick
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Why Leave Token-Ring? Andy Quick
One day I was having a discussion with a telecommunications director, swapping stories about network projects we were each working on. "We propose to spend $100,000 replacing all of our token-ring local area networks throughout system next year.", he said. "Token-Ring is old, out dated junk that has reached end of its life." "So what?", I responded. "Just because something is old doesn't mean it needs to be replaced." "Come on.", he responded, "Token-Ring completely limits ability of new applications on desktop to take advantage of client-server and web-based applications. PC's are useless on Token-Ring networks." "I completely disagree", I argued. "I'll bet you're about to waste some of your company's money on this project." Before you decide to make a blanket switch from a Token-Ring architecture to Ethernet, analyze costs, benefits, and risks.
Show Me The Money
"What money are you saving by switching to Ethernet?", I asked my colleague. "What's financial justification?". "Like I said", he responded, "Ethernet is cheaper and faster. Over time, our company will spend less on keeping networks up." Although this may be true, investing $100,000 without quantifying benefits up front may mean you're throwing money down drain. We shouldn't rely on our gut to make these types of spending decisions. Unfortunately, many technology professionals attempt to justify projects using qualitative benefits. Always strive to convert qualitative benefits into hard numbers. "That would be nice, but it would take forever to quantify benefits" he said. "This is a strategic project. You really can't put a value on this type of initiative." I totally disagree. But rather than argue further, I decided to perform analysis on spot with help of my colleague.
Identify Conversion Costs
Before you can determine whether switching from Token-Ring to Ethernet makes sense, you have to identify costs of actual conversion. Usually, these are easy to quantify. My friend provided me with following figures:
Per PC, conversion costs are:
Labor - $75 Cabling - $200 (they're running category I cabling and need to convert to category 5)
Per floor, conversion costs are:
Ethernet switch - $150 (includes labor)
Per site, conversion costs are:
Intra-floor cabling - $200 (includes labor)
The next question I asked was how many sites, floors per site, and PC's per floor were in scope of his project. He again provided me with good numbers:
Site A - 5 floors, 20 PC's per floor Site B - 1 floor, 50 PC's per floor Site C - 3 floors, 17 PC's per floor Site D - 8 floors, 22 PC's per floor
So entire project cost would be calculated as follows:
Site A Conversion Cost = $200 + (5 x $150) + (5 x 20 x $275) = $28,450 Site B Conversion Cost = (1 x $150) + (50 x $275) = $13,900 Site C Conversion Cost = $200 + (3 x $150) + (3 x 17 x $275) = $14,675 Site D Conversion Cost = $200 + (8 x $150) + (8 x 22 x $275) = $49,800
"CORPORATE CHANGE AND MODERN TECHNOLOGY AT THE CUTTING EDGE OF THE NEW FRONTIER"Written by Bill Rosoman
"The next information revolution is well under way... It is not a revolution in technology, machinery, techniques, software, or speed. It is a revolution in CONCEPTS." (Drucker, 1998)
"Corporate or organisational change". Big words, but what do they mean?
Within an organisation there is a culture, sometimes good sometimes bad. Some of it is subtle, like how does an organisation and staff adopt and use technology?
This article concentrates on Technology Adoption and Change.
It strikes me, having worked with computers since early 80's and used email since mid 80's that some people have not reached 20th century let alone 21st century. I liken it to a car. Most people drive a car and use all gears; with technology most people seem to use 1st and maybe 2nd gear but do not even know that it has 1 maybe 3 more gears.
Technology seems to be a big mystery still to a lot of people. Well what do we do?
Technology can make an organisation and staff so much more productive; make internal and external communications so much easier and efficient. Reporting on events, finances are so much easier with use of technology. That is, save time and money.
Technology is providing a revolution in workplace and at home. The problem is that most humans have not caught up with 10% of it yet.
I have some suggestions and plans about how we can make organisation and staff much more in tune with latest IT (Information Technology)
Information Technology (IT) Plan Each organisation really needs an IT plan. What technology do you need, what training do you need, how will you implement IT across organisation? What do you need and what can you afford, or can you not afford not to have time and money involved? If you are still doing things manually and have a mountain of paperwork, will your organisation be around in 2 years time? Should you buy or lease some our all of your IT needs? Staff Training and awareness One critical thing I have found is that an organisation can provide latest technology but staff need training in how to use it and on an ongoing basis. It is not good enough to have one session on some new technology and then say that is it! There seems to be some fear of IT and some reluctance to learn and adopt sometimes as well, this can be for an individual or an organisation as a whole. I believe one should use and reflect IT internally so that externally you will be seen as a user of IT. Computers and Networks Are computers you have adequate or should you look at an ongoing replacement plan? Should computers be networked so you can rationalise resources like Internet and printers, scanners etc? Are there better ways of doing what you are doing? Should you not review current policies and procedures in light of advancing IT and adopt new methods for doing things? You could for instance abandon a lot of face-to-face meetings, paperwork etc if you adopted new technology like Web cams and an online briefcase! Common software Is software you are using common across organisation and is it adequate for tasks expected, not an overkill or an underkill? Is software legal and what is plan to keep up to date with software and related issues? Agreed process for communication and reporting of information Does organisation have an agreed internal and external communications and reporting procedure? And more importantly is it used every day by everybody? Training should be given to all staff on an ongoing basis as to processes for communications and reporting. Internet The Internet is such a wonderful tool for research, communication, software, updates, ebusiness, b2b, etc, but how little it is understood and used! The Internet should be your first choice, for communication, to look up a phone number or to find software or information, cost and speed is usually much better than by any other means. Things that should be used on Internet; * Email * Online Banking * Organisation Website * News Groups * Briefcase * Information * Software * Support * Sales * Virtual Office Like today, I had a bid in on a LAN card, I have won bid, contacted seller and expect it will be at my address on my return from my current business trip. All done online and some 400 miles away from usual office. What would we do without Internet. Email Perhaps one of most widely used part of Internet is Email. But it is one of most abused. I spend Monday mornings downloading weekend's email; this is usually round 150 to 200 emails of which 95% is spam and or junk mail. Most un-solicited mail turns me right off in a big hurry. The other way email is abused is friends and associates sending large attachments. When I would far prefer idea of sending me a link to file and then I will decide whether to download it or not. Perhaps last thing is all viruses sent by email. Personally I do not use or recommend Outlook Express or MS Exchange as they constantly attacked with viruses. I use Incredimail from www.incredimail.com as it is fun and also recommend Foxmail, or Pegasus etc. I do not recommend Outlook Express or MS email as these are ones attacked most often with viruses and anyway are dumb programs. WWW: World Wide Web (or sometimes Wait) Well this is new toy on block, but is only a real small part of Internet. There are other things like newsgroups at http://groups.google.com and like ftp, try ftp://ftp.paradise.net.nz/VideoClips/ has some great movie clips, etc.