Well, 2013 has gotten off to a great start for many of you and now may be a good time to evaluate your current IT situation and look forward to upcoming changes by Microsoft.
First, evaluate your current product’s position in the life cycle: Microsoft maintains a web page listing product lifecycle information. It’s a good idea to take a look at the major products your company uses. If you are using two of their popular older operating systems, Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, you should have a plan to upgrade. The current version of the .Net Framework, widely used by developers, will not install on these operating systems. This year, more and more new programs will not run on Windows XP. Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011, for example, does not run on Windows XP (Click Here for Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet).
During the past year Microsoft has had several major product releases: Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, SQL Server 2012 (Click Here for Windows Server Operating System Lifecycle Chart), and Visual Studio 2012. Office 2013 is available for volume license customers today as well as the general public via retail. The clear direction in these releases is integration with mobile devices and SkyDrive for access to/from the cloud.
If you are looking at implementing/upgrading machines into your network, it is important to evaluate the different versions and capabilities of the Windows 8 family. There are 3 main versions of Windows 8 to evaluate. Windows RT is designed for tablets/slates and will function only with Apps from the Windows Store and will not run legacy software. Windows 8 is the home based version and will not allow the tablet/PC to join a corporate domain. Windows 8 Pro and Enterprise are the business editions, and can run on tablets and/or PC’s, which allow the machines to join the corporate domain.
Among the Microsoft Dynamics products, CRM moved to two releases per year, which are seamless for cloud-based customers, and SL 2011 released Feature Pack 1 (which features Office 365 and SharePoint Online support, Business Analyzer, and more).
Several of our clients have had older equipment fail in the last few months. If you are a small company and your database server does not have some form of RAID hard drive structure, please contact AccuNet to evaluate your current situation.
Looking ahead, should your accounting department users wish to start running Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012, what versions of Microsoft Dynamics do you need? SL 2011 and CRM 2011 (with Rollup 11) are all supported on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. Business Portal, for SL, runs on SharePoint 2010 and will not be supported on Windows Server 2012 until Service Pack 2 is released. No date has been stated for that. But SL 2011, FP 1, Business Portal are supported for browsing on Windows 8.
In conclusion, take a few minutes to consider what older equipment and software you use and what new products you’d like to acquire. AccuNet will be happy to assist as you move ahead.
Brian Gorenflo, Network Services Manager
Michael Milligan, Business Systems Manager
614-899-9900 ext. 119