Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

How frequently does your workplace conduct a tech-refresh of PCs (desktops and laptops) and do developers get newer equipment more often?

Example:

  • Developers every 18 months
  • Rest of workforce every 36 months
  • Laptops every 24 months
share|improve this question

migrated from stackoverflow.com Jul 23 '09 at 14:37

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

10 Answers 10

Where I work each PC is refreshed every 3 years. It is the same time for developers or other R&D personnel. However, developers have access to more powerful equipment. So, when an administrative assistant get his/her computer replaced, it will be replaced with a normal model. When developers or other members of the R&D organization needs to replace their computers it will get replaced normally by enterprise models.

There is an exception clause, where non-developers or non-r&d could get powerful equipment, but it should be justified by at least two managers.

share|improve this answer
2  
I've worked for several organizations with similar schedules, so I'll just upvote your answer instead of saying "me too!" :) –  ahockley Jul 23 '09 at 14:34

Gear is replaced on a 3-5 year rotation based on what you do. The Power users and Admins get their machines replaced every 3 years. We then trickle down those machines to people who are running older hardware but don't have a need to have a cutting edge machine. It's much cheaper to add two years to a hardware warranty than to buy even most of the cheapest of the low end desktops. After 5 years we retire most of the hardware, but keep some of it around as spares just in case.

share|improve this answer

Typically, when they break.

With the work that most of the users are doing on them (Word, Excel, Power Point, I.E.), there's very little benefit in upgrading them all the time.

As for the developers, the compiling is such a small part of the change-compile-test cycle now, unless the application is pretty massive, you don't get much benefit.

share|improve this answer

Where I work, most PCs are replaced every five years or so. Developer PCs are replaced more frequently - every three years. Most staff use basic applications (Office, Web, etc), but since developers are running the IDEs, Database tools, development servers, etc, they get preference for newer hardware.

share|improve this answer

It seems to be a rolling target in our organization, depending on the current state of PCs, the amount of warranty left on machines and the requirements of the end users.

With Windows XP Pro machines there just isn't really much of a requirement to replace any PC that's < 5 years old for most employees of an organization. Developers don't get newer equipment more often unless there's some justification for it -- usually more RAM does the trick.

Typically any machine that has a significant problem once it's 3 yr warranty expires will be replaced. Other than that targetted replacement of the oldest machines seems to be the norm.

Exceptions can be made with management approval.

share|improve this answer

I don't upgrade my systems on a schedule, but I typically replace them every five years. Sometimes I get even a little bit longer out of them depending on the user. I usually do "build to order" (BTO or "CTO") when I purchase machines, and I configure them with both the specific user's requirements and long life in mind.

I also run software way behind the bleeding edge. Just getting ready to roll out Office 2007, for instance. When you're not constantly upgrading software (when there's no compelling reason to), you don't find yourself having to upgrade hardware as often.

share|improve this answer

For our standard user we are on a 5 year cycle, We aren't moving to vista (the current plan is to bypass it and go straight to windows 7, but not until at least spring 2010). Most of our users are still running Office 2003 and some are on Open Office. We upgrade the developers and a few superusers based more on need than any schedule.

share|improve this answer

I work at a mom-and-pop ISP, and as such we don't really have a policy beyond "when it dies". This year, we managed to get some new LCD monitors. Most of our computers are pretty old (4-5 years), but I make sure we don't ask much of them either. My workstation doesn't do much beyond using the internet in the usual ways and connecting to our servers via SSH. I do, on the other hand need plenty of desktop space to multitask in and as such my monitor is quite a lot bigger than everyone else's. I used to have 2 17" CRTs on my desk.

The fattest software we use is Filemaker for our customer database. In fact, if it weren't for that, we could all be running Linux in here.

share|improve this answer

Unfortunately our company's unwritten policy is "when it dies". Our oldest computers are Pentium 3's running Windows 2000 Professional; we had three of them when I started at the company 2 years ago, and we're down to just one now. A lot of people left the company last year, so I've been cycling the hardware down the "tech food chain" and getting rid of the older stuff. The CEO is finally starting to realize that this is a serious problem and has asked for a system replacement plan.

If it were entirely up to me, we'd get rid of computers after three years, which is when many warranties expire, but in the interest of trying to get my proposal approved I've conceded to a five-year lifespan. My plan is that each employee will receive a "new" computer every two years. I've assessed the performance requirements of each user and created a numeric index to represent their required performance level. Users with a high performance score will receive actual new computers. Their computers will be refurbished and passed down to employees with a low performance score.

After the fourth year, the machine will either be sent to the factory floor or the loaner pool. Computers on the factory floor are used for low-impact tasks like printing labels, reporting scrap, completing production orders, etc.

The loaner pool is a bunch of spare systems on hand in case someone's computer dies, for overlap in employment between people going on maternity leave and their replacement (so that each can work on a computer during the training period), or someone needs to borrow a laptop who normally uses a desktop.

Although I've completed my proposal, my manager insists on reviewing it before we show it to the CEO, and he's too busy to review it, so the whole thing is stuck in limbo.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.