Back in July, I started a series of articles on Windows Vista Deployment Planning, and in Windows Vista Deployment Planning - Part 1 I shared with you details of Infrastructure Prerequisites that need to be considered when deploying Windows Vista in an enterprise environment. In Windows Vista Client Build and Deployment Process, I presented the diagram used when scoping deployment projects, so in this post I'll carry on discussing the process in more detail - this time considering the Client Hardware section. My hope is that these pieces will build up into a complete deployment planning document that you can use in your own projects.
The Hardware for Windows Vista deployment projects in which I have worked are usually defined across a number of levels but can usually be simplified into three categories - High-end Desktop, Standard Desktop and Laptop. These categories define a base set of hardware components, as listed below, along with a refresh interval.
The table above can be used to detail the minimum specifications for deployment and the hardware platform and this should be reviewed every six months to maintain the equivalent position on the technology curve.
The fact that a deployment project is taking place usually means that companies will set the specification to a position closer to the top of the technology curve than is currently the practice within that company This is to ensure that the equipment continues to be useful for the duration of its working life (defined by the company refresh cycle) throughout the inevitable changes of the software configuration.
However - you may consider a new feature introduced with Windows Vista as an alternative to specifying hardware specifications, the Microsoft WINSAT performance utility which can be used to determine acceptable performance criteria for a particular hardware platform. This tool will allow you to define exact benchmark performance statistics, rather than having a minimum specification of hardware. Examples of this would include:
These statistics measured are combined to produce an overall score. This score can then be given to the hardware vendor in order for them to recommend a platform than can meet the scores criteria. Additional Information on the WINSAT Performance Utility can be found in Microsoft TechNet