Using hardware standards

Published: December 16, 2009

Applies To: Forefront Client Security

You should adopt one standard for hardware and use it as much as possible. Whenever possible, use the same kinds of components, such as network cards, disk controllers, and graphics cards, on all of your computers. Use this standard computer profile for all applications, even if it is more than you need for some applications. Ideally, the only modifications that you should make to the hardware are to the amount of memory, the number of CPUs, and the hard disk configurations.

Hardware standards provide the following advantages to your organization:

  • Having only one platform reduces the amount of testing needed.

  • When applying driver updates or application software updates, you only need to perform one test before deploying the updates to all of your computers.

  • Because only one type of system must be supported, support personnel require less training.

  • You do not need to keep as many spare parts on location, which reduces costs to the organization.

Some parts, such as memory and CPUs, are easier to find years after the original parts are acquired. Other parts, such as hard disks, are often more difficult to locate. For parts that may be hard to find, and where exact matches must be used, you should buy spares when you buy the equipment. Consider using service companies or contracts with a vendor to delegate the responsibility, or keep one or two of each of the critical components in a central location. Be sure to keep spare and replacement parts on-site.