As big data becomes more and more entrenched in the fabric of our society, the companies and organizations that will continue to thrive will be those with a greater ability to harness and utilize the vast amounts of data being created every day. Although many of the coming changes will take place in data centers, there are a few ways to improve performance at the workstation level as well. Below are three hardware upgrades to consider for your business’ computers.
Bigger RAM Drive
First, corporate computer users must be able to work with large data sets effectively. For instance, computers used at a large accounting firm will likely encounter spreadsheets with thousands of lines and many different columns of data. To improve performance and stability, computers working with this much data should have as much RAM as possible. Because everything a computer is currently running is stored in RAM, running out of this volatile storage space can be disastrous. The operating system will attempt to store excess data on the hard drive, which is much slower than RAM, leading to drastic performance decreases as the insufficient hardware struggles to keep up.
Second Network Adapter
Another requirement for a data-heavy workplace is good network connectivity. Many companies have internal intranet systems used for transferring data between offices, storing and retrieving backup files, and providing redundant access to company resources. Accounting firms, for instance, must exchange large client data files quickly in order to meet sensitive tax deadlines. Desktop computers can be given increased throughout by adding a second network adapter to supplement the one usually built into the motherboard. This way, any internal requests can be funneled through one gateway while outbound internet requests can move through the other. This will reduce download and upload speed to both internal and external locations, as the computer will have twice as much bandwidth overall. Additionally, an extra network adapter ensures that computers can always be online, even if their primary adapter fails.
More Powerful Processor
Of course, being able to pull data from a network and hold it in RAM is not very helpful if there is no quick way to process it. In order for businesses to get the most out of their software, powerful processors are a must. Ideally, workstations should be outfitted with the latest generation of quad-core Intel processors. Using Intel’s hyperthreading feature, each core can run two separate threads at the same time, enabling more programs to run simultaneously. Many businesses use a variety of different programs, usually all at once. The ability to effectively run a whole suite of business software, like integrated accounting platforms, communications platforms, etc., becomes increasingly important as companies become more and more dependent on such platforms to do business effectively.
When considering upgrades for corporate workstation computers, owners and managers must be aware of the ever-increasing imposed by data manipulation, transport, and processing. Optimizing computer hardware to deal with these demands is an excellent way for companies to “future proof” their infrastructure and continue to integrate new technologies as they become available.