Virtualization Case Study

A 20 Decade Old Business made to decide to dump their existing workflow


A customer requested us to help with a business acquaintance of his; an old local machine part supply company, which has been in business since 1980. To date, their computers and database server are more than 7 years old Windows XP machines which are on the brink of suffering from mass failure. Such an event will be catastrophic for this business as they depended heavily on these computers to handle their inventory and fulfillment of orders and invoicing.

Their setup is simple, a DIY desktop computer to serve as a database server for their in-house developed inventory software while each computer has a copy of the software to process orders and check parts availability. All computers are running Windows XP, which Microsoft no longer provide update support. Through needs diagnosis, we found that the reason why this business owner can’t upgrade the computer to the latest one because the company that developed their inventory software is long gone, and his business depended heavily on this software to work, and he understands the need to change the computers, but there is no affordable solution to his problem.

To summarize, if any of the computers or worse, the server fails, all business will come to a halt for this machine part company. For this company to overcome their problem, they need an affordable solution and most importantly of all, they can still continue to use their inventory software on the new machines.


We spent some time with the business owner and the employees to discuss what they want to achieve out of this project as well as the things we should avoid. It was a fruitful session which we summarized with this client as follows :


  1. The inventory system is a vintage software which works only on Windows XP. As the developers are long gone, software upgrade to support the latest OS is therefore impossible. Changing the server to a Windows 10 Professional computer is feasible since it is a Microsoft Access database server. 
  2. The employees would want to keep all existing data and configurations. As most computers including the server are old with evident wear and tear on the hard disk, this complicates the migration process. 
  3. Most employees are not tech savvy.


Our team decides that virtualization is the way to go for them therefore if we are able to convert each existing Windows XP computer into a Virtual Machines(VM) and sit it right on Windows 10, this business will be able to upgrade all their PCs and still continue to use their inventory management software.

    • We will change all computers with a decent desktop computer preloaded with the latest operating system. The hardware must be capable enough to run virtual machines thus we recommend them Intel i7 computers.


    • A simple software to run the virtual machines will suffice therefore we propose purchasing VMWare Player licenses to run each virtual machine.


  • As for the server, its straightforward; a good desktop configured as a file server and data migration will do.


After given the go ahead, we start the process of staging the migration execution to formulate an efficient migration plan and identify potential issues with project implementation. We’ve identified that the computers system state are not fit for running as a Virtual Machine but fortunately the server is good virtualization and thus after doing some housekeeping on the existing server like disk check and removal of unwanted files and defragmentation, we create a software clone of the server and converted it into a Virtual Machine runs smoothly using VMWare player. It serves as a base for the client computer.

The successful creation of this working base is significant as it means that we have managed to overcome the key barrier; getting the inventory program to run, even on Windows 7 machines. Next we’ve made duplicate copies of this base, install them on each employee’s new PC and proceed with data migration and customization.

Finally by performing a database optimization on the new database server, the inventory software works smoothly which concludes a successful handover.

Final Conclusion

The case study featured here is a great example of how virtualization can lengthen the lifespan of old software. Our solution has helped a local brand overcome their technology hurdle using affordable solutions. If you are facing similar situation like this machine parts supplier, do get in touch with us to see how we can solve your problem.

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If you are facing similar situation like this machine parts supplier, do get in touch with us to see how we can solve your problem. Call us now at (+65) 68411697 to have a chat with our IT consultants!

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