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News Release

Slow starting computers get the BootHawk from affini

software identifies computer processes that cause delays: boot up times reduced from 75 minutes to 4
Released: 10th September 2013
Publisher: affini

Basingstoke, UK, 10th September 2013 – UK systems integrator, affini, has launched BootHawk, a new software tool that helps enterprises to reduce boot up times, by measuring and displaying all of the startup processes running on  every Windows desktop.

On average, employees have to wait at least four minutes between switching on a computer to the point at which they can start working. Computers that routinely take a long time to boot up reduce productivity, affect employee morale and increase business operating costs.

BootHawk was developed by affini in response to requests from enterprise CIOs, because there was nothing available on the market that effectively and accurately measured all startup processes to show them the root cause of extended boot up periods.

In June, the UK government’s Chief Operating Officer, Stephen Kelly, reported that his computer takes seven minutes to boot up and that this equates to civil servants wasting three days a year waiting for ageing IT equipment to start working each morning.

Common causes of lengthy boot up periods include layers of Microsoft Windows and device configuration, login scripts and policies, with no optimisation; a high number of software applications installed on machines; network problems and older hardware with slower processors. 

BootHawk provides CIOs with a dashboard displaying of all the IT startup processes taking place across all of their endpoints, allowing them to focus efforts and resources to identify and cull redundant processes that cause delays. A particular issue identified by BootHawk is the impact of roaming profiles, which follow employees around the organisation. If an employee logs in from a different machine, software updates associated with that user profile are automatically downloaded: generating long delays.

The tool was initially developed to help a UK media organisation, with 27,000 employees, which was dealing with HR issues owing to boot up times stretching from eight minutes up to one hour and fifteen minutes. BootHawk was used to identify that nine hundred Windows “group policies” were being processed each time computers were started up. Reducing and optimising the startup processes enabled the organisation to reduce boot up times to just four minutes.

"The more operating systems are configured, the worse performance gets. Over time, enterprise IT systems can get bogged down by layer upon layer of scripts including group policies; application deployment policies; login scripts and user profiles. Each script adds anything from a few milliseconds to several minutes to the startup time. When you multiply this by a few hundred processes, boot up periods become noticeably drawn out and employees start wandering off to make a coffee instead of starting work,” says Shane Colombo, Director of Projects at affini. “In the first organisation we worked with, their boot up times were losing them eighteen hundred hours a day, that’s the equivalent of two hundred employees calling in sick every day and being paid for it. Based on an average salary, slow boot up times were costing that organisation £32,000 a day – which could equate to £7m per year.”

Some organisations have tackled slow boot up times by migrating to new operating systems or updating hardware. However, affini’s BootHawk tests have shown that hardware and software refreshes do not cure boot up problems caused by IT configuration issues.

“Our first customer found that its hardware refresh had minimal impact on the extended boot up periods. They had to go in and tackle the root causes. Another of our customers stopped its roll out of Windows 7 to 28,000 users because the CIO realized that the same boot up issues were manifesting on the new operating system, despite the enterprise investing in a new OS and hardware. Using BootHawk, the CIO was able to identify and address the root causes of boot up delays before continuing with the OS upgrade,” reports Shane Colombo.

BootHawk uses less than one per cent of central processing unit (CPU) and measures forty seven events during the Windows boot up process, with virtually no impact on the existing infrastructure or interrupting the user experience. The tool can be used in any sector that operates large, distributed, complex Microsoft Windows environments. BootHawk supports 32 bit and 64 bit processors and Microsoft Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems.

References:

Computer Weekly, “Met police IT systems cause higher crime in London, says scathing report”, 30th August 2013 http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240204377/Met-Police-IT-systems-cause-higher-crime-in-London-says-scathing-report

The Evening Standard, “Civil servants ‘waste three days a year’starting up PCs”, 3rd June 2013
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/civil-servants-waste-three-days-a-year-starting-up-pcs-8642117.html

The Daily Telegraph, “State workers spend three days a year waiting for PCs to start”, 4th June 2013
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10097514/State-workers-spend-three-days-a-year-waiting-for-PCs-to-start.html

PC Pro, “Government wastes three days a year booting PCs”, 4th June 2013
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/enterprise/382261/government-wastes-three-days-a-year-booting-pcs

ZDNet, “UK government wastes three days a year booting up old world PCs” 5th June 2013
http://www.zdnet.com/uk-government-wastes-three-days-a-year-booting-up-old-world-pcs-7000016408/

IT Pro, “Civil servants waste three days a year waiting for PCs to boot up” 5th June 2013
http://www.itpro.co.uk/public-sector/19938/civil-servants-waste-three-days-year-waiting-pcs-boot

Note to editors:
To request a demonstration of BootHawk, please contact affini marketing manager, Jayne Diffin, on telephone: 0800 040 7066, or email: info@affini.co.uk

About affini:
affini is a systems integrator, specialising in consultancy, design, deployment and in-life management of complex infrastructure technology & communication solutions.

affini brings together fixed, wireless and mobility domains like no one else, with capabilities that span broad technology arenas to include: wireless technology; data centre & IT technology; mobility & end user computing; unified & real-time communications; outsourced & managed services.

affini’s expertise enables organisations to leverage their technology investments to generate incremental value and enhance operational performance.

affini is vendor agnostic, designing & delivering solutions from the technologies that will best address end-user mission, process and business critical communication challenges.

For more information about affini, please visit www.affini.co.uk.

affini is part of The Team Telecom Group http://www.teamtelecomgroup.com/

Further information (external website)


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