Desktop & Server Upgrade

Case Study

Desktop & Server Upgrade


Client: Universities Colleges Employers Association

Sector: Higher Education

Company Size: 20+

Benefits of Cyber Security service:

  • Reduced the threat of phishing attack and access to cloud services
  • Sophos cloud security to monitoring and manage endpoint security
  • Daily security checks and remediation of security issues
  • Remote access secured using Azure multi-factor authentication

Other Services Provided:

  • Managed Internet
  • Managed Server
  • Managed Desktop
  • Managed Voice

The Challenge

Upgrade server and desktop hardware to improve IT productivity:

  • Address PC performance issues
  • Ensure operating systems supported
  • Standardise applications
  • Provide simple to use secure remote access

Design & Implementation

The existing IT solution consisted of Dell desktop PCs running Windows 7 and Dell servers running Windows 2008 with remote access provided through connections to local desktops.  Issues with this solution were:

  • Slow PC boot times
  • Different versions of applications in use depending on PC hardware
  • Some security products could not be installed
  • Windows 7 and Windows 2008 Server go end of life Jan 2020
  • Remote access was dependent on local desktops being connected
  • Remote access was complicated and difficult to administer and did not support BYOD

To address the issues highlighted above Comis implemented the following solution:

  • Upgraded PCs to Windows 10 with Core i5, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD
  • Implemented Sophos endpoint, web gateway and BitLocker security as part of the Comis Managed Desktop service
  • Upgraded servers to Windows Server 2016 including a Windows Remote Desktop Server
  • Installed a SonicWall SMA secure remote access appliance


The benefits of implementing the solution designed by Comis were:

  • Significantly improved desktop PC performance through SSD installations
  • Deployed a standard build and applications for all PCs
  • Improved the security of servers and desktops through deployment of all Sophos security applications supported by the Comis Managed Desktop service to monitor and remediate security issues
  • Delivered a reliable and secure flexible remote working solution for staff to connect using BYOD
  • Ensured all server and desktop hardware and operating remain under support from vendors

The Technical Part

We upgraded all desktops to Dell Optiplex models with Core i5, 8GB & 256GB SSD running Windows 10 Pro and ProPlus from Office365 which delivered a significant increase in performance.  This also enabled us to install the full Sophos endpoint suite of services to improve security.  We also upgraded the Windows Server to 2016 and installed a Windows 2016 Remote Desktop Server for remote access.  Remote access was delivered using a dedicated Sonicwall SMA appliance to ensure secure remote connections.