Nelson and Danielle Ruest (Victoria, British Columbia, IT Pro)
Nelson and Danielle Ruest are authors of the Definitive Guide to Vista Migration, a ten-chapter eBook produced by Realtime Publishers and released one chapter per month. The eBook can be obtained from www.realtime-nexus.com/DGVM.htm. The book is free and I thought it would be good to hear from them on how to build a lab to test out your migration scenarios and give an MVP some support for the work they are doing!
Yes, Vista is a really great product and lots of people are thinking about making the move very soon. That’s partly because Microsoft has done such a great job of revamping the Windows installation and deployment process in Vista. But, as you know, managing a migration project is no simple task, even if some tools make it easier. But don’t take our word for it. With the advent of virtualization technologies, you can quickly get up to speed with the new deployment tools in a few quick steps without having to break the bank in terms of hardware and without disrupting anything else on the network.
In fact, we just released Chapter 3 for the eBook: Creating the Migration Test Bed. This is perhaps the most important technical aspect of any migration project because what happens in the lab is what is eventually going to be deployed in production. Labs are essential if you want to properly test your new Vista systems and assure total quality. But, to build the perfect lab, you need to fully understand the needs of your technical teams. You’ll have at least two teams: PC and Server. The PC team will cover everything you need for the preparation of the new PC systems as well as for their deployment—system images, profile protection, application packaging, OS deployment and so on. The Server team will need to focus on the changes the network infrastructure requires to be able to support not only the migration, but also the management and administration of Vista once it is deployed. Each team will have different requirements, some will need mostly PC virtual machines, others will also need servers, but everyone will need storage and central lab services.
That’s right. Labs are not only technical, but also need to rely on processes. They need tight resource access calendars to make sure teams don’t step on each other’s feet. They need storage space for virtual machine images, technical documentation, source files and much more.
Our chapter outlines all of these requirements as well as telling you how to answer some of the tough questions such as:
• How do you design systems so that your teams will properly graduate testing from one level to another?
• How do you make the most of virtual technologies when building the migration lab?
• How do you choose the physical space the lab will occupy?
This chapter in particular isn’t just for Vista, it’s for any technical project you need to perform. If you want to run a lab and want to rely on VMs to do it, then get this chapter. Who knows, it might even convince you to move to Vista early. We have, and we’re not going back.
There are two places you can get chapter three:
Going to the second Web site will give you access to all of the chapters plus a series of recorded Webcasts we’ve run on the topic of migrating to Vista.
Hope you find this useful!
Danielle and Nelson
Danielle Ruest and Nelson Ruest, MCSE, MCT, Microsoft MVP, are IT professionals specializing in systems administration, migration planning, software management and architecture design. Both work for Resolutions Enterprises Ltd., a consulting firm focused on Windows System Infrastructures. They are authors of multiple books, and are currently working on the Complete Reference for Windows Server Longhorn for Osborne McGraw-Hill as well as an eBook on Vista Migration. For more information, or to access their free downloadable articles, Webcasts and presentations, go to www.reso-net.com.