As Windows XP comes to end of support in 2014, you have more critical reasons to connect with your Windows XP customer base and bring them on the latest platform. With the recent trends of employees using self-purchased devices at work or Enterprises planning to provide users with slates, it makes the migration an even more engaging discussion. It is not only about migrating to new operating system anymore for lot of your customers. It is also about providing flexibility to the end users and maintaining security as well as containing costs.
There are 4 stages in this migration and management strategy. Let’s go ahead and discuss them:
- Opting for the right OS deployment and migration strategy
You need to select the correct deployment and migration strategy for the environment. There are various tools that you can use from Microsoft for Deployment and Migration to Windows 7 and 8. There can be 3 scenarios that can occur:
1. Independent of the size of the environment, you would like to set up a simple deployment and migration infrastructure. This environment will not be a heavily automated and will involve manual intervention. You can follow the link below for setting up such an environment:
2. The environment is small (roughly 200 machines). This will be more automated but for a small environment. You can make use of Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) for installation and along with Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (WADK), you can use migration tools present in the kit for migration purposes. You can find more information in the following link of how you can use MDT for this purpose:
3. The environment is big (more than 200 machines). This will be the most automated environment that can be achieved. You can make use of System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) for Operating System Deployment. It can be integrated with MDT as well to provide you a combined solution too, which can be useful in more flexibility in terms of OS deployment options and mechanisms. You can find more information around it in the following location, where you can check the step-by-step guides listed:
- Modern device management
The next stage will be to find the right way to manage these devices that you have deployed. This can be done by making use of SCCM itself, which has the capabilities to patch, update, manage and to some extent monitor the machines as well. There is also Windows Intune which will be useful for Mobile devices that you may have in the environment, such as roaming laptops, tablets etc. These 2 technologies can also be integrated to give you on premise and mobile device management. You can find information about Windows Intune in the following location:
- Finding the right Application deployment Strategy
Once we have deployed and stabilized the OS, the next thing to decide is the Application deployment strategy, where you need to test the legacy critical applications on the new OS. You can make use of Application Compatibility Toolkit for checking the compatibility. If there are compatibility issues, then we can make use of Application Virtualization (App-V), which is a part of MDOP for virtualizing the application, or you can use Med-V, which is also a part of MDOP for providing a virtual instance of Windows XP for running the applications. You can find information on App-V and Med-V in the following location:
- Protecting Enterprise data while allowing flexibility to end users
Once you have the applications in place, the next stage will be to provide data in a secured manner. This can be done by making use of domain Group Policies, Roaming Profiles, Folder Redirection and User Experience Virtualization (UE-V), which is also a part of the MDOP toolset. This will allow you to store user information centrally, and put restrictions in terms of what data you want to provide them access to. You can use Remote Access as well for mobile users to securely connect to the corporate environment. BitLocker is also something that you can look at from the hardware perspective.
This lifecycle will repeat with the next wave of Operating Systems and applications.
Hope this helps.