This is the first in a series of blog posts I'll be writing that discuss the optimization of Windows client boot and logon in a corporate setting. Certainly, a lot of what I'll discuss can be applied to the home PC while other parts of it won't matter. Other blog writers have discussed tools and techniques that are close to this topic but I hope to bring some simplicity and a new way of thinking to an area that challenges a lot of IT Pros.
This content started with an idea I had several years ago. As a Premier Field Engineer for Microsoft, I was doing a lot of desktop assessments for customers where we were examining the boot and logon time of Windows XP clients and helping them find ways to speed things up. As customers moved away from Windows XP, I found that while helpful, these assessments were also a little annoying.
Think about it. You've spent time designing a new corporate image that includes the software you want, it's been configured with the Group Policy you want and you've deployed the Anti-virus software you want. Then I come in the door and tell you it's wrong and you need to change it (politely of course).
As I was having these experiences with customers, I started to think about how we could turn it around. Could we use the same tools I use for analysis and build-in optimization during the design phase? Heck yeah we could.
So, along with a couple of my colleagues (Roger Southgate and Scott Duffey), we built a customer facing workshop. This workshop (Windows Enterprise Boot and Logon Optimization) is available globally to all Microsoft Premier Customers and is delivered by Premier Field Engineering. And the deliveries we've had have been really successful.
But now I want to share these ideas with a larger audience. It's time for this blog post series.
The Sales Pitch
So first up, why do we care about the boot and logon performance of user devices in the Enterprise?
What we've found is that client performance is often overlooked. It's not built into the design, there's no baseline for acceptable performance and this leads to a loss of productivity.
Users make assumptions about IT based upon their user experience and often, issues go unnoticed when employees head off for a morning coffee while their PC boots, rather than calling helpdesk.
The objective of these blog posts will be to help you prioritize the user experience, design for performance, establish a baseline, create a repeatable process to measure the impact of change and to understand potential causes for poor user experience.
Eventually we'll get to some deep analysis but the intent is to start slow and build a solid process that will help you minimize the time you need to spend isolating production issues.
With Windows 10 just around the corner, it's also a good time to have this discussion.