Windows Vista Deployment – Part 1 – "Where do I start?"


Being involved with deployment projects recently I have found that deploying Vista in the enterprise is not a hard task. The biggest question that I'm often  asked is: "Where do I start?"

There are countless resources in web sites ready for you to consume, however it is quite difficult if you don't organize and plan for a deployment project. The task can become quite daunting since now the problem is not the lack of information but the surplus of it. I don't pretend for this guide to be a deployment cookbook, but rather a good source of information compiled in a way that is easy to understand and read.

My first piece of advice is to Reduce the Unknowns, by this I mean tackle the uncertainty surrounding deployment projects.

The first step on your plan is to really understand and accept that you may not know what you don't know. There are 5 areas that need to be looked at in order to achieve this:

  • Application Compatibility
  • Hardware Suitability
  • Supporting Infrastructure
  • Business Requirements
  • End User Experience

These are not in any order of importance and can be started as independent streams of work, however there are clear interdependencies between them that you need to be aware of. For example:

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Business Requirements:
"I need to Lower the TCO of my Workstation Infrastructure and prevent security breaches"

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Hardware Suitability:
"Will my laptop & desktop estate handle the requirements, what do I need to upgrade?"

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Application Compatibility:
"I need to test my application for the new operating System and new security measures"

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End User Experience:
"What is new for my users, what will they and what won't they see now? What do I need to communicate to them"

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Supporting Infrastructure:
"What do I need to remediate in order to deploy according to specifications? What deployment strategy will I use?

These are some of the questions that you have to take into consideration on the different areas of a deployment project.

The next parts of the this series will be too look at each of them individually, giving you specific advice on each of them and links to relevant content. As a first step please download the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008 (MDT 2008) I will be referring to a lot of documentation that is included in there.

Part 2 - Application Compatibility is up next!

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