Application Compatibility Planning Service


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A Service designed to provide IT Departments with an understanding of the Application Compatibility and Remediation needs that their organization faces prior to the Client Migration along with a Discovery of their Environment

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Application Compatibility Planning Service

  1. 1. 2010 Application Compatibility Planning Service A Service with APP-(reciation) A Service designed to provide IT Departments with an understanding of the Application Compatibility and Remediation needs that their organization faces prior to the Client Migration along with a Discovery of their Environment. Christopher Silver
  2. 2. Application Compatibility Planning Service Table of Contents I. Overview II. Defining YOUR IT Environment III. Defining YOUR Application Management IV. Collection of Environmental Information V. Analysis of Environmental Information VI. TestingRationalization Remediation VII. User Acceptance Testing (UAT) VIII. Deployment Distribution Solution IX. Planning Service Deliverables X. Term Definitions APPENDIX: ACPS Engagement Options A. Discovery & Evaluation B. Remediation Christopher Silver Page 1
  3. 3. Application Compatibility Planning Service I. ACPS Overview Collect Analyze Remediate Deploy SYNERGY a. What is the ACPS exactly? The ACPS or Application Compatibility Planning Service is designed to assist the IT Project Team to assess the total compatibility of the applications in the organizations environment. This service is designed to discover the following variables for the IT Project Team, Quantity, Duration, Cost Estimate and Methodology. During the Discovery Phase there will be Collateral information Collected and Analyzed that will help in your migration and standardization. Company Profile of Users Organizational Structure and Situational Role. Also, Application Management Catalog, Application Documentation as well as Recommendation of Customized Support & Process workflows. b. How can it help my migration? This Planning Service helps your migration and (BAU) Business As Usual Operations by having experts in ACPS collect & analyze the information in your organization. The Application Usage by Organizational Structure and Situational Role helps in the development of Image Deployment Scenario’s. This sets the timeline for the Building and Deployment for your company’s migration by showing you the prioritization of the applications in use. With the Information of Time, Cost and Method will assist with planning for your Business Value in procuring funding of your project. Project Apps Location Apps Team Apps User Apps Department Apps Role Apps Core Applications Operating System Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) Hardware Christopher Silver Page 2
  4. 4. Application Compatibility Planning Service II. Define IT Environment Discovery of the Current & Future Environments is paramount for developing solutions on Application Management and Remediation. There must be a clear understanding of what technologies are in place or will be in place for the remediation. This ensures that business critical functionality is not affected, and can be planned around. a. Discovery of Current Environment i. Client Server Network Infrastructure 1. Client System Discovery (HWSWOSetc) 2. Server Systems Discovery (ADDNSSCCMExchangeWSUSetc) 3. Network Discovery ii. Support Structure 1. Help Desk (Call Center) Deskside Technical Admins 2. Business Analyst Application Owners Application Testers 3. Change Management (Change Windows) iii. Process Workflows 1. Challenge Ticket Progression Requisitions 2. Application Management (Integration Process) 3. Packaging Solution & Deployment Solution & Testing Processes Support Center Client Support Center Business Process Deskside Support Structure Infrastructure Tech Tech Deskside Admins Network Server Admins Support b. Discovery of Planned Migration Environment w/Timeline A detailed diagram and timeline of what the environment looks like after all the necessary upgrades and implementations are complete is needed. It is important to know what the environment looks like at all times and also what changes have been made and are scheduled to be made. This can affect how the applications function in the production environment, and may cause for further infrastructure remediation. Christopher Silver Page 3
  5. 5. Application Compatibility Planning Service III. Define Application Management This is a great time to attack the challenges you have faced in the past with Application Management in your organization. It is also the time to set policies and procedures around managing the integration of applications in the environment as well as setting the documentation and packaging procedures around your application catalog. We can also design workflows around support and training models that with the strengths of your department. a. Discovery of Current Application Management Structure By understanding the Pros & Cons of the current Application Management Processes we can correctly modify it to maximize the productivity and success rate the new processes and procedures will have in your environment. Every culture is different, and understanding what works and what doesn’t will guarantee the success of the project. b. Set Goals for Future Application Management Structure With this time available it is important to take a look at your entire Application Management System. What do you want your Application Process to look like, what are the strengths and what we can implement now to assist your support and administration of your application portfolio moving forward. i. Flexibility How fast can you respond to technology change and to adopt it as a competitive advantage? How well do you understand the Business to recommend the solution of Application management that works the best? How efficient and productively can you manage the lifecycle of application management? How can your processes adapt to the changing environment? ii. Productivity Efficiency How can we develop an Application Management Solution that best maximizes the productivity of the User and the Technician? How can we lower the resolution time and the help desk calls while still providing a user friendly and familiar experience. iii. Documentation How can we document the Standards, Policies, Procedures, Processes and Methodologies used to provide a standardized environment? How can we document the applications and have the necessary support information in a centralized location for quick ticket and challenge resolution. iv. Communication How can we improve the communication between all levels of support, the business and technical administration? Christopher Silver Page 4
  6. 6. Application Compatibility Planning Service IV. Collection of Environmental Information UnKnown DISCOVERED The collection of environmental information is a very important phase; this is where a discovery of all applications used in the environment. By collecting all this information we can quickly assess the business critical applications and begin to prioritize and categorize the organization. The importance of this stage is in gathering all the applications present in the environment, not just the approved. That is why there are multiple different tools and options we use to gather this information. a. Tools & Utilities i. ACT- Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit ii. MAP- Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit iii. Reports- SMSSCCMother iv. Interviews & Questionnaires to Users b. Discovery of Organizational Structure Understanding your company is paramount, the best way to develop application management plans is to talk to Human Resources and receive a copy of their organizational chart. By profiling the same way that HR profiles the users you make for a synergetic effort and combination of IT and HR communication. c. Inventory of Applications Using the tools & utilities, a complete application list is created of all application currently being utilized in the environment (Known & Unknown). This is then cross-referenced with the approved applications list to compile as a complete environmental application list that we now can analyze. i. Categorize by Organizational Units We categorize by organizational units to get a complete picture of what user role require applications for core business critical functionality. By categorizing in this method we can begin to create automatic standards to persons to help in the support and break-fix scenario challenges that support centers face in challenge tickets. This also assists in the development of hybrid images. ii. Gather Documentation & Support Information In one central location all the current documentation as well as support information for all the applications in your environment. For this the best source is usually the deskside and help desk personnel. Christopher Silver Page 5
  7. 7. Application Compatibility Planning Service iii. Business Application Owners Business Application Owners are members of the user community to either were the business sponsor on purchasing the application or are the primary users of the application. These Application Owners will be the persons responsible for assuring the testing and configuration of the application are configured correctly. The Business owners will be the appropriate source to gather support and contact information as well as install media for the applications. They will also have key information on the Current Versions and timelines on new or upgrade versions. iv. Locations of Install Points & Media The location of all install directories that have been used for all applications is very important. This is the main cause for MSI and Install corruption because installs are done with rogue install packages from unknown points. The cause of this is usually security access to centralized install points, or ease of use of removable media. The violators are often our own support personnel. The best people to list every install points are the Deskside and Support Center technicians. File Server 1st Level Support File Server 2nd Level Support End User File Server SCCM SMS Logon-Scripts Group Policy File Server v. Distribution Methods Capture all the current steady state distribution methods used for Software Deployment for all the applications on the list. This will give clues as to some of the challenges of applications as well as some pre-requisites that were sometimes previously unknown or undocumented. Christopher Silver Page 6
  8. 8. Application Compatibility Planning Service V. Analysis of Environmental Information The Analysis of the data collected sets the course for the solution on the Application Management and assists in the planning for your organizations migration. By deciphering the data collected this provides a categorized view on the business critical and role based applications that will drive the decision making and define the scenarios for your Application Management Strategy. Organization Task Department Contract Mobile Location USERS Group Role Remote Office User a. Creation of Supported Application Inventory Catalog Central Reference Point Document for all Approved Packaged Software in the environment. This Catalog is referenced to find information on software install methods and any application approvals that may be needed prior to an install of a requested application. b. Documentation & Support Information Complete Document that contains all information about the packaged application prepared by the Packager and contains details on the packaging process and information on the install itself as well as support information and contact persons. This is also the time to set the folder structure for your applications for ease of use and efficiency for support. A clean and efficient folder hierarchy is pivotal for the administration of your application portfolio. c. Prioritization Categorization of Applications by Organizational Units The applications are then categorized by installation instances by Organizational Structure, of business needs. They are also prioritized according to install usage instances to gage which applications are in more demand and receive a higher priority rating. d. Assignment of Business Application Owners & Testers This is also the phase where Application Owners or qualified “Super User” of applications are assigned to be the testers of packaged solution. The Business Owners are the user of the application that purchased or is responsible for the licenses or requested the software integration. By assigning these persons at an early stage and getting them integrated in the process, this assists the remediation stage of the Application Compatibility of your organizations Applications. Christopher Silver Page 7
  9. 9. Application Compatibility Planning Service VI. Testing Remediation Rationalization The testing, remediation and rationalization phase is how the applications are integrated in the environment. The testing is done as a pre-requisite to every application to ensure it works on the organizations image then the rationalization and remediation is how we assign a solution to the challenge of organizational technical integration. a. Testing Procedure This is imperative to test the applications on a beta-Version of your organizations image, this ensures that it is qualified and works in the environment as a vendor install before any packaging or deployment solution is applied. This is used for every application, even those that are certified to work on the new OS, because it does not certify that it will work with some of the customizations that are specific to your organizations image. b. Rationalization This time of Application remediation can be used to eliminate and combine applications that perform similar functionality. This is a great way to decrease your supported applications count as well as eliminating unnecessary spending for licenses and unique applications that only provide limited functionality; this can also be used to create universal training and support across the organization. c. Remediation Options (Packaging Solution) The term remediation refers to a Packaging Solution or way of attacking an application to ensure its standardization, compatibility and ability for automatic deployment to the user community. Below are the possibly ways of accomplishing this task with the technological tools available to the Packaging Solution Engineer. i. New Version Available This is the recommended first step for remediation, although typically the most expensive option either with Development or Acquisition Cost this option is the best because it offers definite Vendor Support of the Application. ii. Shim This modifies the calls applications make to the operating system, every application cannot be shimmed and this does come with minimal management of a shim database that must be updated and installed on client machines to function. SHIM DB Application Operating Call to OS System SHIM DB iii. Change Policy An option of changing the security policy of the client systems by disabling UAC or InterIntra net zones to allow for more flexibility. This is a current struggle between security Christopher Silver Page 8
  10. 10. Application Compatibility Planning Service and functionality but a decision of what is business critical and vendorcompany supported is an argument that is used to facilitate a switch. iv. Virtualization Application Virtualization (APP-V) is a current technology being utilized where this resolves the conflicts applications have with other application on systems by running the application in a virtual “bubble” by a client agent on the client systems. Machine Enterprise Virtualization (MED-V) is a technology being utilized which is resolving conflicts between application and operating systems by making available to the application a virtual operating system of XP. Both technologies help resolve conflicts but the technology is new and only functions efficiently when the application meets certain requirements. The benefit is there are management consoles and the client systems maintain their stability and integrity by not having application physically installed on machines. Application Files OS Runtime Virtualized Virtual Files Files Application Virtual Registry v. Terminal Services Citrix vi. Retire It Sometimes the best option is to remove this application from your organization because of its low value and priority and difficulty to manage and support. There may be a business case to Retire It or Rationalize it with a different vendor’s application or perhaps a feature on already owned software accomplishes similar functionality. d. Remediation Tools & Utilities i. MSI Editor- 1. Wise Package Studio 2. Install Shield Admin Studio ii. Virtualization- 1. Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) 2. Microsoft Machine Enterprise Virtualization (MED-V) iii. Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT): Compatibility Administrator - Shim Database iv. Scripting For Automation VBscript, Powershell, Batch, WinBatch, AutoIT, etc. Christopher Silver Page 9
  11. 11. Application Compatibility Planning Service VII. User Acceptance Testing (UAT) a. Acceptance Policies Application Business Owner Acceptance or “Sign Off” of the Packaged & Deployed application is required prior to the applications release into the environment. By putting this level of responsibility on the business as well as the IT Admin we ensure that a quality well tested product is being released. These Policies are best to be put into effect at this juncture because this is the most important policy being put under for executive review. This sets a level of responsibility on the business to work with IT in the production of Packaging & Deployment Solutions for the company. b. UAT Stakeholders & Resources i. Stakeholder’s 1. Application BusinessTechnical Owner The Application Business Owner (Business Analyst) has a stake in the success of the application package because it is their user community that the application is being deployed and where they are held accountable. It is in their best interest to ensure that the package that is going out to the community is well tested. 2. IT Packaging Solution Engineer The Packager has stake in the success of the application package because ultimately they are responsible for the package that is ultimately delivered down to the users machine. The Packager & IT Manager is always ultimately accountable for all packages that were packaged by the individual. 3. IT Deployment Engineer The Deployment Engineer is responsible for the packaging solution to be put into a deployment solution set for a distribution to the targeted users’ desktops. ii. Resources 1. Pilot Test Groups 2. Change Management 3. IT Managers c. UAT Procedure & Workflows i. Official Packaging Solution Testing Procedure 1. Script for Testing a test system Prior to Install 2. Script for Testing an Application Install 3. Application Technical Business Owner Test of Application 4. Script for Testing a System Post Install 5. Script for Uninstall Testing of Application 6. Script for Testing a System Post Uninstall of Application d. Documentation i. Application UAT Policy ii. UAT Procedure Scripts Document iii. Official Application Business Technical Owner Acceptance Form Christopher Silver Page 10
  12. 12. Application Compatibility Planning Service VIII. Deployment & Distribution (Deployment Solution) a. Image Build Process Some applications due to the usage reports that come back from the Collection and Analysis phase, can be included during the imaging process as part of a Role Scenario b. GPO Logon Scripts If certain requirements of the application require that the application be deployed via GPO or Logon Script or perhaps some other deployment method is available. This option is not very controllable or reportable on a management scheme. c. SMS SCCM Virtualization Mgmt. (Other) A dependable, manageable, reportable deployment solution to deploy applications to the client systems. d. WSUS Other This is how Microsoft core components and upgrades Framework’s, SP’s, Patches, and Updates are installed on Client PC’s via the Update Service. This is the best practice for all those components. e. Manual Installed either by Support Center or Help Desk as a last resort, but the version they install is installed by the same command line as the automated solution and from the same location. Christopher Silver Page 11
  13. 13. Application Compatibility Planning Service IX. Planning Service Deliverables a. Application Management Catalog Central Reference Point Document for all Approved Packaged Software in the environment. This Catalog is referenced to find information on software install methods and any application approvals that may be needed prior to an install of a requested application. b. Documentation & Central Location Structure Complete Document that contains all information about the packaged application prepared by the Packager and contains details on the packaging process and information on the install itself as well as support information and contact persons. This is also the time to set the folder structure for your applications for ease of use and efficiency for support. A clean and efficient folder hierarchy is pivotal for the administration of your application portfolio. ApplicationName_V_xx Documentation Application Info Doc Vendor Support Doc Manual Install EXE Uninstall EXE Production - SCCM Source Loc - Manual Source Loc Vendor - Pristine Vendor Media Working - Any files from Dev c. Support & Process Workflows This process will also analyses your support and process workflows, this is the best time to recommend new changes in workflow design and optimize the processes based on your organizational strengths and weaknesses to maximize your productivity and efficiency. i. Application Integration Process Workflow Application Integration Process WorkFlow Application Catalog NOT PASS In Catalog Validation Application Packaging Application US Operations For Deployment Request Form Install Development Kick-Off Meeting YES Project Stakeholders Discuss Tasks For This Stage In Catalog Tasks At This Point -App UpgradeNew Create an SMS Deployable Package 1- Acquire Requested Software -Target Users Document Entire Process 2- Check App Prerequisites -Project Dates Follow App Pkg Best Practices 2- Test Against Company Image -Project Resources Named Create an Install & Uninstall Pkg FAIL Validation Application Requires Prerequisites that Application are not packaged or available on current Installed image Pass Application Packaging FAIL Deployment TESTING App Owner Testing FAIL PILOT Testing Application Catalog PASS PASS SUCCESS Testing PILOT 1/2 Deployment Testing PRODUCTION Testing w/ App Owner TESTING Deployment Tasks For This Stage -(Deployment) Install Package Tasks For This Stage Tasks For This Stage UPDATED -Test App, Image, Other Core Apps -Test (Deployment) to 10% of Target -Deployment of Gold Prod Package Now Available -(Deployment) Uninstall Package -Gather Results for Support Doc’s -Monitor Results Support Calls For Support Install -Test Image, Other Core Apps -Get Sign-Off From App Owner Christopher Silver Page 12
  14. 14. Application Compatibility Planning Service ii. Application Remediation Workflow Application Integration Remediation Application List Application Packager is Assigned Documentation Application Windows 7 Team Lead Compliance Testing Loads into Deployment Method Vendor Packaging Deployment Solution Solution Provided Solution From Vendor MSI App-V Other SCCM App-V Other Transform Sequenced CMD Line Collection Streaming Manual SnapShot FileShare Package Cached Special Temporary Hold CMD Line Special Advertisemnt Package Package Packager HOLD HOLD Basic For TL UAT For Testing Decision Decision Update Application Application Catalog WORKING PRODUCTION File Store Documentation File Store Page 1 d. Outline Plan Document for Remediation i. Packaging & Deployment Solutions for Applications ii. Project Estimates for Remediation (Cost Time Resources) iii. Options Available for Execution of Remediation Christopher Silver Page 13
  15. 15. Application Compatibility Planning Service X. Term Definitions a. ACPS – Application Compatibility Planning Service b. BAU – Business As Usual: This is the steady state daily operations c. Package- an installable media customized for standardization, could be MSIApp-v d. Source- the installation media files as they were provided by the vendor e. UAT- User Acceptance Testing f. Packaging Solution- Method an application is packaged Virtualized, MSI, Other g. Deployment Solution- Method an application is configured for Distribution h. Packager- Person responsible for creating Packages by utilizing Packaging Solutions i. Technical Coordinator Lead: Packager with advanced skills and project management methodologies to assign and coordinate packages to the other packagers. j. Deployment Tech- Person responsible for creating a Deployment Solution. Usually the SCCM Administrator. k. ACPS Liaison- Employee that is a Stakeholder to the ACPS Team that acts as a go between the Packaging efforts and the company. l. SCCM – Microsoft Systems Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2: Enterprise Client Management Tool for the distribution of MS Patches, Service Packs, Updates, Hotfixes, Applications, Operating Systems Christopher Silver Page 14
  16. 16. Application Compatibility Planning Service Appendix A. Planning Service Engagement Options ACPS: Discovery & Evaluation A. Application Compatibility Planning Service a. 5 Day Planning Service  Overview Discussions of Collection of Data Phase  Discussions Beginning Planning of Analysis of Data Phase  Design & Implementation of Tools & Utilities  Discovery & Documentation of Current Environment Phase  Documentation & Discussion of Migration Plan b. 10 Day Planning Service  All of 5 Day Planning Service  Execution Start of Application Inventory Portfolio  Execution Start of Application Documentation Templates  Execution of Folder Hierarchy for Application Repository  Execution of Collection Phase  Beginning Analysis of Data Phase  Planning of Testing Remediation Rationalization Phase c. 20-30 Day Planning Service  All of 10 Day Planning Service  Complete ACPS – When Complete you will have a fully known Application Inventory Portfolio along with Reports and Documentation of the Strategy around Application Compatibility in your Organization. Christopher Silver Page 15
  17. 17. Application Compatibility Planning Service Appendix B. Planning Service Engagement Options ACPS: Remediation B. Application Management Remediation Service This is the service that deals specifically with the execution of the Remediation of the Applications in the organizations environment. This Remediation Service Includes the Complete ACPS as a milestone where your organization has the ability to choose which option best suites the culture of the company. Milestones are placed at specific points in the Remediation process to ensure that your organization is satisfied with the level of service that is being provided. All of these solutions are completely customizable according to the company and culture being remediated. a. Application Management Consulting Service  ACPS Technical Project Manager will be onsite to consult your team and lead them through the entire process of Remediation of your Application Portfolio. The ACPS Technical Project Manager will work with your Resources to ensure your Application Compatibility is performed by the industry best practices and in a way that ensures the most productive efficient use of your organizations resources, or will assist with the acquisition of resources if needed. Your Packaging Team Your Technical Lead Our Your Technical PM UAT Team Your ACPS Deployment Tech Your ACPS Liason b. Resource Augmentation We can provide excellent resources in any of the required areas for your project and ensure they are of the highest caliber, these resources can also become regular consultants after the project has completed to perform BAU Business As Usual Operations. Packaging Technical Team Project Lead ACPS UAT Team Lead Deployment Tech Christopher Silver Page 16
  18. 18. Application Compatibility Planning Service c. Outsource Total Project Remediation This solution is a complete end to end solution for your Application Remediation Challenge. All resources necessary for the Completion of the Application Remediation Process are from our company. At the end of the solution you are provided with Application Packages available for distribution by your Deployment Solution, along with complete documentation and application portfolio. Training and Workflows will be introduced and implemented on your Support Center.  On-Site Team o All resources located On-Site o All Remediation is performed On-Site with Organization Equipment o User Acceptance Testing is Performed o Progressive Handover - Application Packages - Documentation - Processes & Workflows - Support Center Integration o Post – Project Completion - Ability to keep Application Packaging Solution Engineers as Consultants for BAU Our Packaging Team Our Technical Lead Our Our Project Lead UAT Team Our Your ACPS Deployment Tech Your Liason Christopher Silver Page 17
  19. 19. Application Compatibility Planning Service  Off-Site Team o All resources located at Off-Site (US) DataCenter o All Remediation is performed at Off-Site Location o Organization must Provide Pre-Requisite Requirements o Your Resources perform Progressive Post UAT o Progressive Closeout Handover - Application Packages - Documentation - Processes & Workflows - Support Center Integration Our Our Off-Site Technical Packaging Team Coordinator ACPS Your UAT Team On-Site Your Liason Your Deployment Tech  Hybrid Team o Team Off-Site Team Lead Consultant On-Site o Team Lead Consultant Performs UAT o Team Lead Consultant Assists with Deployment Solution o All Packaging performed Off-Site with Team Lead Consultant Performing Progressive Handover Concurrently On-Site o Progressive Handover - Application Packages - Documentation - Processes & Workflows - Support Center Integration o Post – Project Completion - Ability to keep Team Lead Consultant as Consultants for BAU Our Our Off-Site Technical Packaging Team Coordinator Your Our ACPS UAT Team Our Technical Lead Your Our On-Site Deployment Tech Your Liason Christopher Silver Page 18