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Windows XP to Windows 7 Migration Whitepaper

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Microsoft will discontinue extended support for Windows XP April 2014, yet more than half the organizations that plan to migrate off Windows XP to Windows 7 have not done so. In this brief whitepaper, …

Microsoft will discontinue extended support for Windows XP April 2014, yet more than half the organizations that plan to migrate off Windows XP to Windows 7 have not done so. In this brief whitepaper, you’ll learn more about the “state of migration,” the issues that have slowed migration, and the significant risks incurred by those organizations that fail to migrate from an unsupported operating system. This report reviews the high-level stages in a migration process, and then identifies ways to cut time and costs from migration even if your teams have already started the migration process. These leverage points are clearly identified, and will be useful for all who are not in the very last stages of a Windows XP migration.

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  • 1. “‘Those that failto implementa migration orcontingencyplan over thenext coupleof monthswill risk...complianceissues.’”– Kevin Beadon,as quoted byArchana Venkatraman“Firms not ready forWindows XP end-of-lifecould face compliancerisks,” Computerweekly,May 20131Windows XP to Windows 7 Migration:Workflow Changes that Radically Save Time and CostsA SCALABLE SOFTWARE WHITEPAPERExecutive SummaryWith less than a year until Microsoft discontinues extended support for Windows XP, more than half theorganizations that plan to migrate off Windows XP have not yet done so. In this brief whitepaper, you’lllearn more about the “state of migration,” the issues that have slowed migration, and the significant risksincurred by those organizations that fail to migrate from an unsupported operating system. This reportreviews the high-level stages in a migration process, and then identifies ways to cut time and costsfrom migration even if your teams have already started the migration process. These leverage points areclearly identified, and will be useful for all who are not in the very last stages of a Windows XP migration.The current “state of migration”Microsoft will end extended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. Despite Microsoft’s SupportLifecycle policy defining the end of life for XP way back in 2002, and despite a steady drumbeat ofpress and analyst coverage, many organizations have delayed migrating.1If your organization hasnot yet completed its migration from Windows XP to Windows 7, you’re not alone. According toDimensional Research, more than 50% of organizations surveyed stated their migrations were notcomplete; nearly 10% who planned to migrate had not yet started their migration.2Why are so many so far behind? While the specific reasons are as different as the organizationsthemselves, the overarching issue is complexity. The Windows XP to Windows 7 migration is both aninfrastructure migration and an application migration, and it impacts end users at all levels within theorganization. See the diagram on page 2 for a summary view of where migration impacts may be felt.The clarity within complexity: migrate, or incur significant risksDespite the complexity of migration, migrating off Windows XP is an imperative for one reason: riskreduction. As of April 8, 2014, extended support will no longer be available, and no further securitypatches will be issued for Windows XP. This makes ANY device not migrated but still active andable to connect to networks a possible entry point for hackers and attacks. Further, business-criticalsystems that are not made compatible with Windows 7 will be similarly vulnerable to attack.3There are additional reasons to migrate from Windows XP before extended support expires:• Reduced productivity. Fewer and fewer new applications, peripherals, and tools arebackwards-compatible with earlier versions of Windows. Every device not running or compatiblewith Windows 7 slows the organization’s ability to adopt and deploy new technologies byincreasing the variety of items needing maintenance, support, and asset management.• Increased costs. Failure to migrate legacy applications and systems that are critical to thebusiness mean more time and resources will be spent managing and servicing device andapplication heterogeneity.www.scalable.com 1-866-722-5225 sales@scalable.com
  • 2. Even if delaying the migration seems to have delayed incurring costs (estimates for migrationcosts per device range from <$100 to $1200+) the drag from increased heterogeneity will quicklybecome significant.5As noted by Patricia Adams, Research Director at Gartner, “Heterogeneity creates tremendousamounts of development, testing, support and maintenance costs, and these costs hinderadoption.”6Further, now that time is running out, IT has less negotiating leverage with its servicesproviders if IT needs to outsource.Microsoft does provide tools and information to help IT departments migrate from Windows XP toWindows 7. There are indications, however, that Microsoft’s tools (or how users have implemented thosetools) may compound the challenges facing organizations. “Respondents indicated less satisfactionwhen using Microsoft’s tools for migration compared with new tools. … 29 percent of respondents...saidthey had lost data using Microsoft’s tools,” versus 11 percent reporting similar issues with other tools.2Accelerating migration while holding the line on costs and resourcesFor those organizations that are behind, IT faces a perfect storm of cost overruns and project risk:• Microsoft’s migration timeline projections—12 to 14 months7• Time remaining (as of the date of this report’s publication)—roughly 10 months• Typical costs per machine / device, without increases due to time pressure is <$100 to $1200+By rethinking and rationalizing the process, however, it is possible to meet the XP deadline whileholding the line on costs—even for those firms that have not yet started. And for those organizationsthat have already started, it’s not too late to curb spending while staying on track for migration.The opportunity to recover lost time is not as challenging as most think. The leverage points foracceleration lie within the migration process, and the process itself is fairly well defined and documented.First, let’s take a high-level “before” and “after” view of a sample migration process and timeline.www.scalable.com 1-866-722-5225 sales@scalable.com 2Fig. 1. Operating System Migrationprojects have impacts throughout anorganization and across a myriad ofIT functions.4“27 percentusing Microsoft’smigration toolsreported thatapplications didnot work aftermigration vs. 10percent usingnewly purchasedtools.”– Kurt Mackie“Survey: XP MigrationsMean a Hard Slogfor Organizations,”Redmond ChannelPartner, May 20132
  • 3. The three phases of a migration, and key migration leverage pointsPhase 1. Assess and Optimize (Leverage Points: Rationalize to Cut Scope and Prioritize)• Asses your environment and plan your deployment.• Discover devices across the network to create and capture a thorough, accurate inventory.• Determine hardware readiness through reports, and prepare for rationalization.• Prepare applications for prioritization and rationalization.o Identify business-critical applications, and of those, the applications supported on Windows 7.• Evaluate costs and SLAs, and identify potential risks.• Rationalize and prioritize hardware and software for migration by business-critical and end-user-critical criteria.o Test applications on Windows 7 and with each other to ensure compatibility in your environment.o Remediate application issues through policies, packaging, virtualization, or—if absolutely necessary—debugging and code changes.o Identify hardware that cannot support 64-bit Windows 7, and replace or “smart decommission.”Review and Train• Review your IT team’s skill sets, and if needed train and remediate skills.• Review the situation analysis and findings with stakeholders.• With stakeholders, define and implement your communications plan.Design and Build (Leverage Points: Expedite MSI Packaging, Reduce Reliance on Images)• Define and create the Standard Operating Environment (SOE).• Build standard Windows 7 images.o Create standard images with settings and configurations for multiple users.o Include applications that are required on all computers in the base image; create a generic image.Phase 2. Prepare and Capture (Leverage Points: Review Rationalization forMore Scope Reduction)• Capture user settings and state, including:o Their unique network, application, operating system, data, and permission settings.o Printer and network drive mappings, favorites and bookmarks, and any customizations and BYODpreparation needed for migration.o Rationalize and prepare alternatives for phased migration.• Ensure rationalization decisions and phases are communicated clearly.Pilot and Test• Define a pilot and prepare for testing by encapsulating templates and files into an automated job or workflow.Fig. 2. “Before optimized processes”Traditional approaches require moretime for the major stages in anOperating System Migration projectthan modern, streamlined approaches.See Fig. 3 for an example of an optimizedproject, and key leverage points.www.scalable.com 1-866-722-5225 sales@scalable.com 3PHASE15MO.Asset Inventory: Assess HWand SW for 64-Bit ReadinessRationalize andOptimizeAssess & OptimizeSituation Analysis, InternalCommunications, TrainingCheck StakeholderEngagement, IssuesReview & TrainDefine and Create the SOE,Standardize ConfigurationsPackage, Install, orVirtualize ApplicationsDesign & BuildPHASE24MO.Prepare & CapturePilot & TestValidate Application Preparation,Capture User SettingsReview PersonalityVariablesDefine a Pilot and Deployto the PilotTest and QAPHASE34MO.Review & MigrateMeasure & ReportCheck Pass/Fail Acceptance TestingResults, Get Go-AheadMigrate, With On-Going AssessmentsAssess the “State of the Migration”Relative to Business GoalsReport onBenchmarks, Savings“Nine out of tenapplicationswere used lessthan 10 percentof the timewith unused(but licensed)applicationscosting anestimated $500(APS322) perdesktop...”– John Dunn“Windows XP MigrationWorries Exaggerated by‘Dead’ Applications,”CIO Magazine Online,May 20138
  • 4. • Create and test a simple process flow for deploying the image, installing prepared applications, capturing usersettings, and restoring user settings.• Test the phased pilot and debug as needed.Phase 3. Review and Migrate (Leverage Points: “Intelligent Decommissioning”)• Capture user settings.• If any additional servers were purchased, make network adjustments (such as enabling multicasting) as needed.• Perform “intelligent decommissioning” of at-risk machines not prioritized for migration—remove them frominternet and network access, “quarantine” to reduce access risks.Measure and Report• Identify the total number of migrated systems in the initial (business-critical) phase, and their numbers forsubsequent phases.• Report problems encountered during migration and provide overall migration status (this is in addition to theregular communication plan).• Perform post-migration inventory and verify licenses; assess impact on business goals and savings.Retool the process in order to accelerate migration projectsIt is possible to get your migration project back on track by applying the simple principlesnoted below. This “best practices” approach to cutting time out of your migration requires applyingrationalization principles and seeking increased agility within each phase of the process. These four stepsbelow summarize the leverage points in Figure 3, showing how to cut costs and time from your migration.1. Robust Inventory and Usage. According to CIO Magazine, a robust inventory and usageanalysis revealed that in many cases a “surprising fifty percent of applications on XP [machines]were not used at all.”8Even if you are mid-process, unless you are 100 percent certain you haveperformed a thorough, accurate inventory that accounts for usage, you may be abe to cut morescope. Recheck your inventory and usage assessment to avoid migrating endpoints and applicationsthat have had limited or no use, and those that are not compatible with Windows 7 or 8.2. More Packaging Agility. By optimizing MSI and App-V packaging, you can remove friction fromyour migration, reducing installation issues and speeding time-to-installation and thus deployment.Smart packaging stabilizes client endpoints, reduces the number of installations to be executedPHASE14MO.Asset Inventory: Assess HWand SW for 64-Bit ReadinessRationalize andOptimizeAssess & OptimizeSituation Analysis, InternalCommunications, TrainingCheck StakeholderEngagement, IssuesReview & TrainDefine and Create the SOE,Standardize ConfigurationsPackage, Install, orVirtualize ApplicationsDesign & BuildPHASE23MO.Prepare & CapturePilot & TestValidate Application Preparation,Capture User SettingsReview PersonalityVariablesDefine a Pilot and Deployto the PilotTest and QAPHASE33MO.Review & MigrateMeasure & ReportCheck Pass/Fail Acceptance TestingResults, Get Go-AheadMigrate, With On-Going AssessmentsAssess the “State of the Migration”Relative to Business GoalsReport onBenchmarks, SavingsInventory timesaved, accuracyimprovedMSI packagingtime cut, enablesrapid builds for“shim packages”Rationalizing andprioritizing hard-ware and softwaresaves timeAutomated,accurate, completereporting savestimeFig. 3. “After optimized processes”Less time is needed afteroptimization for the major stagesin an Operating System Migrationproject—possibly even less timethan noted.www.scalable.com 1-866-722-5225 sales@scalable.com 4“The bottom lineis that runningWindows XP[after April8, 2014]...onanything otherthan a desktopwith no networkconnection,floppy drive,USB ports, orCD drive is anoutright liability,bordering onirresponsible.”– Gabe Knuth“How Windows XP endof life will affect yourdesktop applications,”TechTarget, April 20139
  • 5. About ScalableScalable Software, an innovator in IT Asset Management software since 1999, publishes the WinINSTALL suite of products and is thecompany behind Asset Vision®, a unified Cloud-based ITAM tool. Asset Vision drives expense out of IT, slashing the cost of administering,supporting, and updating traditional on-premise ITAM solutions. Asset Vision’s agentless discovery easily populates, reconciles, andnormalizes IT assets. Along with its comprehensive Software Asset Management layer, it swiftly enables accurate compliance reporting,reduces waste through application usage analytics, and precisely identifies unused software and features on all types of devices, even inBYOD scenarios. For more information: www.scalable.com or info@scalable.com.© 2013 Scalable Software, Inc. All rights reserved. Scalable, the Scalable logo, Asset Vision, WinINSTALL, and Scalable LIVE!are registered trademarks of Scalable Software, Inc. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. 2013WP00505www.scalable.com 1-866-722-5225 sales@scalable.com 5FOOTNOTES AND REFERENCES1. Microsoft Lifecycle Policy, http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle.For various press and analyst coverage, see articles like http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240183957/Firms-not-ready-for-Windows-XP-end-of-life-could-face-compliance-risks andhttp://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/24342162. Dimensional Research, study commissioned by VMWare andcited by Kurt Mackie, “Survey: XP Migrations Mean a Hard Slogfor Organizations,” Redmond Channel Partner Online, May 7,2013, http://rcpmag.com/articles/2013/05/07/vmware-survey-xp-migrations.aspxAccording to Netmarketshare, the number as of April 2013 iscloser to 40%: http://www.netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=10&qpcustomd=03. Richard Edwards, Principal Analyst at Ovum offers a contrarianview in Hannah Breeze’s article “Ovum: Life after XP support axewill be no different,” Channelweb Online, April 10, 2013, http://www.channelweb.co.uk/crn-uk/news/2260550/ovum-life-after-xp-support-axe-will-be-no-differentAs noted in the comment by Sam Golden, Ovum does notaddress the fact that “any zero-day exploits in XP discovered byhackers after that date will not be patched by Microsoft…leavingcompanies open to potential injection of malware or sensitive databeing stolen.”4. Diagram based on internal Scalable Software data and“Integrating Software Asset Management Tools into the ITManagement Architecture,” Enterprise Management Associates(EMA), June 2012.5. Information sourced from Randy George, IDC, “PracticalMigration: How to Master Your Win 7 Roll-Out,” 2010, http://reports.informationweek.com/abstract/7/2794/Enterprise-Software/research-windows-7-migrations.html; Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols, “Upgrading to Windows 7 isn’t Cheap,” IT World, Aug26, 2010, http://www.itworld.com/windows/118759/upgrading-windows-7-isnt-cheap6. Patricia Adams, Gartner, “MarketScope for the IT AssetManagement Repository,” Oct 12, 2011, “MarketScope for theIT Asset Management Repository,” http://www.rightstar.com/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/01/Gartner_MarketScope_ITAM_Repository.pdf7. Rich Reynolds, general manager for Windows Commercialmarketing, quoted by Paul McDougal in Informationweek: “Ittakes anywhere from 12 to 14 months to do the planning andremediation.” “Windows XP at 10: No Life Support,” Oct 25,2011, Informationweek Online, http://www.informationweek.com/windows/microsoft-news/windows-xp-at-10-no-life-support/2319015758. John Dunn, “Windows XP Migration Worries Exaggerated by‘Dead’ Applications,” May 9, 2013, CIO Magazine Online, http://www.cio.com/article/733073/Windows_XP_Migration_Worries_Exaggerated_by_Dead_Applications9. Gabe Knuth, “How Windows XP end of life will affect yourdesktop applications,” April 2013, TechTarget Search VirtualDesktop, http://searchvirtualdesktop.techtarget.com/opinion/How-Windows-XP-end-of-life-will-affect-your-desktop-applicationsmanually, and helps remediate application packages that are incorrectly configured or don’t workat all, saving time and end user frustration.3. Prioritizing and Triaging, then “Smart Decommissioning.” It makes sense that hardware andsoftware involved in processes essential to the organization should be prioritized for migration, butyour teams should leverage inventory and usage data to further cut scope. Not everything deemedessential by end users is truly essential, and of those essential endpoints and applications, notall will be compatible with Windows 7 or 8. As noted in CIO Magazine, “the level of applicationincompatibility when moving from XP was around 20 percent.” Once hardware and softwarehas been prioritized for migration, determine what needs to be temporarily or permanentlydecommissioned to reduce the risk of exposure to malware and hacks.4. Agile Reporting: Communicating What Matters, When It Matters. Highly customizablereporting on usage, inventory, and migration progress as shown by updates to inventory ensuresstakeholder communications can be executed quickly and updated frequently. By reducing theneed for manual, spreadsheet-based reporting and analysis, manhours are freed up for work onthe migration itself, rather than on spreadsheet updates.These four adjustments in migration workflow—leveraging rationalization, using more effectivepackaging processes, prioritizing business critical hardware and software, “smart decommissioning” toreduce risk, and enabling more agile reporting—will enable organizations to catch up on their migrationif behind, and will help wring costs out of migrations already in process.Introducing a new tool for Windows 7 migration, based on proven technology:WinINSTALL Migration Performance Package (MPP)WinINSTALL MPP was purpose-built to accelerate Windows XP to Windows 7 migrations. Thissolution combines Scalable’s WinINSTALL and Survey (or our SaaS offering, Asset Vision Optimize)—allproven tools—to help IT teams expedite migrations by cutting time and costs from key leverage pointsin the migration process.Learn more about Scalable’s WinINSTALL MPP tool at www.scalable.com/wininstall-mpp, or emailus to request a demo at sales@scalable.com.

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