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Six Steps to Continuous Application Readiness

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  • 1. Six Steps to ContinuousW H I T E PA P E R Application Readiness A holistic, automated approach to cut the cost and complexity of Windows 7 migrations, application virtualization and routine application deployments
  • 2. Six Steps to Cont inuous Applicat ion Readiness Six Steps to Continuous Application Readiness A holistic, automated approach to cut the cost and complexity of Windows 7 migrations, application virtualization and routine application deployments Introduction organizations do not have a continuous process for Most organizations are looking to move to the preparing and deploying applications in a reliable, Windows® 7 platform, driven by the impending end of consistent way. Technology transitions are approached as support for Windows XP, along with compelling business a point-in-time project. reasons based on the functionality that the new operating system provides. Additionally, many organizations are What’s needed is an efficient way to automate technology looking to simultaneously deploy the latest virtualization transitions—a process that not only gets you through today’s technologies, such as application virtualization, to simplify migration smoothly but also prepares you for the next. This application management and reduce costs. is continuous application readiness. Despite the business benefits of migrating to Windows 7 or That means every transition, whether it’s the OS, a mission- implementing application virtualization, these transitions critical application, or a data center consolidation, should can be taxing on everyone. For IT, they create extra work, be undertaken with the future in mind. In other words, longer hours, and higher stress. For employees, customers, “application readiness” is really about change readiness. and partners, they can disrupt access to vital applications The ultimate objective is to build a future-proof environment and services. For management, they often spell budget that adapts to both fast-changing technologies and ever- overruns and end-user complaints. For the enterprise as a changing business requirements with equal ease. whole, they can delay new strategic initiatives aimed at creating competitive advantages. And that means application readiness should be approached as a continuous process. It should implement Why are so many organizations still held hostage by best practices and technologies to ensure consistency and technology transitions? Because even though software optimal operations; it should leverage existing investments, deployments and OS migrations are among the riskiest such as packaging technology, wherever possible; it functions of IT, and the list of application preparation should automate each phase of the process; and it should requirements continues to grow: application discovery, standardize practices and procedures so that deployments cataloging, compatibility testing, remediation and are reliable and repeatable. conversion, packaging, virtualization, etc; most Identify Identify deployed and used applications Identify deployed and used applicat ions Process Management and Report ing Rationalize Eliminate duplicate applications applications Determine suitability for Assess Compatibility Determine suitability for migration/upgrade migration/upgrade Plan migration in line wit h Plan Plan migration in line with business objectives business objectives Fix & Package Convert applications to Convert applications to required format required format Deploy Deploy packaged applications Deploy packaged applications Figure 1: A high-level view of the six steps to continuous application readiness2
  • 3. Six Steps to Cont inuous Applicat ion ReadinessWith those overarching goals in mind, it becomes to support the applications or to consolidate applications topossible to move from a reactive, project-oriented a reduced number of products and versions.approach to a proactive, holistic approach tocontinuous application readiness. With the Flexera Software continuous application readiness approach, once the application inventory has been importedToday, the critical need for application readiness is and catalogued, applications can be classified and sortedunderscored by projects such as Windows 7 migrations by type, so that duplicate versions and multiple vendorsand application virtualization. However, with most within each type can be identified and consolidated. Theorganizations updating, repackaging and deploying over result is a list of the applications that will actually need to be30% of their applications annually due to new versions, moved to Windows 7—and significant cost savings for eachupgrades and patches, the requirement extends beyond application that does not need to be migrated (or supportedthe initial migration project into a need for business as in the future).usual application management. Based on Flexera Software engagements, estimates are thatThis paper outlines the six key steps of a migration project, for each application removed from a migration project,illustrates the major tasks within each phase, and explains savings can be between $3000 and $5000.how the Flexera Software™ solution can reduce the riskand cost of your application deployments by providing a This application consolidation process then becomes a keyconsistent approach to continuous application readiness. element of continuous application readiness. It is undertaken not as a point-in-time activity, but as part of a regularly6 Steps to Continuous Application Readiness scheduled, ongoing process.Step 1: Step 3:Identify What’s Being Used (and What Isn’t) Assess Compatibility So You Know What to MigrateThe first step requires obtaining an accurate view of the and/or Virtualizeapplications that are deployed across the organization. This Typically only 30 – 50% of applications that run onis a good time to look at the application inventory and take Windows XP will run on Windows 7 without requiring somestock of what is actually being used, as opposed to what is modification. This makes it all the more important to performdeployed. Depending on the end users’ abilities to install application compatibility testing before upgrading. Doingapplications locally, there may be applications that cannot so, will identify those applications that need to be fixedbe centrally monitored or managed, but could be crucial to in order to run on Windows 7 and those with un-fixablethe business and therefore must be identified. compatibility issues that will need to be replaced or updated.Beyond identifying application installation, analyzing It’s difficult to know which applications will haveapplication usage provides a deeper level of insight as compatibility issues, and thus which will requireto which applications are actually used. It is critical to remediation to work on Windows 7. A manual approachknow what is being used and, more importantly, which of installing and testing each application on Windowsapplications are not being used. 7 is extremely time consuming, and also it’s difficult to exhaustively test all features of the application to ensureThe Flexera Software solution integrates with industry-leading they work. Many applications may initially appear tosystems management technology such as Microsoft® System work– but over time, as features and functions in theCenter Configuration Manager (SCCM) to extract both application are used, compatibility issues may arise. Thisapplication and hardware information as a baseline for can cause unpredictable application performance andcontinuous application readiness. crashes in the production environment.From a software perspective, it can extract the full titles of In addition to assessing application compatibility withapplications, the application’s producer, version information, Windows 7, organizations that are implementingand application usage details from SCCM to get an application virtualization should also check for applicationenterprise view of application consumption. The inventory suitability for their chosen virtualization technology as not alldata from SCCM can then be exported for analysis. applications can be converted to run as virtual applications.Step 2: The Flexera Software solution provides a highly effectiveRationalize Applications to Cut Migration Costs method to quickly identify applications that haveOperating system upgrades present a prime opportunity to compatibility issues, and provides detailed informationrationalize the application estate and to address desktop on the location, and specifics of the issue. The solution isapplication sprawl. With a clear view of both the deployed fully automated, able to assess hundreds or thousands ofand used applications, you can verify the need to continue applications and gives a view of the overall application 3
  • 4. Six Steps to Cont inuous Applicat ion Readiness compatibility across the application estate for both 32-bit Step 5: and 64-bit versions of Windows 7, as well as suitability Fix & Package Compatibility Issues testing for application virtualization if required. Applications that presented issues during the “Assess Compatibility” phase need to be fixed to run on The solution categorizes each application as “Red,” Windows 7. “Amber,” or “Green,” with Red being incompatible, Amber signifying fixable issues, and Green being ready to deploy. Organizations also implementing application virtualization, This automated approach saves significant time compared perhaps as part of an optimized desktop strategy, need with manual tools and clearly shows where remediation to convert applications to the required format for their efforts need to be focused. virtualization technology. Step 4: Application fixing and format conversion can be a time- Plan Migration Projects consuming, manual process, so utilizing technology to Many organizations are challenged with not having automate this and leveraging investment in packaged adequate information to scope and budget for a Windows applications can yield considerable savings, and ensure a 7 migration project. Since application compatibility is one consistent approach to application readiness. of the most costly and time-consuming components of a migration, having an accurate view of the applications to The Flexera Software solution automates the complex be migrated, and their readiness for Windows 7, provides process of fixing compatibility issues, packaging, and the information required to accurately budget and resource converting applications to the required deployment format. a migration project. It helps IT organizations quickly and reliably prepare for OS migrations and virtualization. If you are using your The work completed in the Rationalize and Assess Windows 7 project as an initiative to standardize or Compatibility phases arms you with a list of rationalized implement software packaging, you can reliably repackage applications and the details of compatibility issues that your applications in minutes and deploy software to need to be addressed. With this information you will have desktops with 99 percent success or better. a clear view of the magnitude of the project enabling you to accurately calculate costs and likely duration timeframes. Equally important, the Flexera Software solution can support your application virtualization strategies, enabling Figure 2: The Flexera Software solution simplifies the tasks of fixing compatibility issues and packaging applications into the desired deployment format.4
  • 5. Six Steps to Cont inuous Applicat ion Readinessthe quick conversion of applications for technologies • T staff can accelerate deployments and begin spending Isuch as Microsoft App-V™, VMware ThinApp™, and more time on strategic projects rather than time onCitrix XenApp™. It simplifies your move to application manual tasks.virtualization by identifying which MSIs are good • evelopers can spend less time dealing with Dvirtualization candidates and converting them to virtual application conflicts and compatibility issues andpackages automatically—with no extra repackaging focus more time on adding the new features endrequired. And by taking a vendor-neutral approach, the users are requesting.Flexera Software solution maximizes your flexibility whiledirectly addressing some of the biggest challenges of • mployees, customers, and partners get more reliable Evirtualization. For example: access to their applications on the latest platform, such as Windows 7, without outages or interruptions • You don’t need to start from scratch when you move in service caused by migration issues. to the virtualization model because the solution has a clear, fast and complete process for converting • he enterprise gains a new level of agility in T legacy and existing MSI packages to virtual packages responding to fast-changing business conditions, (or applications). competitive threats, and customer needs. • Learning curves are minimal because the solution For More Information replaces the need for multiple vendor specific You can learn more about Flexera Software application packaging tools. application readiness solution by visiting www. flexerasoftware.com/products/application-readiness.htmStep 6: or contact Flexera Software at 1-800-809-5659 to speakDeploy Packaged Applications Quickly and directly with a representative.Cost-EffectivelyThrough the continuous application readiness approach, About Flexera Softwareyou can automate and accelerate the process of deploying Flexera Software is the leading provider of strategicapplications directly to your configuration management solutions for Application Usage Management; solutionssystem – without additional copying of files. delivering continuous compliance, optimized usage and maximized value to application producers and theirFor example, the Flexera Software solution can pass customers. Flexera Software is trusted by more than 80,000packages to virtually any deployment solution, including customers that depend on our comprehensive solutions-Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, LANDesk® from installation and licensing, entitlement and complianceManagement Suite, Novell® Zenworks®, and others. It also management to application readiness and enterprise licensefacilitates distributing packages and patches via network optimization - to strategically manage application usagedestinations, FTP servers, administrative installations, and and achieve breakthrough results realized only through themore through the Distribution Wizard feature. systems-level approach we provide. For more information, please go to: www.flexerasoftware.comThe solution is also integrated with workflow managementto make it easy to standardize and manage the packaging,virtualization, and Windows 7 migration process, as wellas implement packaging best practices such as ITIL andMicrosoft’s BDD.ConclusionAs demonstrated by the six-step process for Windows 7migration, continuous application readiness allows you toshift from reactive to proactive application management.The Flexera Software solution can be a source of significantbenefits for many groups within the enterprise, and for theenterprise as a whole. • IT managers can significantly reduce the cost and complexity of major migrations today while increasing the company’s preparedness for subsequent migrations, without sacrificing previous investments in packaging technology. 5
  • 6. Flexera Software LLC Schaumburg United Kingdom (Europe, Australia (Asia, For more office locations visit:1000 East Woodfield Road, (Global Headquarters): Middle East Headquarters): Pacific Headquarters): www.flexerasoftware.comSuite 400 +1 800-809-5659 +44 870-871-1111 +61 3-9895-2000Schaumburg, IL 60173 USA +44 870-873-6300Copyright © 2012 Flexera Software LLC. All other brand and product names mentioned herein may be the trademarks and registered trademarks of their respective owners. AS_WP_6Steps_June12