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Windows 7 Deployment                                                                 – The Final FrontierWindows 7 Deploym...
IntroductionOver the last 18 months many organizations have successfully completed the                 Did You Know?critic...
Any activity that impacts the end user environment poses significant challenges and risks to the IT team as the changemana...
User State      Uses Existing       File System  Scenario            Description                                          ...
Standard Operating Environment (SOE) CreationThe critical aspect in this phase is to ensure that not only the Windows 7 bu...
Roll Out Approach              Zero Touch               Lite Touch            Manual Deployment                           ...
What’s Planned Well Works WellWhat is evident is that crossing the Windows 7 Deployment frontier is step by step approach ...
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Whitepaper windows 7_deployment_the_final_frontier (1)


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Whitepaper windows 7_deployment_the_final_frontier (1)

  1. 1. Windows 7 Deployment – The Final FrontierWindows 7 Deployment – The Final Frontier- Manickam S & Keertan RaiAfter successfully having assessed your applications, remediated them, perhaps virtualized some too, you are nowstaring at the final frontier of the Windows 7 migration journey – Deployment. The last mile strategy of deployingWindows 7 across all end-user systems holds the key to a successful operating system migration journey that youhave painstakingly managed over the last many months. With the end of life for Windows XP fast approaching, timeis of essence in charting out the Windows 7 deployment plan. Adding to the complexity is the multiple desktopscenarios dotting the end user landscape requiring differing deployment efforts and costs. This paper examinesways to successfully deploy Windows 7 across enterprises in a seamless manner.
  2. 2. IntroductionOver the last 18 months many organizations have successfully completed the Did You Know?critical groundwork of compatibility testing, application remediation, packaging,and application virtualization which are pre-requisites for an enterprise wide That over two thirds of yourWindows 7 roll-out. It is now time to gear up for deployments. Faced withmultiple differing desktop scenarios such as – new systems, upgrades, refresh applications might not beand replacements, it is evident that deployment of Windows 7 is beyond natively supported byStandard Operating Environment (SOE) creation and pushing Images to thedesktops. Windows 7?It requires a clinical approach in planning a step by step deployment strategy Underestimating Windowsthat ensures not only all user systems have been uniformly migrated to acommon platform but also in the process the enterprise has the best returns on 7 readiness planning mayits hardware and software investments. escalate your migrationIn addition to the above challenges that are specific to Windows 7 there are the costs and project timelinestypical complexities in tackling key issues that emerge while managing an by 35% - 70%.enterprise wide migration such as ensuring zero data loss, containing costs, co-existence management and ensuring business continuity. With Microsoftofficially announcing that the Windows XP extended support due to end on April th14 2014, we are looking at busy season for migration managers this year.Windows 7 Deployment Challenges – TheCommon DenominatorsA Windows 7 migration exercise touches every end user in an enterprise, andtypical to such a migration effort is the challenges posed by it. Also given thefact that such an operating system migration might have been carried out closeto a decade ago during Windows XP adoption, enterprises need to be evercognizant of the standard challenges of an enterprise wide operating systemdeployment. The common ones being-  Large and disparate user communities working in multiple time zones  Multiple application components Did You Know? - Complex interdependencies - Extended periods of co-existence which reduce environment stability That the extended support for and increase business risk Windows XP from Microsoft is  Numerous migration teams and processes officially due to end on 14th April 2014 and many ISV’s are unlikely - Duplication of effort, tools and processes - Disparate results across multiple groups to release Windows XP compatible applications from  Significant “tactical” investment 2012 - Migration tools (Procurement and Education) - Processes and procedures - Documentation
  3. 3. Any activity that impacts the end user environment poses significant challenges and risks to the IT team as the changemanagement elements along with the technology needs to be managed with kids’ gloves. Thanks to the technologyadvancements and availability of the new tool sets, today an enterprise can substantially automate the Windows 7 deploymentat end points with greater accuracy by leveraging the tools and techniques available.One Size Does Not Fit All - Windows 7 Deployment ScenariosBefore moving on to the specifics of deployment, it is crucial to understand the end user system diversity in the enterprise as ithas a deep impact on the deployment efforts and timelines. Desktop procurements across organizations are typically spreadout over a period of time to address new user requirements, hardware advancements and growth in employee base. Hence atany given time there might be multiple desktop clusters in various stages of their lifecycle. Deployment processes varysignificantly with the differing desktop scenarios in the organization and factoring this is the first step in charting out the roll outplan as the efforts, cost and benefits of deployment across these categories too differ.Naturally then the first logical step is to classify the desktops across the organization basis the deployment readiness.Classifying the desktops on this criterion serves two important purposes. The first one is that it gives an accurate time and effortestimation and the second one, that it gives a clear go/no-go analysis of rolling out Windows 7 across certain categories. Forexample – desktops that are nearing end of life might need a new system replacement in the coming quarters thus an additionalspend on upgrading hardware to install the new OS might not be warranted. Here we outline the 4 different types of desktopscenarios that need to be considered in the deployment processWindows 7 Deployment ScenariosFigure 1: Windows 7 Deployment ScenariosNow that the systems have been categorized, the next step is to look at the effort estimation for Windows 7 deployment acrossthese categories. As you would see from the Table1.1 below, it varies drastically from rolling out Windows 7 in a new systemas compared to a computer replacement.
  4. 4. User State Uses Existing File System Scenario Description Migrated Client Preserved Computer New A new installation of Windows is deployed to a new Computer computer The current Windows operating system on the Upgrade computer is upgraded to the target operating Computer system. This scenario includes computers that must be Refresh re-imaged for image standardization or to address a Computer problem. Replace A computer currently running a supported Windows Computer operating system is replaced with another computer.Table1 : Windows 7 Deployment Effort Estimation by Desktop Scenarios Yes NoWhat Lies Beneath - Windows 7 Deployment Environment ComponentsNow that the PC’s have been classified across multiple categories, it’s to time to plan the deployment strategy. Whileundoubtedly Windows 7 is a giant leap over its predecessor in terms of enhanced features, stability, performance and security,some of the new Windows 7 features such as Direct Access, Branch Cache, and Bit locker requires updates at existing ActiveDirectory schemas and might require additional server infrastructure. Hence the Windows 7 deployment strategy needs to startwith reviewing the current image engineering and management process apart from build deployment. The deployment lifecycleis split across two distinct phases - the Standard Operating Environment (SOE) creation and the Rollout process as shown inthe figure below.Windows 7 Deployment Environment Components Zero Touch Deployment Scenario: • Automated & centrally managed • Leverages OS deployment features of desktop management applications such as SMS / SCCM/ Altiris / Radia • User profile, User data backup & restore will be completely automated • Will leverage Hard Link Migration process wherever feasible Lite Touch Deployment Scenario: • Highly automated • Applicable for remote / small sites • User Profile, User Data backup & restore will be completely automated • Will leverage Hard Link Migration process wherever feasible High Touch Deployment Scenario: • Manual deployment Process • Applicable in mobile / regional migration clinic scenarios • User Profile, User Data backup & restore will be completely automated • Will leverage Hard Link Migration process wherever feasible Figure 2: Windows 7 Deployment Environment Components
  5. 5. Standard Operating Environment (SOE) CreationThe critical aspect in this phase is to ensure that not only the Windows 7 build meets the organization needs in terms offeatures and functionality but also to check for its robustness and performance to provide richer end user computing experiencewhile using the build. A starting point to ensure that the right image specifications have been captured is to create a Windows 7image specification template checklist. This template is the master reference document for all Windows 7 in-built features thatneeds to be included in the image. Upon listing all the features to be included, the associated settings, services and ports thatneed to be activated have to be mapped to each of the features chosen to be included. Such a granular level mapping is amust-do precursor to building a robust Windows 7 image as it not only gives a pin point accurate estimation of the tools andexpertise required but also you are now a step closer to an error free image that’s ready for deployment and thus saves time oniterations.Once the specification template has been prepared, the migration manager identifies user clusters within the organization basisfunctions (corporate, sales, operations etc), geographies .This helps in categorizing images on the following lines basis the enduser cluster requirements.Thick Images- Almost ready for immediate use after deployment- Build size is huge as majority apps and other user/group specific customization (language packs, drivers, etc.) would be deployed in the image itself- Need multiple images to support each group/users and hence ongoing management will be cumbersomeThin Images- Image contains only standard operating system files and few core applications- Post deployment at client computers, user/group specific applications needs to be initiated and custom settings have to be configured, hence build provisioning will take long time- Easy to build, maintain and test imagesHybrid Images- Mix of thick and thin image strategies- Base image contains the core applications and language packs- Though it takes long time to provision the build the overall provisioning time will be lesser than of thin imagesThe next step is to check the Windows 7 build on various end user standard operating environment (SOE) and differenthardware for its integrity and functionality as part of build acceptance testing. It is recommended to conduct organizationwide end user awareness training on Windows 7 as it will not only ensure that the users are trained to use the newWindows 7 build but also significantly reduce migration/post migration support calls.Roll Out ProcessThe next stage in deployment is the image roll out process across all end user systems. Critical factors to plan this stageare the end user environment composition such as managed and un-managed nodes, mobile and roaming users, remoteand local user environment and geo spread. Although there are a number of options for image roll-outs such as Lite TouchDeployment, Zero Touch Deployment and Manual Deployments, picking the right fit depends on the end user environmentas you would see in the following table.With Lite touch and Zero touch deployment techniques, the desktop management applications needs to be prepared andvalidated in test and pilot user environment. The testing rigor help to estimate deployment time lines and plan the teamsizing, apart from fine tuning the migration processes.
  6. 6. Roll Out Approach Zero Touch Lite Touch Manual Deployment System Center Microsoft Deployment Roll Out Platform Configuration Manager/ ToolKit + Windows None Altiris / Radia Deployment Service Medium. High. Low. Fully automated and Image roll out is requires no desk manual automated. However Automation Maturity Requires desk by desk placing inventory tags, intervention installation of the image encrypting hard disks using a DVD using safeboot and placing device locks have to be completed manually LAN environment. > 50 Best Applicable When users. Existing tool LAN environment <50 users. investments.Table 2: Windows 7 Image Rollout Approach Comparison
  7. 7. What’s Planned Well Works WellWhat is evident is that crossing the Windows 7 Deployment frontier is step by step approach and by-passing theseprocedures to get there faster might only end you up back in the drawing room. Planning the deployment stage acrosslogical phases and breaking them down into activities is your best chance to cross over to what is now being widelyreferred to as the Windows 7 powered Workplace of the Future. With so many end points to be touched and variousmigration scenarios possible, the migration planning should be planned with proper communication and roll backstrategies. The success of the Windows 7 migration project depends on water-tight project management and leveragingtools to track project management at a granular level. • Windows 7 Image Validate • End user Integrate Engineering awareness • Rollout scenario • Identify target identification user groups • Migration strategy • Setup • Schedule • Post migration creation for each infrastructure for migration support scenario deployment • Knowledge • Pilot roll out • Data backup & • Test migration • Staged transfer local IT restore strategy process and production rollout teams • Rollout process checklists Documentation development • Analyze migration time taken on each scenario and estimate staffing Build needs DeployFigure 3: Widows 7 Deployment – Project Management PhasesAbout the AuthorsManickam Sethuramalingam heads the Consulting Services unit within the End User Service practice in Microland. Hehas over 18 years of experience in IT infrastructure management space with hands on expertise in technology operations &architecture, information security, transition, project management and presales. He spearheads various infrastructureprojects spanning across systems, Windows 7 migration, and Desktop & Application Virtualization technologies for severalglobal customers of Microland.Keertan Rai is an End User Services marketing manager at Microland. He has over 5 years of experience in IT servicesmarketing. At Microland he handles Go-To-Market initiatives for End User solutions such as the Windows 7 MigrationLifecycle suite of services that are designed to improve workforce productivity and employee satisfaction.