Software Management Tools Aid Windows 7 Migration
For law firm Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine in Englewood, Colo., the migration from Microsoft Windows XP to Windows 7 was fairly straightforward.
Steven Tucker, IT manager for Burg Simpson, used a combination of tools within Novell ZenWorks to migrate about 115 computers from XP to Windows 7 in about 21 days. The firm completed the migration last April. “We were expecting it to take about two months, but once we got underway, it was a smooth process,” says Tucker, who supports 70 lawyers and 45 administrative staff in offices located in Colorado, Cincinnati and Cody, Wyo.
Tucker has relied mainly on the ZenWorks desktop migration tool, which enables him to capture the personal profiles of users and move them from XP to the Windows 7 environment. He also uses the configuration management tool to store new profiles and update them as changes are made. “Configuration management will be really important when we finally move to Windows 8,” he says. “We’ll have all the profiles updated and ready to go.”
The percentage of organizations that haven’t yet migrated 50 percent or more of their applications to Windows 7
SOURCE: “Application Usage Management Survey: Software Migrations & Application Readiness” (IDC, September 2013)
For now, Tucker says the firm is well prepared for Microsoft’s discontinuation of support for Windows XP on April 8. The only other thing he has to do with the migration is schedule some Windows 7 user training.
Amy Konary, a research vice president for software licensing, provisioning and delivery at IDC, says tools such as Novell ZenWorks can help organizations more effectively manage a Windows 7 migration. “Anything that lets IT departments be proactive is a tremendous benefit,” she says.
Straight Ahead with Win 7
At HollyFrontier, an oil refinery company based in Dallas, the upgrade to Windows 7 also went fairly smoothly.
Steven Jackson, desktop support II engineer for HollyFrontier, says the company used a combination of Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager and Flexera to perform the migration. “We used SCCM to deploy the images and software and then used Flexera Software’s AdminStudio to repackage some old business apps,” he explains, adding that HollyFrontier is nearly 97 percent finished with its Windows 7 migration.
“After the first of the year, I plan to start investigating Windows 8 to see what we need to move in that direction,” Jackson says.
IDC’s Amy Konary advises IT organizations to put each application through an application readiness process to ensure a successful deployment. She shares six best practices to get organizations started:
- Identify what’s being used. Obtain an accurate view of the applications that are deployed across the organization.
- Carefully review each app. Before starting a migration, sort through each application with a critical eye. With a clear view of both the deployed and used applications, organizations can verify whether the software needs continued support or should be consolidated.
- Assess compatibility. Perform application compatibility testing before a migration. Up to 50 percent of applications will require some modification to ensure success in a large migration, such as to Windows 7 or to desktop or application virtualization. Perform application compatibility testing before a migration.
- Plan the migration. Having an accurate view of applications ready for migration enables the IT department to assess the budget and resources it needs.
- Fix compatibility issues and package. Fix applications that presented issues during the compatibility testing and package applications in accordance with IT standards prior to deploying them in the new environment.
- Deploy packaged apps fast and cost-effectively. Deploy applications to users directly via a configuration management system or via a self-service enterprise app store.