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Whether or not a Windows 7 upgrade is inevitable for your
organization, it s almost a guarantee at some point you ll have to
manage a major OS migration. Whenever you re faced with that
battle, there are some key things you need do to ensure success.
Equipping Yourself for Migration Success
One thing on which everyone agrees is that you need to get the
lay of your land before planning an OS migration. If you don t have
a comprehensive view of your current IT environment at the start,
it s impossible to accurately estimate the time and effort required
to get to the end. Before embarking on a Windows 7 migration, it s
imperative to have the right tools in place to plan, deploy, track,
and report on the journey.
In order to take command and manage a successful Windows 7
migration campaign, you need to:
1. Conduct Reconnaissance: Take stock of your IT hardware and
create a comprehensive map of your IT environment.
2. Create a Plan of Attack: Determine what hardware and
software you need to upgrade, replace, retire, re-lease, and so
on so they re compatible with Windows 7. Also design a rollout
plan and timeline that will cause the least disruption to users.
3. Brief those in Charge: Create and present reports clearly
outlining required updates before migration; time and budget
required for updating and upgrading; and how users will be
impacted and when. You ll also need to produce regular progress
reports and updates for stakeholders along the way.
4. Bolster the Troops: No matter how smooth the migration, you
will inevitably get calls from users who need help using the new
features or can no longer access a non-compliant application.
You need to make sure the right service and support tools and
staff are in place to handle the increase of incoming inquiries.
5. Deploy: Use tried and true deployment automation tools to
rollout Windows 7, with minimal time required by IT staff, and
little disruption to end-users.
1. Conduct Reconnaissance:
Not surprisingly, a main consideration in any upgrade decision is
cost. In order to get an accurate picture of the time and budget
required to migrate to Windows 7, you must factor in the need for
pre-migration updates or purchasing new hardware.
To support Windows 7 a PC must have:
" 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64)
" 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
" 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
Manually checking every single desktop against these requirements
can be nearly impossible, especially if your organization has
numerous desktops spanning multiple locations. An automated
asset discovery solution will significantly reduce the time and
resources required to identify non-compliant PCs. A good discovery
tool will allow you to quickly search for all computers falling into
specific parameters: less than 1 GB of RAM and/or less than
16 GB of available disk space, for example. This enables you to
immediately produce a report
detailing how many PCs
will need to be upgraded or
replaced, and estimate the
number of resources required
to do so.
This is also the time to
take stock of your software
licenses and determine what
can be upgraded, reused
or terminated. It doesn t
make any sense to spend
time migrating obsolete or
outdated applications, so take
this opportunity to rid your
environment of these items.
Use this discovery phase to
look beyond your Microsoft
money wasted on duplicate
or underused licenses, and identify potentially costly software
license non-compliance issues. By assessing who s using which
applications and how often, you can not only optimize software
usage, but also identify applications that may no longer be
available or work once Windows 7 is deployed. Then you can warn
users that they will no longer have access to their non-compliant
software or may need to request access to certain applications
after the migration.
Windows 7 Information
Gartner s Special Report on
CIO.com s Windows 7 Bible
Gizmodo s Windows 7: The
Microsoft TechNet s Win-
dows Client TechCenter
CNET Windows 7 Center
PCWorld Windows 7 Center
Series Blog: Migrating from
Windows XP to Windows 7
Five issues that enterprises should examine before they move to Windows 7, by
Gartner Research (October 2009)