Forrester research shows that, late in 2006, 67% of corporate PCs were running Windows XP, with a further 24% running Windows 2000®1. That's a whopping 91% of corporate PCs running the latest two Windows client operating systems.
With Windows Vista pre-installed on new PCs from late January 2007, Microsoft is encouraging its corporate customers to migrate to its latest operating system. The same Forrester report suggests that 34% of PC decision-makers in North American and European enterprises are planning Vista deployments within 12 months of its release, and goes on to suggest that about five million new US business PCs will be running Vista by the end of the 2007 calendar year.
In the next 12-36 months, there will be considerable pressure for businesses to migrate to Vista. The inevitable fleet roll-overs will introduce the operating system on new machines; there will be decreasing support for older operating systems; and some will be attracted by the improved security model or the dramatic user interface changes. However, deploying Vista brings significant challenges. It has an extensive list of hardware requirements, and its application-compatibility matrix is still emerging. Such challenges mean that, however far into the future you plan to deploy Vista, your planning should be underway now. This paper presents a six-step process to help you validate your Vista strategy and your progress towards success.
Windows VistaSix steps to successWhite paperwww.managesoft.comForrester research shows that, late in 2006, 67% of corporate PCs were runningWindows XP, with a further 24% running Windows 2000 . That's a whopping 91% ofcorporate PCs running the latest two Windows client operating systems. With Windows Vista pre-installed on new PCs from late January 2007, Microsoftis encouraging its corporate customers to migrate to its latest operating system.The same Forrester report suggests that 34% of PC decision-makers in NorthAmerican and European enterprises are planning Vista deployments within 12 monthsof its release, and goes on to suggest that about five million new US business PCswill be running Vista by the end of the 2007 calendar year.Untitled Document 3 Windows Vista: Six steps to successForrester research shows that, late in 2006, 67% of corporate PCs were running Windows XP,with a further 24% running Windows 2000 1. That's a whopping 91% of corporate PCsrunning the latest two Windows client operating systems. With Windows Vista pre-installed on new PCs from late January 2007, Microsoft isencouraging its corporate customers to migrate to its latest operating system. The sameForrester report suggests that 34% of PC decision-makers in North American and Europeanenterprises are planning Vista deployments within 12 months of its release, and goes on tosuggest that about five million new US business PCs will be running Vista by the end of the2007 calendar year.In the next 12-36 months, there will be considerable pressure for businesses to migrate toVista. The inevitable fleet roll-overs will introduce the operating system on new machines;there will be decreasing support for older operating systems; and some will be attracted bythe improved security model or the dramatic user interface changes. However, deployingVista brings significant challenges. It has an extensive list of hardware requirements, and itsapplication-compatibility matrix is still emerging. Such challenges mean that, however farinto the future you plan to deploy Vista, your planning should be underway now.This paper presents a six-step process to help you validate your Vista strategy and yourprogress towards success. The first four of these steps - identifying why you need Vista, choosing a deploymentstrategy, data gathering, and tool selection must be completed well in advance of anyrollout, to ensure that you have the data you need for budgeting and planning your Vistaproject. The final steps detailed project planning and rollout must be comprehensivelyplanned to minimize both disruption to business operations and cost to your enterprise.To be counted a success, a large-scale software deployment or migration project must satisfyall business and legal requirements. Later in this paper you'll see how, while preparing forVista, you can establish systems that assure your ongoing regulatory and licensingcompliance.EvaluateVistaDeterminestrategyGatherdataChoosetoolProject planning:- Refresh data- Project planning- Image preparationChoosetoolPREPARATIONDEPLOYMENTForrester researchsuggests that five millionUS business PCs will berunning Vista by the endof 2007.1. Windows Vista Finally! , by Simon Yates, Benjamin Gray (Forrester Research, Inc.), November 30 2006.Untitled Document 4 Step 1: Evaluate VistaThe objective of this step is to identify why you need Windows Vista in your enterprise,and when you need to have it in place.The Microsoft website is the definitive source of detailed information about what featuresare available in Windows Vista. In particular, readwww.microsoft.com/windowsvista/businesses/ for facts with a focus on what Vista offersbusinesses. At a high level, Vista functional improvements are centered on:Improved security with the introduction of:o The Security Development Lifecycle (SDL)o User Account Protectiono Improved support for Internet Protocol 6 (IPv6)o Internet Explorer 7, with encrypted feed support, new ActiveX security controls,and Protected modeo Improved Windows Firewall, now with inbuilt protection against distributed denial-of-service attackso Windows Defender to block, control, and remove spywareo Windows Service Hardening to help prevent security exploits of Windowssystem servicesNew user interface and improved graphicsNew desktop search facilitySupport for legacy and non-Windows applications by enabling them to run in a virtualenvironment.How much value these Vista features offer you depends largely on your businessrequirements. To help identify the business value Vista offers, you could evaluate it in termsof how it addresses any bottlenecks or restrictions in your current working environment, orwhat time and cost-savings it offers.During your Vista evaluation, you will naturally introduce one or more computers runningVista to your enterprise. While they will initially be used largely by members of your ITdepartment, it can be helpful to introduce Vista to a small but representative group of usersas well. This will allow you plenty of time to address any issues they identify before rollingout Vista to your production environment. The business benefits from Vista that you identify, and their importance to your enterprise,will help determine the timeframe in which you plan to deploy Vista. EvaluateVistaDeterminestrategyGatherdataChoosetoolProject planning:- Refresh data- Project planning- Image preparationChoosetoolPREPARATIONDEPLOYMENTSee microsoft.com/windowsvista/businessesfor a summary of thebusiness benefits ofWindows Vista.Untitled Document 5 When considering timeframes for Vista deployment, also take into account: Support for your currently-deployed operating systems Microsoft is progressivelydiscontinuing support for older operating systems and applications. Windows XP SP1 and SP1a support ended in July 2006. Also in July 2006, Office XP movedonto extended support, and support ended for Windows 98, Windows 98 second edition,and Windows Me. Mainstream support for Windows 2000 was discontinued at 30 June2005, although extended support is still available. Remember that support is not just about helpdesk and troubleshooting it's also about theavailability of security updates and patches. Enterprise data on computers running olderoperating systems are at increasing risk.The age of your fleet hardware replacement might be the ideal time to introduce Vista.Any current leasing arrangements, and when they are due for renewal leasing changescan provide another opportune time to upgrade computers, including the operating system.The applications currently in use across your enterprise, and any requirements to upgradethem. Eventually, it's inevitable that an upgrade to a business-critical application will beavailable and will only run on Vista. Step 2: Determine your strategy: blitz, fix, or mix?Assuming that you have identified the reasons to migrate some of your users to Vista, it'stime to consider the approach you will take to your Vista rollout.The most dramatic option is an enterprise-wide program to replace all existing computerswith new hardware running Vista. We might call this the blitz approach.The very obvious downsides of this approach are cost and potential disruption. This approach may offer a faster path to Vista deployment than the alternatives we willexplore next, as it does not require that you evaluate the upgrade potential of currenthardware.Although it's not too early to start planning for this approach, for most organizations theimplementation of this approach should be scheduled for after the release of the LonghornServer product, to ensure that servers can be upgraded at the same time as workstations. Careful planning is required to make sure that replacement computers are configured withall the software required by users, and that important data and settings are migrated fromold computers to new.Alternatively, you may choose to identify existing computers that either meet the Vistahardware requirements, or can be cost-effectively upgraded to do so, and deploy Vista tothem (the fix approach).Planning to upgrade existing computers requires detailed analysis to ensure that existinghardware down to component parts such as video cards is capable of running Vista. Italso requires efficient, preferably automated, processes to ensure that the upgrades takeplace without interrupting regular business operations.EvaluateVistaDeterminestrategyGatherdataChoosetoolProject planning:- Refresh data- Project planning- Image preparationChoosetoolPREPARATIONDEPLOYMENTSupport is also about theavailability of securityupdates and patches.Enterprise data oncomputers running olderoperating systems are atincreasing risk.Untitled DocumentPlanning to upgradeexisting computersrequires detailed analysisto ensure that existinghardware down tocomponent parts such asvideo cards is capableof running Vista. 6 Perhaps the most pragmatic solution is to adopt a mix of these two approaches: replacingcomputers that are at end-of-life or end-of-lease with new Vista-compatible hardware, andperforming hardware upgrades on existing computers that can be cost-effectively broughtup to Vista specifications. Computers that meet neither of these criteria can continue to runtheir existing operating systems until they are due for replacement.Whether you fix, mix, or blitz, there will be a period during which your IT department isresponsible for supporting and maintaining a wider range of configurations than usual. Partof your Vista planning must also be to determine that, for all your supported environments,you have in place the right tools for:OS deploymentSoftware deploymentSecurity patch deployment and configuration management.Having selected an approach to your Vista deployment, the next steps are to gather andanalyze data about your current environment, and to start evaluating tools for operatingsystem deployment.Step 3: Gather and analyze preliminary dataAfter identifying the timing and approach for your Vista project, you need current data aboutyour deployed hardware and software, and their configurations, for project and budgetplanning. You may already have systems in place that provide this data, and give you reports and toolsto analyze it effectively. If not, look for an easy-to-use tool that allows you to collecthardware and software inventory across your entire network. The tool should not requireeither software installation on every desktop or extensive training of your technicalpersonnel. The data gathering is a preparatory step, and shouldn't turn into a major projectitself! The data-gathering tool should also be available for immediate use. Choosing future-ware canintroduce a delay of months (or even years) to your project schedule.EvaluateVistaDeterminestrategyGatherdataChoosetoolProject planning:- Refresh data- Project planning- Image preparationChoosetoolPREPARATIONDEPLOYMENTUntitled Document 7 Look for inbuilt reporting that is tailored for Vista planning requirements, such as the abilityto list compatible and incompatible hardware down to the component level. Consider whether you also need customizable reporting to meet your own specific analysisrequirements, and determine whether the reporting offered by tools you are evaluating isextensible.As well as ensuring that your tool of choice will use software inventory to recognize a largepercentage of standard software applications "out of the box", also look for intelligentrecognition of applications. Imagine that three computers each report the existence of a filebut, because of differences in service packs and hotfixes, each file has a different versionnumber:Computer A reports file version 10.1.123.0045Computer B reports file version 10.1.126.0000Computer C reports file version 10.1.123.0048.Intelligent matching will recognize that these files belong to the same application, and allowyou to group them for reporting if you only want to track application by release number, butnot down to the service pack and hotfix level. Without such intelligent matching andgrouping, the number of recognized files and applications quickly becomes too large to beusable.You should also be able to add your own application data to the catalog used for applicationmatching, to ensure you can identify in-house developed software, or unusual applications,according to evidence that you specify.Zero-touch inventoryIdeally, the tool you select to gather hardware and software data will let you perform a "zero-touch inventory", "Zero-touch" is a term that's been somewhat abused. Some use it in aminimalist way to mean only that the process does not require desk-side visits by ITpersonnel. But it's equally important that you can gather hardware and software inventoryfrom computers across your enterprise without having to install any additional software onthem at all. You do not want to precede your OS rollout with a preliminary roll-out of anothertool, if you can avoid it. True zero-touch inventory allows you to initiate inventory gatheringfrom a central point, collect inventory automatically from computers visible to the network,and return it to a central database ready for reporting and analysis.Assess hardware readinessUsing the hardware inventory data you've gathered, you can analyze which computers'hardware is Vista-ready. When selecting a tool, look for one offering Vista-readiness reportsto automate this process. From high-level reports summarizing Vista-readiness, look for thecapacity to drill down to specific components that need upgrading to meet Vistaspecifications. Also look for easy ways to sort and filter report data to view the hardwarestatus of your enterprise by location, department, or whatever organizing principles are mostuseful to you. Your quick checklist for adata gathering tool:Available nowDoes not requireinstallation on individualcomputersDoes not requireadditional hardwareCollects both hardwareand software inventoryIdentifies and trackshardware and softwareVista compatibilityMaps software inventorydata meaningfully toapplicationsOffers customizablereportingUntitled Document 8 Assess software readinessWith a list of software deployed across your enterprise, you can start to identify whichapplications are known to be Vista-compatible, which are known to be Vista-incompatible,and which you need to perform your own Vista-compatibility testing on.For applications that are not Vista-compatible, you can start to determine if the applicationsshould be retired or replaced.Knowing the number of applications for which you need to perform your own Vista-compatibility testing will help your project planning. If appropriate, you can use thecomputers in your Vista test environment to start application-compatibility testing at thistime.Step 4 Choose an OS deployment toolAt this time you should also start looking at which tools you will later use to deploy Vista.You may choose to use Microsoft-supplied tools, supplemented by custom scripting effort byyour IT staff. Alternatively, there are a number of third party solutions for operating systemdeployment which complement the Microsoft tools streamlining automation and support forhands-free, remote deployments. When evaluating possible tools, consider the following points:Is additional infrastructure required? If you need to deploy new physical infrastructure, thetime and cost of this will contribute significantly to your project budget. How easily will the tool fit into your existing systems environment? For example, if you useActive Directory, can you easily exchange data between it and your Vista deployment tool?What about if you use SMS? Or any similar frameworks?Does the tool supports hands-free deployment, even at remote sites? If not, your budgetmust include the significant costs of travel and accommodation for IT site visits, and yourproject timeframes will also be extended.What support does the tool offer for:o Migration of user data and settings from old computers to new, when you are replacing(blitzing) computers?o Preservation of user data and settings during OS upgrade, when you are upgrading(fixing) existing computers?What support does the tool offer in ongoing management of your Standard OperatingEnvironment (SOE)?Allow time to perform one or more proofs-of-concept using trial versions of candidate tools inyour Vista test environment.You can and should complete the process up to this point well in advance of the time atwhich you expect to start deploying Vista, to ensure that you have the data you need toproperly plan and budget your project. EvaluateVistaDeterminestrategyGatherdataChoosetoolProject planning:- Refresh data- Project planning- Image preparationChoosetoolPREPARATIONDEPLOYMENTLook for Vistadeployment tools offeringautomation and supportfor hands-free, remotedeployments.Untitled Document 9 By now you have sufficiently detailed information to prepare a solid budget, and a high-leveloutline of the elapsed time requirements. These are the minimum requirements for yourproject proposal to upper management. In some cases, projects of such scale will also needBoard approval. The cycle of plan and budget submission, review, and approval willintroduce a natural break at this point. If you do not plan to deploy Vista in the near future, you can stop at this point, picking upthe next steps at the time you need to start detailed planning for Vista deployment.The next sections offer a more in-depth exploration of the analysis and deployment processes,and illustrate how an integrated suite of tools can both meet your Vista project requirementsand also provide ongoing business benefits by automating software management andcompliance reporting across the entire software lifecycle from installation to retirement.Step 5: Detailed project planningThis section describes the processes that contribute to the development of a fully detailedproject plan. This step typically commences when you have received project and budgetaryapproval for your Vista deployment project, and have appointed key staff such as themanager for the project.For simplicity, the description of this step refers to the use of various components of theManageSoft suite, but the processes could be completed with alternative tools, supplementedwhere necessary with your own customized development effort.Refresh dataIf a significant amount of time has passed since you gathered preliminary data about the stateof your enterprise software and hardware at Step 3, you will need to refresh the data now sothat you have current and complete data from which to work. (What constitutes a"significant" amount of time depends on the frequency with which hardware and softwareconfiguration changes occur in your enterprise. Typically, you should aim to have no morethan about 1-2% error rate in data due to changed hardware or applications.)Review hardware compatibility If there have been significant changes to your hardware fleet since your preliminary hardwareassessment at Step 3, you may need to re-check your current status with respect to deployingVista.Review software installation, usage, and compatibility You have previously performed at least a preliminary analysis of which applications are Vista-compatible, Vista-incompatible, or whose Vista compatibility is not known. If the set ofinstalled applications has changed significantly since you performed that analysis, or if yoususpect the Vista-compatibility status of some applications has changed (for example becausevendors have now completed Vista certification testing), you will need to revisit youranalysis.ManageSoft provides a software inventory report showing all software installed on surveyedcomputers. Review your complete list of installed software to determine if there is softwareinstalled that is out-of-date, prohibited by corporate policy, or otherwise unauthorized, andmake plans to uninstall it or ensure it is not transferred to new or upgraded computers. EvaluateVistaDeterminestrategyGatherdataChoosetoolProject planning:- Refresh data- Project planning- Image preparationChoosetoolPREPARATIONDEPLOYMENTCompliance requirements:Taking controlThe Vista planningrequirement to gather dataabout software that'sinstalled in your enterprise and, optionally, its usage presents a goldenopportunity to gain controlover your enterprise ITassets. From your data aboutpurchased licenses andcurrent installations, youcan determine whether youare license compliant, non-compliant, or perhaps evenover-licensed. If you arenon-compliant, you canplan how to rectify this by removing installations,or purchasing additionallicenses. If you find youhave many more licensesthan installations for somesoftware, you may be ableto renegotiate licensingand maintenanceagreements to achieve costsavings.Having invested time andeffort in gathering data andcalculating your licensingcompliance, maintain themomentum with anongoing compliancemanagement solution.Once you have a system inplace that's capable ofproducing softwareinventory data, you canintroduce ManageSoftCompliance Manager toautomatically keepinstallation data up-to-dateand alert you tocompliance breaches.Untitled Document 10 With baseline data abouthardware assets in place,ManageSoft ComplianceManager can also keepyou up-to-date onchanges to hardwareconfiguration: deliveringyou greater control overyour hardware assets.You could also review and rationalize the list of installed applications by standardizingapplication versions or selecting one only of a class of deployed applications (for example,specifying that Microsoft Word is the only supported word processing application), you canreduce the number of applications to be supported by your IT department.If you already have one or more standard operating environments (SOEs) defined, this stephelps validate that they are being adhered to. If you do not already have an SOE, you mightchoose to develop one (or a small set of SOEs to accommodate the different specializationswithin your business) as part of your Vista project.Software installation reporting is only half the story. At least as important are data aboutwhich applications are being actively used. This information is not available from a zero-touch inventory, but can be obtained using the ManageSoft or Microsoft SMS applicationusage agents. These agents can be automatically deployed, without the intervention of ITstaff or end-users. Review of application usage data for a strategic period perhaps 30, 60, or90 days can simplify your project planning. For example, there is no need to plan to deployon Vista software that is not actually in use, or where its frequency of use falls below someeconomic limit.Develop detailed project planNow that you have identified the current hardware and software assets of your enterprise, it'stime to develop detailed project plans to:Identify the tasks required to achieve desired project outcomesDetermine the times at which each needs to be completedAllocate specific tasks to project teams or individuals.Prepare images, configuration scripts, and software packagesBefore any deployment can occur, the project team must prepare and test operating systemimages and configuration scripts that will be used during operating system deployment, andensure that software to be automatically deployed is appropriately packaged and tested. Thereare a number of OS imaging technologies on the market. If you have a preference for whichtool you use perhaps because you have strong in-house experience ensure that thedeployment tool you are considering supports your choice of imaging tool. Extensive testingin your test environment is a prerequisite for project success.In the following section, we see several ways that ManageSoft dramatically simplifies theimaging, scripting, and packaging processes.Untitled Document 11 We recommend that youuse structured processesbased on best practiceIT Infrastructure Library(ITIL) and MicrosoftOperations Framework(MOF) standards. TheManageSoft Reference:Release Management is adetailed guide to helpyou develop best-practice processes forsoftware and operatingsystem deployment.Step 6: RolloutThe actual operating system rollout is typically implemented cyclically. You select a group ofcomputers, perhaps based on physical location or job function, to migrate or replace, and theproject team verifies that appropriate operating system images and configuration scripts areavailable, and that software required on these computers is ready for deployment under Vista.The team then captures personality data, and initiates the rollout of the new operatingsystem, applications, and data required to achieve the desired state of those computers. It is, of course, sensible to complete this process first on a pilot group of users andcomputers, to ensure that everything works as expected in your production environment.Personality capture and OS deploymentManageSoft automates:The capture of user data and settings for migrationOperating system installationRestoration of the user data and settings. Operating system deployment can be initiated and monitored remotely if required. Whenstarted, ManageSoft applies the operating system image to targeted computers, performsnecessary configuration such as naming the computers and joining them to Active Directorydomains if required, and then restores the correct personality settings and data files. In theevent of OS installation failure or other problems, computers are automatically rolled back tothe state they were in before Vista installation commenced.The task of developing and maintaining operating system images has, until now, beensomething of a nightmare. Windows Vista simplifies this with two new technologies:Modularization into inter-dependent components that simplify customizationWindows Imaging (WIM) support for deploying a single image to different types ofcomputer hardware with different native language requirements.In addition, ManageSoft completes the separation of SOE (all the layers above the operatingsystem) from the OS itself, further simplifying image management.An integral part of the preparation phase is the packaging of software ready for installation,and setting your corporate policies that determine who needs which applications (or, if youprefer to deal in SOEs, who needs which combination of applications). ManageSoft automatesthis process, letting you record those policies (either in Active Directory, if that is yourenvironment, or separately) in the system. When you include ManageSoft for manageddevices into the operating system image, newly installed or upgraded computers become self-maintaining devices that always adhere to your declared corporate policies. Immediately afteroperating system deployment, each computer determines from a policy what software andconfiguration settings it requires, and automatically fetches and applies these from a nearbyserver.If desired, ManageSoft can now perform security settings configuration and install securitypatches issued since the OS image was built. EvaluateVistaDeterminestrategyGatherdataChoosetoolProject planning:- Refresh data- Project planning- Image preparationChoosetoolPREPARATIONDEPLOYMENTUntitled DocumentIt's because applications and settings are handled independently and automatically afteroperating system installation that you can minimize image preparation and management.ManageSoft turns computers into self-managing devices that automatically apply securitypatches, handle application updates, and install new software according to corporate policy.Using ManageSoft means that computers can be built or rebuilt, even at remote sites, withoutintervention by IT personnel or end-users. This is especially valuable during the transitionperiod in which you have computers running different versions of Windows, when your ITdepartment must support a mix of operating systems and multiple SOEs. HandoverAfter each group of computers is migrated to Windows Vista, or replaced by new computersrunning Windows Vista, responsibility for ongoing change and release management on thesecomputers is handed off to the operations area, freeing up the Vista project team for the nextdeployment cycle.Ongoing managementWe have already seen how ManageSoft is used in the OS deployment process to streamlineOS image production and management, and ensure computers are built to specifications thatmeet the individual needs of their users. This same approach offers long-term cost savings inautomated software maintenance and security patch management.You can optionally add other products from the ManageSoft suite to accomplish otherbusiness objectives:Meet and manage your licensing and regulatory requirements using ManageSoftCompliance Manager to monitor hardware and software compliancePerform sophisticated analysis based on historical data with ManageSoft IT BusinessIntelligenceNext stepsWhile Vista deployment can be daunting, it's possible to streamline the process by selectingthe most capable tools, and optionally supplementing your in-house expertise withspecialists who understand the complexities and can help you avoid the pitfalls. ManageSoftCorporation offers a suite of products, a set of ITIL-compliant processes, and (if required)highly-trained Microsoft-certified consultants to keep your project on track.Whether you're looking to deploy Vista this year, next year, or sometime after that, it'salready the right time to be planning. Call today to discuss how we can help your Vistadeployment succeed. 12 ManageSoft professionalservices consultants areavailable to help up-frontwith a Vista-readinessassessment, orthroughout the durationof your Vistadeployment/migrationproject. Our consultantscan act in an advisorycapacity, strengthen yourproject team's hands-onexpertise, or we canresource and completeyour entire project.Untitled Documentwww.managesoft.comNorth America HeadquartersEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone: (800) 441 4330 European HeadquartersEmail: email@example.comPhone: +49 69 975720-0Asia/Pacific HeadquartersEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone:+61 3 9895 2000 Copyright 2007 ManageSoft Corp(ABN 40 052 412 156) All rights reserved.ManageSoft, The Software ManagementCompany, and the ManageSoft logo aretrademarks or registered trademarks ofManageSoft Corporation. All othercompany names and technology/productnames are the property of their respectiveowners. Printed 02/2007. MGS7-TWP4101.