It’s coming up to holiday season (at least in the northern hemisphere) and you may be planning a road trip. You need to pick a great destination, decide the date and plan the route.
It’s not very different to planning a migration to Windows 10 – honestly!
Where to Go?
Migrating to Windows 10 option is a much simpler decision than picking where your family want to spend their holiday. According to Gartner, “Survey data indicates that migration to Windows 10 is expected to be only 23 months — eight months faster than previous OS upgrades.” (Gartner’s User Survey Analysis: Windows 10 Migration Plan in the Business Sector, Worldwide, 2015, March 15, 2016). We believe the delays are largely due to the fears around the complexity of the migration process and potential impact on the business during the migration. The apparent lack of tools to make the migration easy could be another factor.
This, though, is like saying “we’ll hold off on that trip to the other side of the country because I don’t know the roads very well, I expect there’ll be a lot of holdups and we’re likely to break down half way there.” With those concerns, you may never get to make that trip.
When to Go?
Everyone in the family wants the holiday but they worry that it’s going to interrupt their work (which is, of course, the point). It’s always going to be hard to find a time that suits everyone.
The same is true when planning your migration to Windows 10. You worry it’s going to cause major interruptions to your work. And, with a traditional migration processes, you’d have a point. It’s not unheard of for migrations to take hours to complete. Multiply that by the number of systems affected and years of effort could be required.
The delays start with scheduling a time for a systems administrator to visit each user’s desk to start the process. More often than not planning migrations will take many attempts as appointments are re-scheduled when higher-priority tasks arise. Trying to make such plans across thousands of users and many locations will take substantial effort by the admin teams.
Getting there – The Scenic Route
You may think that there is only one route available – the “scenic” route that uses minor roads and has lots of junctions to navigate. You may not think it possible to take faster routes.
You might have similar preconceptions about your Windows 10 migration. You might think that a migration needs a highly manual process – insert a DVD into a PC and run the installer as a starting point. Not only is the PC out of operation during this process but there’s also an administrator doing very little else than watching a lot of installer status messages for several hours. This is not a process that can scale beyond a handful of PCs in one location.
Getting there – The Highway
But what about the fast roads? As anyone who’s ever been in a summer holiday traffic jam can testify, these can be problematic too.
This is like having Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager in place, which can help automate some of the OS migration tasks. You can’t schedule your migration this way, meaning you can’t minimize the impact, and things can become congested.
Another area Configuration Manager doesn’t help is when re-configuring the PC to enable the new security features in Windows 10 such as Secure Boot or Device Guard. These features need UEFI boot mode enabled and that is a manual process even with Configuration Manager.
The Best of Both Worlds
There is another option for the journey that focuses on the destination and getting there as quickly as possible – using the highways or motorways (for the sake of this discussion, we’ll disregard road works or if air travel is an option!). These offer the fastest speeds and fewest junctions.
1E offers the only high-speed, fully automated option for Windows 10 migration. The automation starts with the end-user scheduling their own migration to Windows 10. They do this with a simple browser-based system to schedule the migration when it fits in with their work, for example overnight or at a weekend. Besides minimizing the impact, that also means you don’t need admins working out of hours to perform the migration.
Once the migration starts, the entire process is automated: backups are taken, the BIOS is re-configured for UEFI (a capability that is only available with 1E), Windows 10 re-installed which includes re-formatting the disk for security, the user’s applications are re-installed (and only the ones they actually use which are also update to later versions if necessary), the user’s data is restored from the backup. At the end the system is ready to start work again the next morning.
All of this process took place not only without expensive manual intervention but also entirely locally. All backups and installation images were located local to the user so preventing any impact on the business network and doesn’t need complex, expensive remote servers. It’s also meant there haven’t been any potentially disastrous errors introduced by manual intervention. With this level of automation, it’s easy to see how it can scale to hundreds or thousands of PCs across many locations. Indeed, 1E customers have performed several thousand OS migrations in a day.
The Journey Continues …
If the holiday goes well, you don’t want to go home. Well, with the 1E Windows 10 migration solution, there’s no need to revert to old, bad practices to ensure systems are kept up to date. With the Windows 10 servicing model, there will be two feature updates per year with old releases being made “end of service” every year so there won’t be a choice to pick one release and keep it for 5 years, you will need to refresh systems on a regular basis. The good news is that the automation used for the initial migration is exactly what’s needed to keep those refreshes rolling out without impacting the business.
Holiday of a Lifetime
Perhaps the ideal way to travel to a vacation is Star Trek style transporter or even an Hyperloop but until then traditional transport modes will be needed. The same can’t be said for Windows 10 migrations. There’s no need to settle for manual processes or tools that can’t automate the whole process or need complex, expensive infrastructure and many servers. 1E Windows 10 Now is a unique, automated, self-service solution for Windows 10 migration. It’s time you got started on your journey.