Case Study

Riverside Health System: Planning an automated, accelerated Windows 10 migration with Nomad

Riverside Health System

Riverside completed its Windows 7 migration a couple of years ago. However, if there’s a lesson in last month’s unfortunate events, it’s that none of us should rest on our laurels. The more up-to-date your software, patches, and operating system are, the better. WannaCry is a loud wake-up call reminding us that we all need to stay current. As a result, we’re planning to accelerate our move to Windows 10.

Kenny Covington
Systems Administrator, Riverside

The Challenges

April 2014 was a significant date for US healthcare provider Riverside Health System: Microsoft had stopped providing support for Windows XP. Riverside was among the many companies who found themselves with an urgent need to switch from XP to Windows 7 – the only way to ensure protection against potential exploits and new vulnerabilities. With 7,800 PCs and a complex, highly dispersed server estate, Riverside faced a significant challenge in terms of rolling out the upgrade quickly and effectively. To ensure success, it needed an efficient, effective, and automated approach.

1E’s Nomad provided Riverside with a fast, bandwidth-efficient, and highly automated solution to roll-out Windows 7.

Dark Reading

We were delighted to see one of our own customers repeating this very message in the pages of Dark Reading. As a system administrator for Riverside Health System, Kenny Covington felt the NHS’s pain particularly keenly, and he told Riverside’s own migration history and future plans in his piece, Advice for Windows Migrations: Automate as Much as Possible.

We were going to have to hire more than $600,000 worth of labor to come in and do the process. The other option was automation.

Planning for Windows 10
Riverside in Dark Reading


Accelerated migration
Nomad reduced the average time needed to migrate a PC to Windows 7 from three hours to just 15 minutes. Rather than migrating each machine individually, IT staff can set up 5-6 migrations at a time.

Painless process
Nomad made it possible for Riverside to carry out the migration without any impact on end users’ work – eliminating any costs that might have been associated with lost work time.

Increased time for key projects
Riverside has saved more than 24,000 man hours over the course of the migration project – time that can now be used on other important IT projects.

In terms of cost, this extra labor was estimated to cost around $600,000 over the course of two to three years.

Going forward

One difference with Windows 10 concerns its high-speed release cadence. As the WannaCry attack demonstrated, from a security point of view, organizations will not only want to be on Windows 10 but on the latest version of it, and patched as much as possible. In addition, Riverside is planning to migrate swiftly, to avoid having several different versions of Windows 10 at the same time.

Riverside expects Nomad to provide significant benefits in these areas, as well as during the migration itself.

Windows Migration without Disruption

Riverside’s 7,800 PCs were spread across more than 100 locations, many of which had connection speeds of just 1.54Mbit/s. Combined with the central coordination of OS rollouts, software updates and patching across Riverside’s Wide Area Network (WAN), the process of migrating away from Windows XP posed a significant challenge. Riverside’s aim was to migrate its 7,800 XP machines to Windows 7 quickly – but the complexity of its IT infrastructure made this difficult. To get a feel for the scope of the project, Riverside’s IT Department set up a trial-run, using the traditional Windows User State Migration Tool (USMT). This took weeks and ultimately proved impractical. A more efficient approach and toolset was required for the kind of low-impact migration Riverside wanted to achieve