Posted by: Alan Perlman
Aaron Suzuki, Prowess, Windows 7 Migration, Windows XP
We continue our conversation with Prowess co-founder and CEO Aaron Suzuki about Windows 7 migration. The focus today is on potential pitfalls and time frames (along with a little plug from Aaron about his own company’s solution):
The Techster: What are some of the potential pitfalls IT professionals should be aware of in tackling a migration to Windows 7?
Aaron Suzuki: The worst move is to in any way not sufficiently plan and test prior to deployment. Past processes probably won’t work the same with Windows 7 as they did with XP. There are lots of little potential gotchas – and some great big ones – so it is worth measuring twice before you cut. And don’t deploy an old OS on new hardware. If you’re ordering new and you aren’t ready to roll out Windows 7 in large scale, just leave it on the new systems and run an XP VM. The old OS probably won’t like your new hardware and it’s just not worth the hassle to keep the organization on one OS purely on principle.
The Techster: What is the optimum ultimate outcome for a migration and how long should it take to get there?
Aaron Suzuki: The best outcome is a fluid, completely automated deployment process without any crazy application compatibility work-arounds, and everyone is running Windows 7 on their assortment of heterogeneous devices (or virtualization platforms) of choice, or if you’re a “consumerization of IT” friendly organization, people can get any device they like and it will all still work perfectly and provide an identical operating environment and user experience. Your deployment solution shouldn’t require hardware standardization.
The question of “how long” is really going to vary by organization size and the platform requirements and complexity. But for most mid-size organizations, if they focus on it, this really should be able to be done in less than a year. But it is common for this entire process of discovery, architecting, planning, and testing to run over the course of multiple years as different facets of the migration plan and process are ironed out.
Done properly, the job gets pretty easy.
The Techster: What does your company do to help and why is it different/better than other alternatives?
Aaron Suzuki: We create a product called SmartDeploy Enterprise, which is a Windows deployment solution based on the latest standards and deployment best practices. I think if people understood that there is a different way to do deployment that really is easier and so much faster and simpler, and happens to be cheaper, IT departments would be filled with happier people.
There are three key things that make it completely different from what’s on the market today. First is the use of a VM for the reference computer, which eliminates the hardware-based imaging methods that prevail currently. It turns the image update process from a day or more into a 20-minute task, no additional hardware required. The second major differentiator is our hardware independence model, which logically and physically separates drivers from the system image. If you ask nice, we’ll even help you package them up. Finally, the product is licensed by the technician rather than per node, making it the best value on the market. I don’t know of a customer that hasn’t gotten full ROI on their first project.
Back to The Techster: That completes our interview with Aaron and our second week of the Windows 7 Trender blog. Please feel free to comment – actually, at this point we’re kind of begging for comments – and let us know (1) what you think and (2) what you would like to see us write about. See you again on Monday.