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Sasha Panasyuk, System Administrator
Concert Pharmaceuticals

Windows 7 Migration and Deployment Tools

Helping Provide Comprehensive Capabilities for Rapid and Reliable Migration and Windows 7 Deployment

For many organizations the question is no longer whether to migrate, but how. As XP reaches end of life and Vista became merely a skipped step for most, the prospect of a full scale Windows 7 migration looms. Beyond the necessary tasks of actual Windows 7 rollout and preservation of user data, other migration Windows 7 migration challenges include identifying which machines can be upgraded, which applications are supported on Windows 7 and assuring that license tracking is not disrupted throughout the process. In addition, 83% of respondents in a recent Dell KACE survey stated that they plan to skip Vista and go directly to Windows 7. This strategy poses significant complications since Microsoft does not support in-place upgrades from Windows XP to Windows 7, and requires a fresh installation.

The Solution

Dell KACE Appliances help optimize the process of migrating to the Windows 7 operating system through easy to deploy and use appliances. The KACE appliance-based approach saves you time and money through a solution that helps facilitate tasks such as user state migration, operating system deployment and application distribution, helping speed the move to Windows 7 and minimizing end-user downtime. Upon successfully completing a Windows 7 migration, KACE appliances can assist to provide PC lifecycle management including patch and configuration management, providing even more potential savings. In addition, Dell ChangeBASE application compatibility capabilities help reduce application migration risk and ensure application readiness, enabling a smooth and non-disruptive migration to Windows 7.

Features of KACE Appliances helping support a successful Windows 7 migration include:

  • Application compatibility features of Dell ChangeBASE allow you to test all your existing applications for Windows 7 compatibility, to uncover and repair most issues and allow for  a smooth and non-disruptive migration. 
  • Driver Management in the K2000 is a snap. The driver feed automatically downloads the latest Windows 7 drivers right to your K2000, organized by computer model. For other cases, the driver harvesting tool allows you to upload Windows 7 drivers from a machine you’ve updated manually.
  • Windows user state migration can permit you to retain user-specific files and settings when installing Windows 7. You can migrate user states when installing an operating system and applications, helping minimize end-user downtime and reducing the risk of losing critical information. User state migration templates allow you to enforce corporate compliance standards when copying data, ensuring that unsupported data (like music MP3 files or video MP4 files) are not transferred.
  • Inventory assessment helps you check machines for Windows 7 readiness. The KACE Appliance discovers machines on your network and collects detailed hardware and software inventory. The appliance can then help assess which machines in a network are ready for a Windows 7 deployment. An innovative client to server communication protocol gathers inventory multiple times per day, helping ensure that your data is up to date.
  • K-imaging is a flexible file-based imaging format. You can more easily add files and folders to a Windows 7 K-image. Through K-imaging, the KACE Appliance helps eliminate redundant transfers in the capture, storage, and deployment of Windows 7 images.
  • Network OS install allows you to automate the build out of Gold Master reference machines used for Windows 7 image capture. The KACE Appliance slipstreams drivers along with a network OS install, helping to provide a hardware independent option to deploy Windows 7.
  • Software asset management helps track Windows 7 operating system and software license compliance. KACE asset history monitors assets as they undergo hardware and software changes through a Windows 7 Migration. Software metering shows you the Windows 7 software in your network that is actually being used versus simply installed. Unused software licenses can then be reassigned or retired, helping save your company money.
  • Patch management allows you to deploy relevant Windows 7 patches and updates for the operating system and third party applications to machines on local and remote networks as they become available. Rely on the KACE Appliance to distribute Windows 7 updates so that you do not have to wait for the full service packs from Microsoft.
  • Pre and post deployment configuration helps make it easy to bundle relevant Windows 7 applications while utilizing thin images, a systems deployment best practice. Since thin images contain only the operating system and applications that everyone in your organization needs, they help you to maintain fewer images. And because thin images are simpler, deployments can be more reliable and users can experience less downtime.
  • Remote site management allows you to migrate machines outside your headquarter network to Windows 7. The KACE Appliance remote site management technology requires virtually no dedicated hardware. You can retain the convenience of a centralized administrative console while utilizing the remote network to serve as the engine for the deployment.