Windows 7 Planning and Deployment Process

I’m currently working on a large scale project that will ultimately migrate thousands of computers from Windows XP to Windows 7. In the course of this project I am putting to paper what I have done before so that others can complete the project so I wanted to share that so that others can benefit as well… here it is (note that this is a work in process so check back for updates!):
 

Manhattan Associates

Windows 7 Deployment Project Management Methodology

This process uses a phased approach during which a number of quality checkpoints and milestones are achieved throughout the project lifecycle.

Phases:

Plan Phase

The Plan phase is divided into three distinct project phases:

· Plan – Initiate

· Plan – Put in place Microsoft’s Application Compatibility Tool & Assessment and Planning Toolkit

· Plan – Identify methods to scan applications and systems on and off the network

Discovery Phase

The Discovery phase is divided into three distinct phases:

· Discovery – Scan applications with Microsoft’s Application Compatibility Tool v5.5 and assign value to apps

· Discovery – Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit used to scan devices

· Discovery – Remediate using manual processes if needed to capture off site/off network data

Design Phase

The Discovery phase is divided into two distinct phases:

· Design – Design (Configure deployment environment using MDT 2010 & SCCM 2007)

· Design – Closed Pilot

Deploy Phase

The Deploy Phase is divided into two distinct phases:

· Deploy – Open Pilot

· Deploy – Deploy

Operate Phase

The Operate Phase is divided into two distinct phases:

· Operate – Update deployment image with current patches/software

· Operate – Rebuild/Reimage as needed

Windows 7 Deployments

Plan Phase: Requirements, Objectives, Benefits

In the Plan Phase we focus on validating the definition of the Windows 7 Deployment Project which includes discussions on the Requirements, Objectives and Benefits of the project, some of which are common under any SOE (Standard Operating Environment) deployment regardless of what OS you use, though some are specific to the new Windows 7 OS.

Cost reduction of maintaining the Windows 7 SOE

· Increasing automation by reducing or completely removing manual tasks. This will reduce the labor component and refocus support staff time on more important and customer friendly functions.

· Simplifying the build process and reduce the time required to rebuild a client computer.

· Simplifying the process for introducing new hardware models into the organization.

· Reducing the level of expertise that is required to rebuild a client computer.

· Modular build process such that applications and configuration changes can be easily snapped in and out of the build.

· Ability to maintain applications on all Windows 7 SOE devices in the environment using a common tool.

· Providing the ability to trace the changes that have been applied to the build.

Improved life cycle of desktop and mobile hardware

· Windows 7 can run on older (possibly legacy) hardware models.

Standardized desktop that uses the latest technologies

· Windows 7 is the most current Microsoft desktop operating system. Windows 7 provides greater functionality to users and greater administrative control than previous versions of the Windows operating system.

Provided centralized administration for the desktop deployment process

· All the components of the desktop deployment solution should be managed from a centralized location. This process includes the creation, upkeep, and distribution of the Windows 7 SOE images and applications.

User data protection during rebuilds

· The ability to capture user settings and data will be provided. This process will be performed during the migration to the new desktop environment and for ongoing rebuilds of the new environment.

Provide users with a standard look and feel

· The look and feel of the user interface will remain standardized to simplify training and support requirements.

Provide a robust and secure desktop environment.

· Incorporating user classifications.

· Direct Access feature which securely connects mobile workers to corporate networks without a virtual private network connection.

Improve the employee computing experience with Windows 7

· Speed is faster than Vista and XP (improvements in time to boot/shut down & on demand service startups).

· Laptop Power Management – Longer battery life.


Windows 7 Deployments

Discovery Phase

The purpose of this Phase is to quantify the project information and assumptions that may impact design and deployment.

· Identify the current infrastructure of Manhattan’s network. Conduct reviews of the current desktop environment infrastructure in place.

· Assess Manhattan’s maturity level in relation to the Microsoft Core Infrastructure Optimization (http://www.microsoft.com/infrastructure).

· Identify of a sample group composed of a cross section of Manhattan end users to participate in information gathering under this phase.

· Conduct interviews with the end user sample group to discover the end user requirements.

· Reviewed the requirements of the end users against the User Categorizations for Desktop Standardization based on Microsoft Standards.

clip_image002

· Determine appropriate uses for MED-V (Windows XP Mode is omitted from the graphic above, as it is not recommended for managed enterprise environments) as the recommended desktop virtualization solution for managed environments to provide a seamless user experience on a Virtual PC environment—independent of the local desktop configuration and operating system. Application-to-operating system compatibility issues are minimized, and operating system migrations are accelerated. Pre-define which websites or web-based line-of-business (LOB) applications need to be automatically invoked in the virtual machine’s web browser (Internet Explorer 6 by default).

This controlled approach to deploying the new Windows 7 SOE significantly reduces risks associated with moving into the next phases of the project. The output of the Discovery Phase will establish the initial foundation for the Design Phase.

Windows 7 Deployments

Design Phase

The initial Design phase of the Windows 7 Deployment Project will involve:

1. Review the output of the discovery phase to plan the Windows 7 SOE.

2. Build out MED-V applications for identified business critical incompatible applications.

3. Indentify closed pilot participants. Preferred pilot participants should include both ‘IT savvy users’ (as the focus of the closed pilot is to establish the proof of concept) and also ‘non-IT savvy users’ (to validate end user experiences).

4. Discuss support staff training requirements (including super user deployments) which will facilitate go-live.

The ‘Design – Closed Pilot’ phase of the Windows 7 Deployment Project:

· Establish the infrastructure (MDT 2010 and SCCM 2007) required for deployment.

· Import the finalized Windows 7 SOE into MDT 2010 and System Center Configuration Manager 2007 using best practices.

· Deploy the new Windows 7 SOE onto the computers of the Closed Pilot’s participants.

· Deploy MED-V applications as needed.

· The Closed Pilot participants use the Windows 7 SOE to carry out their day-to-day work with feedback being provided to the project team (User Acceptance Testing).

· The review of the feedback provided by the Closed Pilot participants.

· Modifications to the build and the deployment process as required from the review of the feedback.

This controlled approach to deploying the new Windows 7 SOE significantly reduces risks associated with moving into the next phases of the project. The output of the Design Phase will establish the initial foundation for the Deployment Phase.

Windows 7 Deployments

Deploy Phase

The ‘Open Pilot’ part of the Deploy phase of the Windows 7 Deployment Project will involve:

· Deploy the new Windows 7 SOE onto a broader scope of open pilot users.

· The open pilot participants will use the Windows 7 SOE to carry out their day-to-day work and give feedback to the project team (User Acceptance Testing).

· Review of the feedback provided by the Open Pilot participants.

· Modifications to the build and the deployment process as required from the review of the feedback.

The Deploy phase of the Windows 7 Deployment Project will involve:

· Deploy the new Windows 7 SOE onto the computers of remaining users.

· Manual deployment process and validation for off network/off site users will be ongoing.

This controlled approach to deploying the new Windows 7 SOE significantly reduces risks associated with moving into the next phases of the project. The output of the Deployment Phase will establish the initial foundation for the Operate Phase.

Windows 7 Deployments

Operate

Operate Phase

The Operate Phase is divided into two distinct and ongoing phases:

· Operate – Update deployment image with current patches/software that are approved for the Windows 7 SOE and at predetermined intervals (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, etc.) roll that into the Windows 7 SOE for deployment.

· Operate – Rebuild/Reimage user devices as needed to keep the approved Windows 7 SOE in place.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s