by Sachin Sharma, Product Marketing, VMware
April 8, 2014. This date should be circled in the calendars of IT shops all around the world. This is the date Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP. For those of you who have already upgraded or migrated from Windows XP to Windows 7, you’re ahead of the curve. For those of you who have not, it may be time to hit the panic button. Why? Because if you don’t migrate to Windows 7 on time you will face security and compliance risks. For example, you will stop receiving Windows XP patches, hotfixes and security updates. This presents a huge opportunity for hackers. As mentioned in a Microsoft TechNet blog, attackers will reverse engineer a security update to find vulnerabilities in the update. They will then develop code to exploit that vulnerability on all machines that don’t have that security update installed. According to that blog, “Windows XP will essentially have a “zero day” vulnerability forever.”
And, we haven’t even touched on what will happen to your independent software vendor and hardware manufacturing support. Third-party applications are less likely to be supported on an unsupported operating system, which is what Windows XP will be in April 2014. Hardware vendors will be reluctant to continue to install unsupported Windows XP on their platforms. Still, you may be thinking of purchasing a custom support plan from Microsoft, which will continue to provide systems updates for Windows XP. But this won’t come cheap! According to Computerworld.com, custom support for 5,000 devices can be up to $8 million in a three year span.
So how do you avoid hitting the panic button? And how do you manage to migrate all of your XP machines to Windows 7 in time? The answer: Horizon Mirage.
While there may be many solutions that can migrate or update your environment from Windows XP to Windows 7, the benefits of Horizon Mirage are what make this solution unique. Horizon Mirage was designed to help you easily migrate operating systems quickly and at scale. You can complete hundreds of migrations per week. If anything goes wrong during the migration, you can simply revert the end-user’s machine back to the Windows XP snapshot that Horizon Mirage stores centrally. In distributed and WAN environments, little or no additional infrastructure is needed at the branch sites for you to manage. Additionally, Horizon Mirage’s layering capabilities allow for maximum flexibility. During the migration process, you can choose which base image, driver set and applications to deploy to the end-user’s device.
Horizon Mirage was also designed with the end user in mind. Keeping the end user as productive as possible during the migration process is very valuable. With Horizon Mirage, endpoints get centralized while the end user works. In the migration process, total user downtime can be as little as 20 minutes. After the migration is complete, continuous disaster recovery support allows for peace of mind for both IT and the end user.
With all the benefits Horizon Mirage provides, we encourage you to take a look at the solution. In fact, Horizon Mirage 4.3 is now available! For a list of the latest features in 4.3, read about them in this blog. For more information and updates on Horizon Mirage, please visit us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or discuss in our Community.