Make the Move to Windows 10 Using VMware Mirage

Nov 30, 2016
Sachin Sharma

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Sachin Sharma is a senior product line marketing manager for VMware’s End-User Computing business unit, specializing in security.

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Register for the webinar, “How to simplify and de-risk Windows 10 migrations,” hosted by Lakeside Software, MigrationStudio and VMware on Dec 7 at 7:45 a.m. (PST). Partners can register for a similar partner-focused webinar on Dec 7 at 9 a.m. (PST).

It’s been a little over year since Microsoft released the Windows 10 operating system (OS). Since then, customers have started to look at how to migrate and support Windows 10. In fact, in a recent survey we conducted, 64% of customers say Windows 10 migration is the top priority among their end-user computing (EUC) projects.

Within two years, our survey indicates that customers expect to migrate and support Windows 10 in 75% of their install base. It’s clear that Windows 10 is already being embraced by organizations today, and even more organizations are certainly thinking about it.

[Related: Using VMware AirWatch to Manage Windows 10 EMM-Style]

Customers who are making the move to Windows 10 are using different methods. Some customers are working through a hardware refresh project that gives employees new laptops or desktops, with Windows 10 already loaded on the device of choice. Other customers are taking this opportunity to evaluate strategic initiatives, such as security, by deploying Windows 10 virtual desktops and remote application solutions such as VMware Horizon.

And then there are those customers who are investigating an in-place OS migration strategy, moving their existing Windows 7 devices to Windows 10, using existing hardware. For these customers, nearly half are using a manual migration process because they are finding the time required for an in-place migration to be challenging. This is where VMware Mirage enters the equation.

Mirage Accelerates In-Place Win10 Migrations

Using Mirage, customers can accelerate in-place Windows 10 migrations, leveraging key capabilities that other solutions simply do not offer. For example, Mirage minimizes end-user downtime, removing one of the biggest challenges customers experience with in-place migrations. End-user downtime is reduced because using Mirage, IT can trigger a download of the base image (we call it a base layer) in the background, onto the device that needs to be migrated. Users continue to work until they are ready to reboot. After a reboot, Mirage takes the Windows 7 laptop or desktop through a pivot phase where the IT managed Windows 10 image is loaded.

This process usually only takes 20-30 minutes and doesn’t require user intervention. To minimize impact on day to day work even further, customers can consider performing this task at the end of the work day.

 

What if something malicious or unexpected happens during an in-place OS migration? No worries with Mirage, as there is a built-in safety net option that can revert the machine back to its original Windows 7 image. This is a powerful capability that can help IT troubleshoot what went wrong without much downtime for the end user.

Mirage is also designed for distributed environments, which helps branch/remote offices quickly migrate to Windows 10 without requiring heavy infrastructure at the branch/remote sites. Mirage also supports Windows 7 32-bit to Windows 10 64-bit migrations, even giving customers the freedom to perform in-place migrations regardless of Windows 10 edition and language. For example, customers can migrate from Windows 7 Enterprise to Windows 10 Professional. Typically, a customer needs to manually perform this type of migration, which is very time-intensive and expensive. Mirage helps automate this process.

The minimal end-user downtime, revert to snapshot option and migration edition/language options described above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to benefits IT can realize by using Mirage for OS migration. Additional benefits include:

  • Patented WAN optimization and deduplication (helps accelerate migrations)
  • Public APIs (extends existing systems and workflows)
  • PowerCLI cmdlets (provides workflow automation)
  • Compatibility (with most third-party disk encryption software)
  • Support for Wake-on-LAN

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For enterprise organizations, migrating to Windows 10 can be a daunting task, as in-place OS migration is just part of the scope of the project. Larger organizations need to understand the entirety of the scope, monitor and report on progress of the project, and organize and automate tasks. Using tools, such as MigrationStudio and SysTrack Desktop Assessment (offered in conjunction with Lakeside Software), can help complete the Windows 10 migration picture.

These tools enable the Windows 10 migration project team to assess and understand scope, prioritize the workload, monitor progress and deliver on time:

  • Discover: Data connectors pull in information from existing systems to build a picture of the current estate.
  • Plan: Show which applications to focus on each week to migrate a specific set of users.
  • Optimize: Typically, 60-80% of the user base can be ready for migration with just 20% of the applications prepared.

60-80-percent

  • Accelerate: Start the deployment phase of the migration up to 75% earlier.
  • Organize: Schedule users or machines into predefined Migration Slots based on application readiness.
  • Focus: Monitor readiness globally or at granular level (e.g. department or location).
  • Deploy: Automate migration tasks on a schedule.

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We’ll be hosting a webinar with Lakeside Software and MigrationStudio at 7:45 a.m. (PST) on Dec 7. Register now to find out how you can accelerate your Windows 10 migration while keeping costs under control. If you’re thinking of migrating to Windows 10 via an in-place OS migration, I recommend you to visit vmware.com/products/mirage for more information. Happy migrating!

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