Fast track your Windows 10 migration

Has your organisation completed its migration to Windows 10?  If so, congratulations!  You have joined the millions worldwide who have completed the migration to Windows 10. Based on a Spiceworks survey, 38 per cent of organisations across the globe have adopted Windows 10. For those who are still planning the migration to Windows 10, there are important ways you can speed a Windows 10 migration. 

If you managed a Windows 7/8 upgrade, you know how difficult the migration can be.  Consider the number of software applications you currently have running on Windows devices.  Can you identify a complete list of applications? Do you know what versions are currently running?  And most importantly, do you know what versions are Windows 10 compatible or require upgrade?

As you embark on a Windows 10 migration, think about the starting point:

  • Alignment – Am I aligned with the expected Windows 10 migration goals?
  • Planning - Do I have the resources I need and how long will it take?
  • Budget – How much is this going to cost and do I have the budget?

Kicking off a new software initiative is always a balancing act. It’s no different migrating your organisation to Windows 10. To be successful, you require detailed information regarding your software and hardware assets. And most importantly for Windows 10, you need to know whether an asset is Windows 10 compatible.  If not, you need to know whether an upgrade is available.   

To begin planning, think about the information you require:

  • Asset Inventory – What software and hardware are in my current state environment?
  • Vendor and Versioning – What additional information do I have for those identified assets?
  • Normalise the Data – How can I “apples to apples” the asset data I have in my environment?

A Windows 10 migration is easier if you start with a clean asset database enriched with Windows 10 compatibility information. Asset data collected via discovery can be more than 80 per cent non-essential and redundant, which can hinder the migration project. It is highly recommended that you normalise all asset information to remove the non-essential and redundant information.  

With a clean and normalised asset database, you have complete visibility into your software and hardware environment for Windows 10 compatibility. No longer are you required to search for information online. A good clean asset database provides you with key information to help you plan the migration.

  • What assets are compatible with Windows 10?
  • Which are compatible with 32-bit only? 64-bit?
  • What upgrade is required and what does it cost?

A primary asset report to run is a summary report that lists Windows 10 compatibility ranked by installed count (Figure 1). This report is perfect for planning the overall migration. It shows the total list of assets, ranked by installed count, showing Windows 10 compatibility for each asset. Using this report, you can identify the most popular applications and determine whether an upgrade is required. You can also plan your budget and identify “rogue” applications running in your environment. These rogue applications may be candidates for removal or replacement.

Commercially available tools are available to enrich and normalise your asset database with detailed Windows 10 compatibility and EOL information. 

With a full information source of Windows 10 compatibility data specific to your Windows 10 migration and specific to your environment, you can:   

  • Create a report that lists your software and hardware assets by version, Windows 10 compatibility and installed count
  • Drill into specific software versions to determine upgrade path and measure total cost of upgrade if an upgrade fee is required
  • Quickly identify rogue software versions that are not Windows 10 compatible and may require removal or replacement
  • Drill into hardware devices to determine manufacturer, model and CPU to identify devices that are not suitable for Windows 10

Lessons learned

The IT staff of a large financial organisation had vivid memories of the last migration they managed for Windows 7/8. They recalled that it took 18 months just to create a clean asset inventory with Windows compatibility and EOL information.

To begin Windows 10 migration planning, the first step was to clean and normalise a very large (and unclean) asset database.  Their asset database contained a total of 83 million asset records, comprised of 63 million files and 20 million add-remove records. Using BDNA Technopedia the asset database was cleaned, normalised and enriched with Windows 10 compatibility and EOL information.  The resulting database contained 4 million total records – a 95 per cent reduction.  

For hardware, the clean asset database identified 67,855 normalised devices, seven unique hardware vendors and 104 unique hardware models. For software, it identified 3,761,662 software installations, 1,142 unique software vendors and 6,712 unique software releases.

Using the clean asset database, the customer was quickly able to run reports to identify Windows 10 compatibility for all software and hardware assets by installed count.  This information was essential for planning and budgeting.  

  • They were able to drill down into specific software versions to uncover rogue software programs that were not Windows 10 compatible and needed to be removed or replaced
  • They were able to identify software versions that required an upgrade fee and budget accordingly
  • For devices, they were able to analyse desktops and laptops for manufacturer, model and CPU to determine suitability for Windows 10

Much work remained, but the clean asset information made planning and budgeting fast and accurate.  The best part of all is it only took two hours and 13 minutes to completely normalise and clean the asset database.

In summary, having a clean asset data information source is critical for your Windows 10 migration. A clean asset database enriched with Windows 10 compatibility information makes your migration planning substantially faster and less error-prone. With a clean, normalised IT asset database, you can move quickly toward your goals for a successful Windows 10 migration.

Walker White, president, BDNA
Photo credit: Anton Watman / Shutterstock