Dec 16 2013

Software Management Tools Aid Windows 7 Migration

Agencies save time and money with tools that help them more efficiently move older applications into the operating environment.

The Windows 7 migration at the Department of Health and Human Services has been deliberate and straightforward.

The Office of the CIO at HHS began the migration in February 2012 and should finish by April 2014, just before the April 8 date when Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP. The HHS project includes some 10,000 machines.

The agency uses the Microsoft User State Migration Tool to migrate the user files and settings from Windows XP to Windows 7. The USMT captures desktop and application settings, as well as user accounts and user files.

HHS also uses the Symantec Altiris software tool suite and plans to use Altiris to manage assets and applications moving forward. The Altiris software lets the IT department identify applications that are currently in use, manage asset inventory and automate patch management. It normally takes three to four hours to fully migrate and update the operating system and transfer files per computer, depending on the size of the internal hard disk.

Amy Konary, a research vice president for software licensing, provisioning and delivery at IDC, says there’s no question that tools such as Microsoft’s USMT and Symantec Altiris can help organizations more effectively manage a Windows 7 migration. “I think IT departments understand that these migrations can be very time-consuming, so anything that lets them be proactive is a tremendous benefit,” she says.


The percentage of organizations that haven’t yet migrated 50 percent or more of their applications to Windows 7

SOURCE: “Application Usage Management Survey: Software Migrations & Application Readiness” (IDC, September 2013)

VA Project on Track

By late November, the Veterans Affairs Department had migrated more than 360,000 computers from Windows XP to Windows 7, which represents about 93 percent of the agency’s enterprise.

Genevieve Billia, a spokesperson for the VA, says the agency’s migration initiative also includes the deployment of Microsoft Office 2010, Internet Explorer 9 and the transition to a 64-bit OS.