Post contributed by ASPE Web Seminar Presenter Pete Zerger. If your organization is still running Windows XP, you are likely facing a Windows 7 upgrade in the near future. This can be a daunting task, but here are a few tools and tips to ensure that when the time arrives, you are ready to meet the challenge. 1) Align upgrade efforts with hardware refresh if you can A great way to ensure your hardware is Windows 7 compatible is to deploy new hardware in conjunction with your Windows 7 deployment. This will reduce driver compatibility issues and newer hardware will deliver better performance. If circumstances dictate that you use existing hardware, further testing with existing printer and peripheral drivers is important since those tend to be the most poorly supported. 2) Leverage Microsoft Tools to Assess Your Orgs “Windows 7 Readiness”
- Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit - This tool inventories hardware and devices without an agent.
- Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) version 5.5 - This tool inventories applications, analyzes compatibility, and creates compatibility fixes for applications.
- Terminal Services - One way to deal with incompatible applications is to run them in a remote virtual machine with a compatible (downlevel) OS. You can do this with a Terminal Services and placing an icon for your app on the desktop or start menu.
- XP Virtual Machine (XP Mode) You could also Windows XP apps on a Windows 7 desktop by running a copy of Windows XP in a virtual machine (VM) on your Windows 7 host. Microsoft provides a feature called Windows XP Mode. This is a free download for Windows 7 that provides a virtual machine for running incompatible legacy apps.
- Application Virtualization or VDI - Application virtualization layers replace part of the runtime environment normally provided by the operating system. Application virtualization options include Microsoft Application Virtualization, Citrix XenApp and Novell ZENworks Application Virtualization.
|Pete Zerger is an IT consultant, blogger, author, speaker and Microsoft MVP focusing on MS Microsoft System Center and enterprise virtualization. He is a co-founder of systemcentercentral.com a web community dedicated to support of Microsoft System Center management technologies.|