Essay Writing Help on Preparing for a Company-Wide Migration to Windows 8

Preparing for a Company-Wide Migration to Windows 8

Introduction

Upgrading information technology systems’ platform can be monumental activities. This is especially true for large distributed and complex environments such as Crescent Manufacturing Inc. As mentioned by Marcus & Stern (2011), it is integral that a sizable discovery and study be performed on the entire organization prior to migration. In addition, tests are to be carried out in an environment that mirrors tFhe production environment as exactly as possible.

Even though no different are exactly the same, aligning to industries best methodologies as well as partnering with an experienced solutions provider will significantly improve the probability of completing a successful migration. In addition, it will not only help in controlling IT costs, but also scale the IT ecosystem.

This strategic migration plan lays a roadmap to execute the process safely and efficiently. It outlines the tackles, insights, and verified methodologies that would ensure proactive migration process grounded on risks and readiness. When put into practice, it will help achieve maximum cost – savings and knowledge transfer with reduced disruption of Crescent Manufacturing Inc.’s major business processes (Marcus & Stern, 2011). 

The Strategic Migration Model.

A detailed understanding of the refresh environment is the fundamental aspect to ensuring a quicker – to – value. The Crescent Manufacturing Inc.’s motivation for performing a Windows Operating System upgrade should be insight and properly considered, as these may affect choices, opportunities, and trade – offs. On the same breathe, understanding the budding deployment environment will help in pinpointing various roadblocks and anticipating future needs.

The phases expounded below are meant as a high level overview of the entire process. Planning, Discovery as well as Pre – migration activities as also integral components of a successful migration that will be listed in significant detail when a migration strategy is put into practice for the migration as a key platform to target Crescent Manufacturing Inc. client information systems. According to Marcus & Stern (2011), an organization embarking on a migration should break the process down into a phased approach. The process should be holistic, and designed to identify operating system and application migration opportunities, evaluating the risks related with various migration environments, creating a consistent enterprise build, and developing a complete strategic migration pathway for the organization. Features that guarantee trouble – free migration include a complete test of the entire system. Testing will be conducted as closely as possible while imitating the conditions in real – world.

Phase 1: Environmental Assessment

Phase 2: Planning

Phase 3: Actual Migration

Phase 4: Ongoing Management and Support.

Phase Description Deliverable Duration
Application analysis and standard build This phase will examine existing IT infrastructures and administrative functionality as well as applications to make appropriate approvals for their equivalent capabilities in Windows OS ecosystem. During this process, a consistent operating environment (Windows 8.1) will be created.   Third – party operational and business processes will be examined. A detailed recommendation reportEnterprise standard buildA detailed infrastructure High level application migration budget estimate 5 – 7 weeks
Strategic Migration Planning This phase will utilize the result and deliverables achieved in phase I and use that information to produce a high – level migration strategy as well as a detailed migration budget estimate for the entire process Overall migration budget estimateStrategic migration roadmap 4 – 6 weeks
Implementation Phase This phase will integrate the results from the previous phases and use the information to make a comprehensive roadmap, project scope as well as the activities required for the process success, and a complete migration cost estimate for the entire project.  Sever Migration 4 – 7 weeks

Phase 1: Environmental Assessment

SWOT Analysis

This analysis considers some of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the proposed migration process. Although not intended to be

Strengths

  • The CMI’s IT staff has been growing their Windows8 skills
  • Many of the same tools used to manage their previous windows environment are similar on windows 8.1
  • Most applications including third – party software are supported in windows 8.1.

Weaknesses

  • Reduced budget
  • The slow speed of migration process may façade cost savings
  • Some ICT staff members prefer windows 7 and their toolset, and this might result in user resistance and unproductivity.

Opportunities

  • Majority of the older IT equipment is end – of – life
  • Previous budget constraints are forcing management to explore new options
  • More applications in use are being certified on Windows server
  • Power and cooling costs in the datacenter have increased, driving research into more dense hardware and virtualization options

Threats

  • Migration take – off without vendor and consultants assistance may result in additional costs
  • Existing windows sever hardware contracts are stunned, making a complete refresh more challenging
  • Additional training may not be possible since it requires additional budgeting.

Migration Issues

While the decision to upgrade to Windows8.1 is relatively forthright, the process can be widespread with IT complexity, end user disruption and with additional costs and risks.  Available RAM, the state of software licenses, and the compatibility of present applications are among the challenges CMI has to address when migrating to windows 8.1 (Stewart, 2011). Some of these issues are as drawn below.

  • Impact on users: Generally, changes to the Information systems and directory in general should be carried out without interrupting employee productivity or involving calls to the various help desk for troubleshooting. Employee using the system should not need to log off, and instead continue to be able to access all appropriate resources during and after the migration. Scheduling off-hours work stations migrations at Crescent Manufacturing Inc. could further bring down the impact on faculty, departments and staff
  • Server Workloads: When considering OS upgrade, it is integral to understand the potential deployment scenarios of the server workloads. This will help developing the best enterprise methodology for the migration environment. According to Marcus & Stern (2011), this ultimately controls a large portion of capital cost savings the upgrading process allows. This plan consolidates various scenarios such as dispersion, aggregation, and cloud migration, in order to attain the right balance of functional and operational characteristics for a given workload.
  • Double administration. During refresh, there is unavoidably a span of time when both old and new environments are dependent (Stewart, 2011). It usually take a sizable period of time before all employees’ credentials and data are refreshed to allow a total decommissioning of the old environment. During this period, any adjustments made in a particular directory have to be reflcted in the other as well.
  • Automation Tools. Another issues that has to be considered is the inherent challenges the firm might face when going through a migration process. The budget may not be available and as a result, the firm has to demonstrate through use cases the ROI of automation to convince prospective users that the cost of upgrading the current system using uplink will be significantly less than handling the takeover manually.
  • Limited Information Technology resources: The migration project will demand a stretch of IT department. Administrators and IT staff might need to work nights or weekends. Over-time might be stretched, and the migration process could slog on for a longer period of time than expected.
  • Security Concerns. During the migration process, present security procedures and policies, such as users’ authentications and authorizations, must be well – preserved. To ensure a secure environment, it is required to various directories and track and drop source objects that have been migrated. These activities are not easily accomplished with native tools

Phase 2: Actual Migration

The more comprehensive planning, the smoother the roll – out process (TechRepublic, 2012). If the proficiency to meet this is not available within the firm itself, an external support from the IT solution provider or system consultants, suppliers and installers will be needed. In addition, all 175 computers at Maryland location will have to be phased off in order to achieve compatibility and a consistent interface.   

Unifying IT service and interfaces and standardizing their associated asset environments demands a certain degree of planning and business to properly prepare for the implementation phase. Conversely, there are times in which the time and effort spent in the preparation will be less. Our primary objective is the desire to enhance IT availability while safeguarding business continuity.

Pilot Strategy

This section highlight strategies for the first department included in the pilot. Crescent Manufacturing Inc.’s Texas office environment, being the primary asset in this testing, must undertake some common activities as well as those that are specific to the department of IT. Common activities are those basically around migration preparation.

Due to large server installations, this process will be executed in phased pilot migrations. This will introduce a more pilot after each successful phase of the pilot. Once the individual components of migration is put in place, they will be consolidated by condensing models and files into automated job or work-flow order. At a high level, these activities will encompass deploying scripted image build, installing various packaged applications and hardware and software configurations. The process will be leveraged to accelerate these processes and minimize error.

A complete report will be produced that document both success and failures encountered during the pilot to facilitate the ability to better analyze the operation of the overall migration process and allow any adjustment before the main pilot program.

Phase 3. Ongoing Management and Support.

Securing the laptops and tablets.

Devices with mobility features present a possible risk to the company’s network, due to their very mobility feature. They regularly roam outside of the firm’s boundary protection. This encompasses the firewall and intrusion stoppage systems. As a result, these devices are loaded with possible susceptibilities, and are inevitably used for personal use. As laptops and tablets, they can be misplaced or stolen, subjecting the company’s private business content to false users potentially in violation of applicable security policies.  

Providentially, there is a solution to this challenge. This report recommends an enterprise – class device security solution which contains a comprehensive suite of device protections (TechRepublic, 2012). This includes personal firewall, anti – malware, and spam filtration. It also support critical device management capabilities for remote wiping and detection of sensitive data for lost or stolen devices.

  1. A centralized Network Access Control

Unifying network access control to support devices with mobility features should be thoroughly addressed. Security authentication and access control must be dynamic and both pre and post – admission (TechRepublic, 2012). As a result, this report recommends a granular control that allows network administrators to lock down network bandwidth abusers, while restricting guest access to controlled networks, such as social sites and based on location and time.

  1. User Authorization and Authentication

To ensure a quite rigorous and solidly secure means of authenticating and authorizing users, our authorization and authentication process will be as per the IEEE 801.2x standard for port – centered network access control. This approach offers scalability with the available RADIUS as well as other back-end ID directory for users and device authentication. Combining this with the Extensible Authentication Protocol standard results into a solid authentication architecture (TechRepublic, 2012).

  1. Distributed Enforcement

For CMI’s wireless Local Area Network, controllers will be established at various edges of the network where access originate. This will enable each controller’s access points to promptly identify authenticated and authorized users while roaming within the range. This footpath has the benefit of delivering the fast, secure roaming required to minimize noises over LAN calls as well as latency sensitive applications, even when crossing major controllers (Stewart, 2011).

  1. AppLocker in Windows 8.1

Windows 8 AppLoacker is integral for ensuring security best practices. It is a fundamental practice to address a proper desktop hardening, Group Procedures, virtualization, anti-virus and User Account Control.

The implementation of AppLocker will enable CMI to utilize built in technology in order to introduce a standard and a consistent application control framework across the organization. By regulating what software packages can and cannot run on an endpoint, the company will significantly enhance security through unknown code control, such as malware, from running on client computers. Not only will this better security, but it will also enhance policy compliance and avert malicious guests from doing harm to company’s IT resources.

On the other hand, AppLocker does not provide complete panacea. In order to ensure a proper control over controllers, users must be provisioned as Standard users and not as Admins. Achieving this might be challenging if limited policies are put into practice. AppLocker has bottleneck in a number of areas to ensure that firms are accessing least privileges. As a user’s access requirement become more complex, it creates a challenges for Information Technology units to continually update access policies. Other limitations include no reporting capabilities, inability to handle higher policies for privileged users and inability to support non-computer-based policies. 

Recommendations and Conclusion

Despite what the company indicates in terms of upgrading to Windows 8.1, the operating system is still brand new. As a result, CMI may pilot and test Windows 8.1 in a single location before tackling full – scale upgrade.

Conversely, the project requires managing change to a larger number of users and resources. Crescent Manufacturing Inc. has over one hundred and fifty computers running different operating systems and on different servers. For this migration be successful domains, servers, computers have to be consolidated into one universal platform.

One way of transfer risk and rationalize upgrades to Windows8.1 is to automate the numerous activities entangled in such processes. Identifying the available Information Technology resources, merging life – cycle and configuration management, implementing system virtualization assets, and serving possible Windows 8.1 help desk calls are among the footpaths CMI might take to minimize the challenges involved when roving with the idea of migrating to a new and a consistent operating system.

If Crescent Manufacturing Inc. can communicate the issues outlined in this report, we believe that the firm has a good chance to succeed in the migration process without any additional cost.

References

Marcus, E., & Stern, H. (2011). Blueprints for High Availability: Designing Resilient Distributed

Systems. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Stewart, J. M. (2011). CompTIA Security+: Review Guide. Indianapolis: Wiley Technology Pub.

TechRepublic. (2012). A Complete Administrator’s Guide to IT Migration Planning. Louisville,

KY: TechRepublic.