Ok, if you’re still on Windows XP you’re probably feeling a bit tense at this stage – especially if you have not made significant plans already. What about if you are already on Windows 7, are you thinking about Windows 8?

Here are a few insights and resources which may help you on your way.

Get started

Inaction is a common cause of projects running late, over budget or just failing. It’s often the overwhelming scale of a migration and all of its component parts that can cause a “deer in the headlights” situation. A good source for mapping our requirements is the Windows 7 Migration Checklist – use this to sanity check where you are today and mobilise activity which you may be overlooking. A more detailed work book is also available and has been one of our most popular resources over the past few years: Application Migration Workbook

Discover what you don’t know

The unknown unknowns can be the worst. First thing is to discover what’s out there. The most effective way to do this is via some form of agent/agentless audit and inventory of devices, users and applications. There are various solutions out there which provide varying degrees of information but you should really think about getting something in place or leveraging something you already have. Planning a migration without good empirical data is an accident waiting to happen – not to mention that you are likely to see time and costs spiral without accurate project sizing.

Key metrics you should consider

Taking an application-centric view on a migration process, you should consider these data-points when performing an application audit:

  • Managed or Un-managed – if the applications are managed, gaining access to the install media is easy. Un-managed applications may be more difficult and time consuming and this should be factored in.
  • Number of installations – it’s powerful knowledge to go into testing understanding how widely deployed an applications is. Testing an application with 10 deployments vs 10,000 deployments will change the approach to testing.
  • Usage / utilisation – this is equally as powerful as number of installations. Knowing that an application is deployed to 10,000 devices, but is only used on 5,000 of those devices can allow for a significant savings in licensing. This information can also be used to inform rationalization of the portfolio – similar applications in terms of their functionality could be standardised based on the application with the larger number of users.
  • Licensing – a migration is a great time to take stock of licensing and implement systems which assess and monitor licensing. Significant cost savings can be made both via rationalization as well as on-going efficiencies.
  • Business function – categorising the functionality of an application enables a portfolio review. Applications used by different functions within a business with various functions can be compared with the number of users and types of usage to determine criticality, duplication and migration priorities.

“Measure twice cut once”

This is a great saying I head a while back. A problem with Windows migrations has been the cost of the measurement process, which has historically involved a lot of manual effort. In fact it was often an “estimate and execute” process. This has significantly changed since the days of Windows XP and its where the AppDNA technology cut its teeth.

For example, the AppDNA Effort Calculator can import an entire portfolio of applications, identify the issues and estimate the effort and cost required to remediate those issues.

AppDNA Effort Calculator

It’s not an abstract estimation – this is a real-world scenario, it looks at your apps, your issues and can be tweaked to reflect your resources and resource costs.

AppDNA Effort Calculator variables

A quick online estimator is also available here: application management ROI calculator

Know your apps

Probably the most frustrating thing I’ve heard over the last 5 years has been “if only we’d known about you when we did our application migration“. Well, there is a new way of doing things – in fact it’s now a mature way of doing things – it’s not so new anymore, which makes it tried and tested and more robust than ever before!

I’ll be talking about these and other topics at Citrix Summit (15-16 Oct) and Citrix Synergy (17-19 Oct) in Barcelona and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your project.

Mon 15 Oct
SUM234 Deep dive on AppDNA for application migration
Thurs 18 Oct
SYN109 Deep dive on AppDNA