Windows migrations can be daunting and expensive; however, this does not need to be the case as we have proven with yet another very successful global migration

The Perfect Windows Migration

Recently we successfully migrated thousands of PCs from all over the world in record time. All user data and settings were migrated and all supported applications were reinstalled. Best of all, not a single data file was lost!

Praise from satisfied users:

  • “This was the best migration I have ever experienced!”
  • “I am very surprised and pleased with how seamless this was!”
  • “Fast and simple – unbelievable – thank you!”

The Challenge

We were selected to complete the migration due to our extensive (over 20 years) of Windows migration experience, specializing in overcoming the most complex challenges. This project had the following requirements, which we handled with ease:

  • 5,000 PCs to be reimaged
  • 210 unique locations
  • 49 countries worldwide
  • 3,000 in-place migrations
  • 2,000 PC hardware replacements
  • 1,000 remote users
  • Join the domain even if off the corporate network
  • Migrate all user profiles from one domain to another, without a domain trust
  • Perform image backup of the PC to prevent accidental data loss
  • Restore user’s data regardless of where it might be located on the hard drive
  • Restore all user’s settings
  • Package and reinstall all supported applications
  • Handle PCs that are encrypted
  • Encrypt all PCs once the migration is completed

The Solution

We have a simple, yet effective, formula that combines the perfect balance of process and software to make a seemingly challenging task achievable – in ways better than anyone could have imagined.

The Process

Our mature and proven process ensures that all pertinent information is gathered, the team is properly assembled, and that any unexpected issues can be addressed and resolved quickly so that the project can stay on time and within budget. Following these basic steps, is what made this project a success.

1) Create a collaborative teaming strategy with all of the key players, including executives, directors, team leads, and end-user advocates.

2) Collect and rationalize all the data.

  • We combine all data sources, including PC inventory and asset databases in order to determine the migration landscape in detail. This detail includes PC hardware and software inventory.
  • From the data, we determine which PCs are to be replaced and which are to be reimaged.
  • The application inventory is rationalized to determine which applications are to be supported, which have existing packages, which need new packages, and which are to be removed from the environment.

3) Package all applications required for reinstallations.

  • Using our packaging process, we collect the installation source and work with the application owner as we package any needed application for fully automated installation
  • With our sophisticated packaging process, most applications can be turned around in 24 hours.

4) Collect customer and business requirements for all PC settings, including features, security, internet policies, and power settings.

5) Create a communication strategy.

  • We create a messaging plan that includes a series of communications to site leads, business leads, and end users prior to their planned migrations.
  • We create pre- and post-migration reports which reconsolidate all migration data and specific PC information used to update the asset management database. We also use the summary information for the daily project summary report.

The Software

The choice is simple – Swimage. We use Swimage as our fully automated OS migration tool, due to its adaptability for any migration scenario and robust nature, essential to a global migration. All of the key challenges we face in a migration project are easily overcome with these key Swimage features:

1) Swimage Kit

  • Contains a USB flash, a crossover cable, and instructions
  • Contains all applications, patches, drives, and settings for all PCs, with a choice of Windows 7 or Windows 10
  • Contains all information needed to migrate any PC worldwide
  • Contains all information about all systems – so the PC name, time zone, application, and other settings are assigned automatically
  • May transfer content from old PC to new PC (with the included crossover cable)
  • May be sent to remote users for self-migrations with just a few simple instructions
  • May be locked to only run on specific PCs based on their serial numbers
  • May auto-update over the cloud so that all content is always up-to-date
  • May be set to expire after a certain period of time
  • Reports all activity to the central database so that usage and migration progress can be easily tracked

2) Swimage Remote Connection Manager

  • Creates a secure, certificate-based connection to the corporate network
  • Executes in the migration just prior to joining the domain
  • Used to enable the PC to join the domain, even if migrated off the corporate network (as in the case of home users)
  • Caches the user’s credentials so that the user can log on once the migration is complete without being on the network

3) Swimage Full-Drive Snapshot

  • Takes a full image of the PC’s hard drive and stores it locally
  • Takes less than a minute to complete
  • May be used to retrieve any pre-migration data after the migration is complete
  • May be used for complete system rollback to the pre-migration state in the event of a major problem
  • Rollback to the previous state using the snapshot can be performed in less than three minutes
  • Snapshot automatically purged after 20 days

4) Swimage Profile Migration

  • Transfers an entire user profile from one domain to another
  • Domains do not need to have a trust established
  • PC does not need to be connected to the old domain for this to work
  • Can also migrate local profiles to the domain
  • All settings and data from the old profile are retained

5) Swimage Application Matching

  • Using a set of rules, Swimage automatically installs applications based on what is currently installed
  • This eliminates the fear of missing applications and improves the user experience
  • This saves time post migration reinstalling applications

6) Swimage Encryption Key Transfer

  • Swimage migrates to an encrypted PC while it is encrypted
  • This saves time in decrypting the PC prior to the migration
  • This keeps data secure throughout the process

7) Swimage Automated Provisioning

  • Based on the PC serial number, all deployment information and settings are applied automatically
  • With provisioning, no information about the PC is required – just plug it in and it migrates exactly how it needs
  • All provisioning data is kept in a central database so PC configuration can be changed easily

8) Swimage Dynamic Template Layering

  • Templates are configuration sets that contain specific PC or migration settings
  • Templates are assigned and layered when a PC is provisioned
  • Templates allow for flexibility in defining how a PC is configured
  • Multiple templates assigned allow for a PC to be configured precisely for a specific user, group, or location

Swimage is the perfect solution to ensure a flawless and under-budget global Windows migration. With our solution, users are pleased that they migrate without issues and under two hours. Management loves the speed of the migration, the continued productivity of the users, the reporting, and the low cost of the migration. We call this the perfect Windows migration!