A standard operating environment (SOE) refers to the installation of both the operating system (OS) and software application installation load in a computer, which is always deployed throughout the defined user base of the respective organizations. Typically, the major components of an SOE include the OS, the defined and established standard configuration, the entire associated service packs, the commonly used applications and the several updates that are associated with them. When the task is being undertaken for multiple clients, disk images are typically adopted with the objective of speeding up the process of deploying an SOE across networks to multiple clients; the same scenario expected for the Swinburne University of Technology. For the case of the Swinburne University of Technology, the entire Standard Operating Environment are to be upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10 throughout the computer lab rooms, and particularly for the EN Building and the BA Building. On that note, this paper provides a detailed plan covering the entire necessary aspects and steps of the creation and deployment of the new SOE in detail. In this case, the choices made and the actions taken during the upgrade will be discussed and rationalized in detail.
Scenarios for the Migration
Since the migration is planned for more computers; throughout the computer lab rooms, and particularly for the EN Building and the BA Building, there will be the adoption of the User State Migration Tool (USMT) 10.0. With the USMT, there will be an efficient migration of the digital identity for the students and the teachers, whom in this case will be the end-users, by capturing the settings of both Windows 7 and Windows 10 OSs and application settings of the respective personal files. This will be done from the central computer in the lab rooms; the source computers, following by their reinstallation on other destination computers after successful completion of the upgrade process. In this case, there is only one scenario that will be taking place, PC refresh. PC refresh refers to a particular scenario when the upgrading process is only undertaken on the OS, and not the hardware, hence having a newer operating system.
PC Refresh to Windows 10
The first step will be migrating the user state by the administrator, and this will be done from the source computer in the lab rooms to the intermediate store. After the installation of the OS, the user will have to be migrated back to the source computer, and likewise, this will be done by the administrator. Below is the summary of the process:
- User state being collected by ScanState (SS) thereby saving the data to the Migration Store.
- Installation of Windows 10.
- Restoration of the user state by the LoadState (LS).
The first scenario will entail an offline PC-refresh by use of Windows PE and a further hard-link store that will be utilized for the migration process. In the case of the Swinburne University of Technology, every member of the teaching staff and the students will have to keep the respective computers that they have been using, and the only expected change is the upgrade from the Windows 7 that is installed in all of them. With the fist scenario, the upgrade will be handled entirely offline; that is without any network connection. The administrator, in this case, will have to use Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) and an additional store for hard-link migration, which will assist saving the respective user to the various computers in the lab room (Collins, 2015). The following steps will have to be followed:
- On the respective computer, the administrator will have to boot the machine, and in this case into WinPE. The next step will entail running the tool for the SS command line, with the specification of the hardlink command-line options. SS plays a relevant role in saving the user to nocompress migration store on the respective computers and further enhancing the performance by reducing the possible network traffic and migration failures. All these are based on the limited space that might be available on the respective hard drives for each computer.
- On each computer, the administrator will have to install Windows 10, which in this case is the SOE for the Swinburne University of Technology, and other institution’s applications.
- The administrator will then run the LS command-line tool on the respective computers. The purpose of the LS will be restoring the respective user state back to every lab room computer.
The second scenario will entail refreshing the PC by use of a compressed migration store. With this particular scenario, the administrator will make use of a compressed type of migration in storing the state of the user, students, and teaching staffs, to a server. This will be undertaken as follows:
- The administrator will have to run the SS command-line tool (CLT) on each of the lab room computes. The primary purpose of the SS will be saving the state of the respective users to the lab room server.
- On each computer, Windows 10 and other Swinburne University of Technology’s applications will be installed by the administrator.
- The administrator with therefore run the LS CLT on every source computer, with the LS restoring the state of the respective user back to the lab room computers.
The third scenario will entail refreshing the PC using an HL migration store; the use of an HL migration store by the administrator in saving the states of the respective users to each computer. This will be undertaken as follows:
- The administrator will have to run the SS CLT on every computer, give a specification of the HL or nocompress CL options. SS will save the state of the user to an HL migration on every lab room computer. It will further enhance performance by reducing possible network traffic and failures that are likely to be realized in migration on those computers with limited space on their respective hard drives.
- On every computer, the administrator will install Windows 10, and institution’s applications.
- The administrator will finalize by running the LS CLT on every lab room computer, and this will be relevant in restoring every user state on the respective computers.
In most cases, a typical upgrade project from Windows 7 to Windows 10 demands a more beyond technical migration (Goldsborough, 2014). The adoption of the software in automating the process demands other defined aspects of completing the migration for the entire lab room computers. After this, the respective administrators, will then analyzing the costs to be incurred in the migration process as well as dependencies, begin by the creation of a time estimate for the various respective tasks. When coming up with conditions that are unique to Swinburne University of Technology’s environment, the administrators will create a plan for addressing these conditions and other side effects from lab rooms. Dealing with some of the dependencies will require some additional time as well as resources, therefore the need for an advanced planning to minimize the possible frustrations and lost work later.
Scholars and other IT professionals have proved that Windows 10 is quite effective than Windows 7, hence the reason why the institution has embarked on upgrading its lab room computers to the latest version. Managing these big number of computers can emerge to be a sizeable challenge, taking note of the different software environments. With the above progressive steps in the plan, the institution will successfully standardize the software and deploy tools in the entire lab room computers.
Collins, J.C. 2015, “Boost your computer’s performance”, Journal of Accountancy,vol. 220, no. 3, pp. 66-70,72,74-75.
Goldsborough, R. 2014, “Operating Systems in Battle”, Tech Directions, vol. 74, no. 1, pp. 12.