Migrating to Windows 10: Just Drag and Drop with Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

by Patrick Brennan

This article is the second in a two-part series. Read the first part here.

Anyone familiar with Windows migrations know that they can take forever, they’re challenging and they carry the risk of significantly and directly impacting user experience. As mentioned in the previous installment of this series, with every operating system upgrade, all hardware and software assets must be tested and validated. If at any point one criterion isn’t suitable for the latest operating system, the whole migration stops and falls down like a house of cards until a workaround is determined.

Organizations also need physical access to assets like notebooks PCs, which may require scheduling valuable downtime that impact users if things don’t go as planned. Somehow this is still the reality of Windows migrations in the 21st century, when we have cars that drive themselves.

To reduce the cost and complexity of Windows 10 migrations, CIOs need a strategy to virtualize the employee workspace. By implementing virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions, IT can simplify deployment, reduce the strain in client support and provide access to analytics and intelligence about usage that can further reduce ownership costs and improve efficiency. Instead of hours and days spent on manually calculating performance and storage capacity requirements on spreadsheets, IT managers can automate migration to the point it becomes a drop-and-drag experience for themselves and their end-users.

Simplifying Planning and Deployment with the Modern Workspace
The combination of VDI and cloud-based apps creates a modern virtual workspace that enables users to be productive on any device from any location. This level of productivity benefits the user and IT. Administrators in virtual environments are more agile and more responsive. They maintain better security and use fewer resources when migrating or updating their end user computing infrastructures to Windows 10.

IT administrators in VDI settings can do profound things like upgrading their entire company to Windows 10 with a simple drag and drop procedure. VDI enables centralized delivery and management, which frees IT from managing endpoint assets and keeps all the data secure and protected in the data center. IT no longer has to schedule end users to be migrated or updated, or require their interaction to comply with IT standards.

The amount of time to migrate to Windows 10 is also significantly reduced in virtualized settings. By eliminating the management of endpoint devices, organizations are free from the time-consuming activity of building images for different machines with a diverse set of use cases. Cycles for application testing are also greatly reduced as the hardware platform is standardized with virtualization. Further, if an application doesn’t work on Windows 10, it can be virtualized on the supported OS and seamlessly delivered to a Windows 10 environment. With this model, organizations can continue to innovate even when their application vendors are not.

Modernizing the Support Model through Desktop Virtualization
Microsoft recently announced that it is eliminating the well-known “Patch Tuesday” model, which IT organizations have built their maintenance models around, in favor of constantly sending a stream of patches to endpoints on any given day. Organizations with modern workspaces will be much better equipped to respond quickly and easily with fewer testing cycles to bring technology innovations to their customers faster. Once the Windows 10 environment is virtualized, ongoing support is greatly simplified. Administrators can centrally apply updates, patches and changes on the same platform for greater consistency.

By building a VDI environment with Windows 10, you can centrally deliver all of your desktops, applications and entire infrastructure.

Getting Smarter through Analytics
To prepare for modern workspaces, there are a variety of end user analytics and management tools that will ease the migration process and help IT better understand which applications and data may need to be virtualized for greater compatibility. However, by centrally delivering the entire end user computing infrastructure, many of the traditional challenges and iterations are eliminated. Once this due diligence is completed, users can simply connect to their new Windows 10 VDI environment without negative impact and start receiving the benefits of the modern workspace.

For many customers, VDI may have been considered too complex and costly to adopt. In the next article in this series, I will explain how desktop virtualization today is not only faster, but also cheaper than a traditional PC. With the introduction of software-defined storage and hyperconverged solutions, VDI represents the best platform to deliver Windows 10 in the enterprise.

Patrick Brennan is the senior product marketing manager, Applications and Platforms at Atlantis Computing.

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