The Windows XP “End of Service” date is now only 9 months away! Well, we’re actually just beyond 9-month mark now, but you get the point.
Before reading on, it might be a good idea to reference my post from last month, “XP Elimination — The looming crush…“
If you think it’s ridiculous or hilarious that anyone should be concerned about migrating off of XP at this point, then you probably work in a small-to-medium sized company. You might even be able to consider upgrading all the workstations by yourself (or with a buddy), or maybe you’ve just replaced all the computers with modern devices with updated OS’s. Easy-peasy.
But many *large* enterprise company/organizations are watching the clock (or should be) for that looming April 8th deadline, for a variety of reasons. And this is what I really wanted to touch on today — the fact that steering the massive enterprise can be like steering the largest ship in an ocean, but there are other factors to consider in the metaphorical ocean as well. Like icebergs… Like other, older ships that require rescuing…
Okay, I’ve worn out the metaphor, so let’s start discussing some specifics. Let’s look at the examples of three, ahem, *fictitious* example large organizations that have arrived at three different XP situations.
Organization “A” – What, me worry?
For our fictitious Organization “A”, things are smooth sailing. Or so they think. They’ve got only 20,000 XP machines, and they’ve set up a test pilot bed of about 50 Windows 7 machines, and it’s going well. Well, *that* part’s going well. What they will soon realize is that their back-end infrastructure isn’t prepared (in design nor scale) for the type of load that their Win7 deployment strategy calls for — and they have only just begun to prepare their applications for re-packaging. But they aren’t worried. Well, not as much as they should be, anyway.
Organization “B” - Nope. We don’t wanna.
Organization “B” doesn’t have a plan. It’s not that they don’t have a clue, it’s just that they mostly don’t care. They have 40,000 workstations, a bunch of old servers, and so on, in a complicated, aging infrastructure. You see, things don’t really look good for the business end of the company in this age of consolidation, and most folks think they’ll be acquired anyway. So XP is fine for now. I guess. Whatever.
Organization “C” – The best-laid plans…
For Organization “C”, they really have been doing it right. They jumped in front of the project, and designed/prepared/deployed a sturdy, modern back-end infrastructure. They rallied the troops and started the application re-packaging very early-on and devised a “just-in-time” strategy to manage application-to-user/workstation tracking and roll out the workstations right behind the infrastructure and apps. The working schedule seems to indicate that all of their 50,000 workstations should be upgraded/re-deployed right around the the April 8th deadline. Whew! It looks like they’re going to make it! Until… Uh-oh… Did we mention that Organization “C” just acquired Organization “B”?
While these are hypothetical scenarios, I will be re-visiting these imaginary companies over the next few months as we approach the XP EOS date, discussing some of the finer points of their challenges along the way… Let’s wish them all luck, shall we?