Are We There Yet
?"> Vista field deployment will take on a whole new meaning after the initial wave of installations into the organization. Because SCCM 2007 and broad client security initiatives, including network access control, seek to maintain a desired configuration state, IT managers can be sure that redeployments of Vista will be in their future: One way to bring a noncompliant system into spec is to re-image the OS with all the correct applications and user data.User State Migration The ability to migrate user state is now built in to SCCM 2007. Migrating user statesometimes called the "personaltity" settings of a computer, including shortcuts, favorites and desktop customizationscan make a big difference in getting newly updated machines back online and returning end users to work on their newly upgraded systems. Capturing user state is particularly useful in side-by-side migrations, where new Vista-capable hardware is being introduced. A side-by-side migration requires that IT administrators set up a carefully choreographed series of steps, including the task sequence component in SCCM 2007. For new hardware, the IT staff must create an association in SCCM 2007 between the two computers. User state is then captured and stored in a secure repository using the new State Migration point server role now included in SCCM 2007. To restore user state, a new task sequence is used that can associate the restore sequence with a boot image in SCCM 2007. The task enables the new computer to access the saved user state and restore the appropriate settings. The sequence is then advertised to the new machine, the last step in the ballet of the side-by-side Vista upgrade. IT managers can smooth a future Vista migration by setting up appropriate-use guidelines for users. Basically, mandate that business assets should be used only for business purposes. IT managers should also start to regularize the applications associated with certain groups of users, and ruthlessly standardize configurations. The more uniformly user desktops are configured, the more effective user state migration will be when the time finally comes to upgrade. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.
Field deployment options with task sequencing mean that this kind of slash-and-burn approach to correcting systems may become more common. Especially as botnets continue to be a threat, OS and application redeployment may become a cost-effective alternative to hours of help desk trouble-shooting.