Taking the Pain Out of PC Migrations

Miramar Systems to roll out Monday two new versions of its Desktop DNA tool, one that features one-button functionality.

Miramar Systems Inc., a veteran of the PC migration industry, will announce on Monday that it has re-architected its Desktop DNA migration tool into two different versions for larger enterprises and small-to-medium-size businesses.

The more sophisticated Desktop DNA Enterprise Edition release 4.0, designed for larger enterprises, adds a variety of enhancements to streamline the migration process in moving to a new PC or new operating system. The greatly simplified Desktop DNA Professional is intended for smaller enterprises that dont have a sizable and experienced IT staff.

Desktop DNA Pro features a simple wizard-based interface that takes user-specific settings and files from a PC and puts them into a template for migration. VARs can customize the templates for specific customers.

"Its a one-button operation," said Harry Rabin, senior vice president of corporate development at Miramar Systems Inc. in Santa Barbara, Calif. "You hit go, it creates a self-extracting file that can go direct connect to the destination machine or to a server where PCs have access over a LAN/WAN. It gets their specific files, settings and applications and migrates those onto a new PC with a new operating system laid down on it."

By separating out the user interface technology from the core engine in Desktop DNA, and then using XML to normalize data, Miramar was able to carve the Professional version out of its enterprise migration technology.

The new architecture is also exploited by the enterprise version to simplify scripting migration scenarios. A new Studio toolkit feature allows operators to automate script creation using drag and drop functionality. "Studio has a GUI that lets you drag and drop the functionality you want to go on a migration. As you drag and drop, it creates the scripting language on the fly. The file thats saved is put into the DNA directory.

A new DNA Director in the toolkit also automates deployment of DNA files. Users can completely customize the user interface for Desktop DNA Enterprise Edition thanks to the new architecture.

In further streamlining the migration tool, Miramar is slowly breaking down one of the most significant barriers to new PC or operating system deployments. "One of the biggest issues that organizations face today is that migrations are really painful," said Mark Margevicius, research director at Gartner Inc., in Cleveland. "If hardware manufacturers gave away their hardware, organizations would not replace hardware any more frequently because of the migration costs and pain that goes along with it."

More help in streamlining the migration process could be on the way, however. Intel is working to put together a group of industry players to address the complexities of PC migration. Dubbed the Industry Wide Migration Committee, it is represented to date by Microsoft, Symantec Corp., Altiris Inc., Tranxition Corp. and others.