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It’s an issue which has been discussed on social media and in the press a great deal over the past couple of years and we’ve now finally hit the deadline – Microsoft is today withdrawing support for Windows XP. This means no further security or technical updates or bug fixes for the Windows XP operating system, resulting in far more vulnerability to security threats including hackers and viruses. Whilst the deadline may have passed, it isn’t too late to begin your migration strategy if you haven’t already. However, there are some key areas to consider to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Windows XP security deadline arrives http://t.co/nYYKavFlIR
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) April 7, 2014
In our last post on Windows XP we highlighted the risks many firms are facing by not migrating to a newer operating system, and just how few firms felt confident they would be able to migrate in time. As you can see from NetMarketShare’s recent stats, just over one in four businesses is still using XP.
Identify the problem you face Our research found that one of the main reasons for firms not migrating before the cutoff point was due to cost and disruption to the business. However, for those firms that haven’t migrated, they’re now facing the choice of paying for additional ‘custom support’ from Microsoft to keep their XP deployment running, or providing internal support. We found that organisations expect to spend 17% of their IT budget running Windows XP after April 2014, which will only get worse as Microsoft will charge $200 per desktop for ongoing additional support in the first year, and this is set to double for every subsequent year.
Take a virtual approach Operating system migration is a complex task encompassing a range of different activities, with testing and application remediation the necessary first step. To ensure an efficient and seamless migration, firms who have yet upgraded from XP will need to take on a centralised and fully-automated approach, one which requires zero-touch at the device, irrespective of its location on a network or configuration. Using a centralised image management solution, such as VMware Horizon Mirage, to manage the migration process, ensures Windows 8 or alternative operating systems can be deployed centrally across virtual and remote desktops without added infrastructure cost. It also means applications and personal data is backed-up while minimising user downtime. Ultimately, the result is time spent on manual migration tasks is greatly reduced, overall acceleration of migration, and overall reduction in IT costs.
Going beyond simple migration Perhaps more importantly, a centralised and ‘modular’ type of approach to migration also allows more sophisticated management and delivery of PC images through their life-time of deployment, augmenting and improving existing management approaches as well as providing fully automated disaster recovery across multiple devices. Equally, as interest in BYOD, remote working and consumer cloud devices continues to rise, organisations are under pressure to deliver smarter, mobile working solutions – solutions which help them shift their focus to the applications and utility to users, rather than the device through which applications are used. With a more centralised approach to PC image management, organisations can focus on delivering a secure, easy-to-manage and consistent virtual workspace to users, irrespective of the PC they are using. By combining this approach with desktop virtualization, using a solution like VMware Horizon View, they can extend that focus to almost any type of device.
For more details on developing your migration strategy and the support and products available to you, please visit VMware For You.