IT Showcase Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft by jianghongl


									Planning the Windows Vista
Deployment at Microsoft

Technical White Paper
Published: July 2006
Executive Summary ............................................................................................................ 3

Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 4
     Overview of the Microsoft IT Environment                                                                                          4

      Microsoft IT Deployment Requirements                                                                                               5

Situation ............................................................................................................................... 6
    Microsoft IT Objectives                                                                                                               6

      Shared Goals with Windows Development                                                                                              7

Solution ................................................................................................................................ 8
    Predeployment Planning                                                                                                                8

      Training and Education                                                                                                             12

      Application Compatibility Testing                                                                                                  15

      Windows Vista Deployment                                                                                                           17

Best Practices...................................................................................................................... 22

Conclusion ........................................................................................................................... 23

For More Information .......................................................................................................... 24
Situation                                  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The Desktop Deployment team at
Microsoft is tasked with deployment of     This white paper shares the experiences of the Microsoft Information Technology (Microsoft
Windows Vista to corporate desktop         IT) organization in the deployment of Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Beta 2. This document
computers during all phases of             describes the Microsoft IT high-level processes for deploying Windows Vista Beta 2 and the
product development, from early beta
through release to manufacturing. For
                                           best practices learned as a result. IT professionals, especially architects, can use this white
Windows Vista Beta 2, the shared           paper to help plan their own Windows Vista deployments.
goal between Windows Development
and Microsoft IT was to deploy to          Microsoft chose an ―opt-in‖ model for client deployment that allows users to decide whether
30,000 clients. Further, they wanted       and when to upgrade and allows them to upgrade at a convenient time rather than on a
to complete the upgrades with as little    specified schedule. Giving control of the installation to the user—especially allowing them to
user confusion and downtime as
possible, exercising methods               choose the time and method of installation—provides a more positive user experience. This
consistent with the experience of a        contrasts with forced upgrades, which may occur at inconvenient times and produce
worldwide client base.                     unexpected results that may include data loss or system failure.
Solution                                   Microsoft IT facilitated the deployment with careful pre-deployment planning (including
Microsoft IT preplanned for the            establishing clear goals shared with other organizations, such as the Windows Development
deployment by reviewing past
deployments and detailing shared           organization), end-user training, extensive application compatibility testing, and a variety of
goals with the product team. In the        deployment paths for users to choose from.
planning phase, they worked
collaboratively to determine the           Because Microsoft IT must deploy various prerelease versions of Windows Vista (while it is
appropriate levels of communication,       still in development), some of their processes might not align with your business needs.
training, and testing prior to
deployment. The Windows
                                           Note: For security reasons, the sample names of forests, domains, internal resources, and
deployment team and individual
businesses within Microsoft IT             organizations used in this white paper do not represent real resource names used within
covered testing of Windows Vista.          Microsoft and are for illustration purposes only.
During deployment, new image-based
deployment technologies enabled
Microsoft IT to reduce the number of
client images by 50 percent compared
with Windows XP.

 Detailed planning and preplanning
    phases help to reduce costs and
    eliminate surprises.
   Training and education raise the
    experience level of the deployment
    team and their clients.
   Consistent communications keep
    all parties up to date on the latest
    deployment news and keep morale
   Users upgrade on their own
   Client-requested upgrade model
    reduces IT resource requirements
    and enables key personnel to focus
    on other areas, including platform
    and image management and
   Ramped model builds confidence
    by meeting deployment goals.

Products and Technologies
 Microsoft Windows Vista
 Microsoft Windows Server 2003
 Windows Deployment Services

                                           Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                       Page 3
Corporate decision-makers often request information about Microsoft employees'
experiences in using Microsoft products and technologies within the company. Microsoft IT
not only provides IT services for Microsoft, but it also acts as the first customer for each new
release of server and business productivity software. The methods that Microsoft IT uses to
deploy these technologies, and the experience that Microsoft IT gains from these
deployments, often provide meaningful deployment and operational guidelines for other
organizations that want to deploy Microsoft products.

Additionally, because Microsoft IT works with these Microsoft products from the prerelease
versions to the release to manufacturing (RTM) versions, Microsoft IT provides the rest of
Microsoft with valuable feedback about product features and functionalities. This feedback
improves Microsoft products throughout the software development life cycle and helps
Microsoft customers and partners successfully deploy these products and technologies.

Microsoft considers the availability and the reliability of its business desktop implementation a
critical part of the day-to-day operations of the company.

Overview of the Microsoft IT Environment
Microsoft IT provides global IT services that range from server and network operations to
software deployment and end-user technical support. For internal deployments, Microsoft IT
has the following objectives:

      Prove operating system reliability and functionality prior to the external release.
      Update clients with minimal cost of testing and minimal impact on corporate operations.
      Serve as a first customer for Microsoft products by validating code, identifying bugs and
       compatibility issues, and providing reliability statistics.
Microsoft IT deployed Windows Vista into an environment characterized by a wide
geographic distribution, complexity of server roles and applications, and the requirement to
deploy and test pre-release versions of multiple software products concurrently.

The Microsoft IT environment spans more than 400 locations in more than 80 countries and
regions. About half of the locations are in the Puget Sound region of Washington State, with
the next largest presence in Japan. On average, each user employs three desktop computers
in various roles that range from daily operations (e-mail, Microsoft Office applications) to
testing products. The following table summarizes the large and complex Microsoft IT

Table 1. Microsoft IT Environment

    Resource or service                                Number of instances

    Client computers                                   340,000

    Unique users                                       121,000

    E-mail accounts                                    120,000

    Clients running the 2007 Microsoft Office system   25,000

    Clients running Windows Vista                      17,000

    Servers in production                              8,400

Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                           Page 4
    Microsoft Exchange 12 mailboxes               5,700

    Buildings                                     441

    Countries/regions                             98

    Servers running Microsoft Windows Server®     31
    Code Name "Longhorn"

    Data centers                                  4

    Remote connections / month                    46,000,000

    Microsoft SharePoint® sites                   189,000

    E-mail messages per day                       3,000,000 internal
                                                  10,000,000 inbound
                                                  9,000,000 filtered out

    Instant messages per month                    33,000,000

Microsoft IT Deployment Requirements
Because Microsoft IT is required to test pre-release versions of software, each product must
be deployed many times before release, sometimes in rapid succession. Deploying multiple
builds of an operating system prior to its release is especially demanding, because both the
product deployed and the deployment tools are in development during most deployment
phases. Based on deployment goals at multiple milestones, Microsoft IT will deploy more
than 60,000 desktop computers running Windows Vista prior to RTM.

Microsoft IT will deploy the following operating systems prior to RTM:

      Beta builds. These pre-production builds enable product teams to set short-term goals
       for quality and functionality. Microsoft IT helps validate these builds in real-world
       scenarios. There may be weekly versions of a beta build between milestones; only the
       final beta build for the milestone is deployed.
      Release candidate (RC) builds. RC builds are versions that are almost ready for public
       release. Microsoft IT might receive several RC builds of the operating system.
      RTM builds. An RTM build is the final build that will be released to customers. After
       Microsoft IT receives the RTM build, it completes the software package for the
       installation sequencer and deploys the package as quickly and safely as possible. The
       goal is to completely deploy the RTM build within 60 days of its availability.

Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                     Page 5
Microsoft IT provides global IT services that range from server and network operations to
software deployment and end-user technical support. In addition to running a world-class IT
utility, Microsoft IT participates in global software beta testing and deployment. The Windows
Vista beta, with pre-RTM deployment goals in excess of 90,000 clients and relying on new
and untested deployment technologies, provides an incredible opportunity to test the new
operating system and its underlying deployment technologies.

Microsoft IT Objectives
Microsoft IT has the following objectives for deploying Windows Vista Beta 2:

   Maximize IT resources by moving the installation process to the user.
   Provide an installation experience comparable to Microsoft Windows® XP.
   Improve Windows Vista through pilot testing and feedback to Windows development.
   Improve Windows Vista deployment technologies through use and feedback.
   Achieve deployment goal of 30,000 clients during Beta 2.

Features Driving Adoption in Microsoft IT
There are many new features in Windows Vista. For Beta 2, Microsoft IT focused on the
following technologies:

   Network Access Protection. Administrators use Network Access Protection to prevent
    clients that do not meet corporate security requirements from connecting to an internal
    network and potentially spreading malicious software (malware) to other computers on
    the network.
   User Account Control. User Account Control enables users to change common
    settings without requiring administrative rights. User Account Control prevents standard
    users from making potentially dangerous changes to their computers while allowing most
    applications to install and run normally.
   Microsoft BitLocker™ Drive Encryption. BitLocker Drive Encryption is a hardware-
    enabled data protection feature that encrypts the entire Windows system volume to help
    prevent unauthorized users from compromising the Windows file system.

New Features That Microsoft IT Used to Improve Deployment
Windows Vista has several new features that enhance the deployment experience. During
the Beta 2 deployment, Microsoft IT used the following technologies:

   Image-Based Setup (IBS). IBS, based on the new Windows Imaging (WIM) file format,
    provides a consistent setup experience regardless of the deployment mechanism. IBS
    also supports unattended installation options on a per-device, per-architecture, or per-
    server basis.
   Multilingual User Interface. Multilingual User Interface (MUI) support enables many
    language support packages to be associated with a single image. Thirty-five MUI
    languages are available for customers of Microsoft Windows Vista Enterprise. An
    additional 62 languages are available as options in all versions of Windows Vista.
   Windows Deployment Services. Windows Deployment Services, the Windows Vista
    version of Remote Installation Services (RIS), provides a network-based installation of
    Windows Vista and supports all IBS, WIM, and MUI features.

Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                     Page 6
Shared Goals with Windows Development
When Microsoft IT agrees to deploy a new product, it works with the development team to
establish a set of shared goals. These goals are common to and agreed upon by both
parties. For example, one goal is that the development team will respond to critical failures
within a specified amount of time. Microsoft IT and Windows Development established a
broad range of shared goals for Windows Vista.

The following shared goals are specific to Windows Vista Beta 2:

   Total installed Windows Vista–based clients (30,000):
        Deployment mechanisms: 30 percent deployed by Windows Deployment Services
        Time required for remote installation: equal to that of Windows XP
   Ease of management:
        Key Management Service (KMS) servers required: two
        IT Image computers activated through volume licensing: 100 percent
        Windows Long Horn servers required to support Windows Vista deployment: two
         (for KMS)
        Reduction in number of images to be maintained: 50 percent compared to
         Windows XP
        Reduction in updates requiring restarting computer versus Windows XP: 20 percent
        Difference in number of critical security updates versus Windows XP: Fewer
        Reduction in computers failing to respond: 15 percent
        Reduction in incidences of Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer® failing to respond
         (hang or crash): 25 percent
   Test results:
        Tier 1 line-of-business (LOB) applications tested: 100 percent
        Tier 1 LOB client applications that can be run in protected admin mode: 100 percent
        Applications running without elevated rights on Windows XP versus Windows Vista:
         100 percent
        Standard client products passing compatibility testing: 100 percent
        Standard desktop configurations tested: more than 26
        Standard mobile computer configurations tested: more than 23
   Bug management:
        Unique blocking bugs fixed or agreed to defer: 100 percent
   Supportability:
        Reduction in calls for setup assistance: 50 percent
        Reduction in operating system–related Helpdesk calls versus Windows XP: 20
        IT Showcase docs prepared: more than 4

Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                      Page 7
To meet its deployment goals, Microsoft IT created a deployment project team responsible
for preplanning, planning, communication and education, and deployment technologies.

The following table outlines how Microsoft IT will achieve its deployment goals.

Table 2. How Microsoft IT Will Achieve Its Windows Vista Deployment Goals

 Objective                     Microsoft IT will accomplish this by

 Maximize IT resources.        Offering the software to client computers in a ramped approach in
                               order to fix issues before offering the product to larger groups of users
                               and to minimize the impact on the network.
                               Only using tools for deployment that are already available.

 Provide a great client        Writing clear installation instructions based on certain scenarios that
 experience.                   lead users through the process from start to finish.
                               Simplifying the installation so that users can resume working quickly
                               after the installation. For example, users should spend minimal time
                               connecting to the network and configuring applications.
                               Offering many installation methods so that users can select the
                               methods that best suit their situations. For example, clients may use
                               Windows Deployment Services, a shared folder, or the product DVD
                               to install Windows Vista.
                               Resolving issues quickly when users call Helpdesk (tier 1 support).
                               This includes training effective staff, anticipating problems, and
                               developing workarounds as soon as a problem is found.

 Improve Windows Vista.        Collecting feedback from users through surveys and Helpdesk calls,
                               and passing the feedback to the product team to resolve issues.
                               Recommending changes that will optimize the product in a production
                               Reaching or exceeding the following deployment goals:
                               30,000 computers running the Beta 2 version of Windows Vista
                               60,000 computers running the RC 1 version of Windows Vista
                               90,000 computers running the RTM version of Windows Vista within
                               60 days after the product is released to manufacturing

Predeployment Planning
To prepare for the deployment of Windows Vista Beta 2, Microsoft IT set internal client
expectations, created an escalation plan, and trained its internal Helpdesk (tier 1 support)

Setting End-User Expectations
The Windows Vista deployment internal to Microsoft is on an opt-in basis, meaning that users
have a choice to participate in the beta or wait for the RTM release. Microsoft IT also uses a
client-requested deployment method for Windows Vista. To meet its deployment goals while
providing this level of flexibility, Microsoft IT had to anticipate issues, measure the user
experience, put feedback mechanisms in place, and iterate its communications and
deployment plans.

Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                              Page 8
To further increase participation in the beta, when each prerelease version of Windows Vista
was released, the senior vice president of the Windows Division sent out an e-mail message
to all full-time employees to request participation. Microsoft IT has found that having visible
executive support is essential for successful deployments. When employees know that
executives are behind decisions and changes, they are more likely to be positive and flexible.
Following the e-mail message, end users received a newsletter that contained the following

    Product information, including what is new and what has changed
    Links to training resources
    Pre-installation information, including hardware compatibility checks and how to migrate
     files and settings
    Installation instructions based on which operating system the computer is currently
    Post-installation configuration information to help users minimize downtime
    Customer support resources and instructions for reporting issues about the product
The goal of these communications was to set the users’ expectations about installing and
using the operating system and to get employees excited about the release.

Creating an Escalation Plan
Microsoft IT established a well-defined resolution process for diagnosing and correcting any
deployment failures or issues with Windows Vista. When a user encounters an issue, it is
escalated through the following groups in the specified order. Although this process is
specific to Microsoft, any organization should create a similar escalation process before
calling Customer Service and Support with Windows Vista questions.

1.   Helpdesk (tier 1). Users first contact Helpdesk. Helpdesk personnel are trained to test
     resolutions and workarounds that the product teams have developed. Before an issue is
     escalated past tier 1, a subject matter expert must review the issue and confirm that it
     should be handled by tier 2.

2.   Advanced support (tier 2). This team is trained to resolve the more complex issues that
     require a deeper level of technical knowledge. These issues typically include
     configuration problems, application compatibility, driver issues, and connectivity issues.
     This team investigates an issue, and if a resolution is found, the team creates a support
     article so that others can fix the issue in the future.

     Tier 2 also determines where issues are escalated. If an error in the code causes the
     issue, the team escalates the issue to tier 3 for further investigation. For any issues that
     the operating system does not cause, the tier 2 team can engage the appropriate service
     or application support team to resolve the issue.
3.   Windows Diagnostic and Debug Team (tier 3). The Windows Diagnostic and Debug
     Team (WINDDT) is the Microsoft IT diagnostic and debug support team. It investigates
     and debugs issues at the code level, determines the root cause, and escalates to the
     product group as appropriate. If needed, the team contacts the support team for the
     application or service that an issue is related to. For example, if the issue affects only
     Microsoft Office Word functionality, WINDDT contacts the Office support team.

Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                        Page 9
     Note: Tier 3 is the internal Microsoft team analogous to Customer Service and Support
     Because Microsoft IT must provide feedback to the product group, it has a team
     analogous to a CSS escalation team within its organization. An organization should call
     CSS after issues are raised within its own advanced support team.

4.   Windows Vista product group. If the WINDDT team determines that the problem is
     because of Windows Vista, it escalates the issue to the product team, which fixes the
     issue in the code.

Training Helpdesk
Helpdesk employees received extensive training to support Windows Vista. Microsoft used
the following process to train these technicians:

1.   Create a list of support articles and training materials. Microsoft IT compiled a list of
     issues and features that the technicians needed to understand in order to help users with
     Windows Vista. For example, Microsoft IT gathered information about how the new
     features work, known issues, and so on.

     Note: Helpdesk has a database of support articles that document known issues. When a
     user calls with an issue, if the technician cannot fix it right away, he or she searches the
     database to see whether the issue is documented. These articles are also available for
     users to search to self-diagnose the issues that Microsoft IT has encountered, which
     reduces the time that users spend calling Helpdesk. Each article contains information
     about the issue, in addition to the resolution or workaround.

2.   Train the trainers. Microsoft IT used the articles and training materials to create
     presentations. Then, subject matter experts used the presentations to train the trainers
     on each feature or issue. For Beta 2, Microsoft IT trained approximately 10 trainers.

3.   Train the technicians. The trainers went back to their teams and trained the phone
     technicians. The trainers used the presentations from step 2, and each presentation was
     updated if the product had changed. Approximately 58 phone technicians were trained
     for the Beta 2 version of Windows Vista. Each trainer was trained on the following topics:

        What is Windows Vista
        Installation
        Data migration
        Desktop Windows manager and graphics
        Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer version 7
        User Access Control
        Windows collaboration
        Microsoft Windows Media® Player
        Connection management
        Windows Defender
        Networking, network diagnostics, and remote access
        Remote assistance
        Device manager

Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                      Page 10
        Drivers
        Troubleshooting
        Windows Online Help

     Note: The trainers also trained 355 desk-side technicians. These technicians provide
     support to employees in 291 cities worldwide where Microsoft has subsidiary offices.

4.   Establish ongoing communication with the product group. Microsoft IT held daily
     meetings for two weeks following each release and twice-weekly meetings thereafter
     with each team involved in the escalation path. The goals of these meetings were:

        To increase communication among tier 1 support, tier 2 support, and the appropriate
         product group about issues being seen and possible workarounds or fixes.
        To continually evaluate the escalation process. For example, Microsoft IT evaluated
         whether the appropriate amount and kinds of issues were being escalated to the
         product group.
        To identify a need for new support articles and any changes or additional
         documentation that needed to be added to the end user's product Web site (for
         example, installation instructions and frequently asked questions).

Communicating Project Status
Through previous experience, Microsoft IT has learned the importance of communication in
large deployment projects. Deployment teams need to establish regular communication
methods to convey what they plan to do and when they plan to do it. Additionally, they must
communicate quickly when problems arise. To accomplish this, Microsoft IT recommends the
following communication methods:

    Project Web site. Microsoft IT created a SharePoint site that contained all of the project
     details and documentation. The site included deployment schedules, meeting minutes,
     status updates, problem resolution processes, and other information related to the
    Regular status reports. Microsoft IT sent regular status reports. These e-mail
     messages discussed project issues, action items, and metrics related to the deployment,
     and provided a link to project plans.
    Weekly meetings. Microsoft IT had meetings each week to monitor the deployment
     across all teams. A representative attended from each team that was involved in the
    Quarterly reviews with stakeholders and executives. Microsoft IT met with
     stakeholders and executives approximately four times a year to communicate
     deployment progress and make key decisions.
    Readiness package for regional IT. Microsoft IT created an internal Web site to
     communicate deployment plans and information to the regional IT department. The
     regional IT department is in charge of data centers and branch offices that are outside
     the Redmond location. This site contained the information that the regional IT
     departments needed to deploy Windows Vista in their areas. For example, information
     included an e-mail template with instructions on how to customize it to the different
     areas, a partner contact sheet, and copies of a customizable newsletter.

Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                     Page 11
Training and Education
Microsoft IT spent a lot of time creating an effective project team and educating end users.
For any organization, both the project team and the users must be prepared for a
deployment. When an organization is working with beta products, it must create and agree on
detailed roles and responsibilities, as well as change management and escalation
procedures, in order to efficiently respond to rapid change during the active deployment

Project Team Training
To keep the project team efficient and running smoothly, Microsoft IT did the following:

   Set deployment goals. Microsoft IT set goals for how many computers it wanted
    running Windows Vista for each milestone (Beta 2, RC1, and RTM).
   Include technical experts on the project team. The Microsoft IT project team
    consisted of both project managers and technical experts. The technical experts were
    vital to ensuring that the deployment was efficient. They had a deep understanding of
    Windows Vista and were devoted to the deployment. Because the technical experts
    understood the product so well, they were able to guide decisions and anticipate
   Put security experts in charge of defining and fixing security issues. The security
    experts influenced decisions to ensure that the environment met security guidelines.
    Most issues were based on new features in Windows Vista that affect security (for
    example, BitLocker Drive Encryption, User Account Control, and Phishing Filter). These
    experts determined the effect that these features would have on the environment.
   Put infrastructure experts in charge of defining and fixing infrastructure issues.
    The infrastructure experts examined various aspects of Windows-based networking,
    looking for issues that would affect deployment and operation of the Windows Vista–
    based client. They discovered that TCP tuning, a new feature that more efficiently uses
    wide area network (WAN) bandwidth, performed very well in production tests but could
    not be implemented initially because it did not support the currently available bandwidth
    monitoring tools.

    Note: Microsoft IT recommends that an organization has technologists working on the
    deployment, at least until it begins deploying the operating system. The organization
    should consider hiring a contractor or someone from Microsoft if it does not have
    qualified and available resources. An organization that is interested in hiring a Microsoft
    expert should contact Microsoft Services.

   Develop a detailed deployment plan. Microsoft IT spent several months planning for
    the deployment before it took any action. This preparation enabled Microsoft IT to
    anticipate problems and create a plan that worked.
   Perform the deployment based on the plan. Microsoft IT followed its plan as much as
    possible, which increased efficiency. However, Microsoft IT was flexible if a problem
    arose that required a change.
   Communicate decisions across the project team. Microsoft IT strove to keep all team
    members team up to date on the project details. Project managers brought information
    back to the team from higher-level meetings to ensure that the decisions that they made
    aligned with others across the department.

Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                      Page 12
End User Education
After the prerelease version of the operating system was complete, Microsoft IT continually
updated a product Web site and sent regular e-mail messages to keep employees connected
to the IT department.

Note: It is important for an organization to consider what users need to know in order to
decrease downtime after Windows Vista is installed. The organization should provide users
with the information they need to do their work, as well as information that will reduce
helpdesk calls after the installation. Otherwise, users may spend a significant amount of time
getting familiar with the operating system and resolving issues. Although these items are not
critical to deployment, educating users will increase users' productivity and their overall
satisfaction with the deployment.

Product Web Site
Microsoft IT created a Web site targeted to employees who install and use Windows Vista.
The Web site contains the following tools and information:

   Product overview. This includes links to key product information and information about
    what has changed with the user experience of Windows Vista. It also outlines User
    Access Control and Network Access Protection, two features that affected users the
   Pre-installation information. This includes the information that end users need before
    installing this product. For example:
        Hardware requirements. For users to verify that their computers meet minimum
         requirements to run Windows Vista, they can run the Windows Vista Upgrade
         Advisor. For more information about this beta product, see the Microsoft Web site.
        Information about migrating files and settings. This includes instructions on how
         to use Windows Easy Transfer to migrate files and settings. For instructions on how
         to use this tool, see the Microsoft Web site.
        Information about application compatibility. The Application Compatibility Toolkit
         is a set of tools and resources that are designed to help minimize the risks
         associated with deployments of Windows operating systems. Users can use this
         toolkit to find out whether their existing applications will be compatible with
         Windows Vista. For more information, see the Microsoft Web site.
   Installation instructions. Microsoft IT provides instructions on how to install
    Windows Vista based on the operating system that a computer is currently running.
    These specific instructions help users incorporate Windows Vista into the Microsoft
   Post-installation information. This includes information about how to configure a
    computer to work in the environment. For example, information includes how to connect
    to the network, add users, and perform other configuration tasks.
   Frequently asked questions. Microsoft IT answers some of the anticipated common
    questions. The following table provides a representative list of the questions that
    Microsoft IT addresses:

Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                    Page 13
Table 3. Frequently Asked Questions

 Question                                    More information

 What is User Account Control?     

 What is Network Access Protection?

 What is new with Internet Explorer 7?

 Where can I find support for Internet
 Explorer 7?

 What is the Microsoft Phishing Filter?      This feature proactively warns you about and helps protect
                                             you from potential or known fraudulent sites by blocking the
                                             site if appropriate. The opt-in filter is updated several times
                                             per hour through the latest security information from
                                             Microsoft and several industry partners.

 What happened to the Run command?           The Run command is still available. To add the Run
                                             command to the Start menu: In Control Panel, click
                                             Appearance and Personalization, and then click Taskbar
                                             and Start menu. On the Start menu tab, click Customize.
                                             In the list, select the Run command check box, and then
                                             click OK.

 What is Windows Sidebar and can I 
 customize it?

 I can't find a file; how can I search for

 What is Windows Deployment        

 Where can I find drivers that are not       Many drivers for Windows Vista can be found through
 included with Windows Vista?                Microsoft Update. Other drivers are available at the
                                             manufacturers’ Web sites.

 What are the hardware and CPU     
 requirements for Windows Vista?

 Where can I find information about
 graphics processing units (GPU) that
 support Windows Vista enhanced

 How do I connect to the network?            This information will be specific to each organization.

 What is new with the Start menu?            The Start menu is now faster, more streamlined, and more
                                             helpful than in previous versions of Windows. The Start
                                             menu features integrated desktop search through a new
                                             feature called Instant Search, which can help you find and
                                             start almost anything on your computer. Just type in a word,
                                             a name, or a phrase, and Instant Search can find the right
                                             file for you. But more than that, the new Start menu makes
                                             it easy for you to navigate across all of the installed
                                             applications on your computer. Eliminating the slow-
                                             performing, cascading All Programs view, the new Start
                                             menu can help you get something started more quickly than

 What happened to the Shut down and

Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                                 Page 14
    Restart options?

    What happened to the Stand by and     These options have been replaced with the Sleep option.
    Hibernate options?                    For more information, see

      Troubleshooting. This includes the known issues and workarounds that end users may

       Note: For an organization to create this list, it should review the release notes and
       update the site with any issues that employees may encounter in its environment. The
       organization should also list any environment-specific issues that may not be
       documented in the release notes.

      Feedback. A feedback Web site outlines key deployment scenarios and experiences.
       Users can browse to this site to both rate the experience and provide anecdotal
       comments. The feedback improves the installation instructions and the customized
       installation image, and it adds or clarifies educational content.
      Customer support. Microsoft IT provides links to the following information:
          Helpdesk. This includes phone numbers, times, and the types of issues for which
           the Helpdesk can provide assistance.
          Online self-help. Microsoft IT created an internal resource that employees can use
           to research help articles to fix their problems. This includes links to Windows Vista
           Help and Support Center and specific articles that solve typical problems.

After the initial e-mail from the Windows Division senior vice president, Microsoft IT sent a
newsletter in e-mail every three weeks. This newsletter included links to information that
helped employees stay connected, ensure that their needs were met, and resolve any issues.
The newsletter outlined any actions that users needed to take, along with deployment status,
tips and tricks, and links to the same information that the product Web site contains.

Enterprise Learning Roadmap
Enterprise Learning Roadmap is a new feature of the Business Desktop Deployment solution
accelerator. An organization can use Enterprise Learning Roadmap to tailor the information
that it gives to end users. This Web-based tool helps the organization identify topics from
Windows Vista Help and Support Center and Microsoft Office Online
( that fill the specific needs of users. The tool
enables an organization to select training topics that are relevant to the current stage of its
deployment. The organization can also select topics by user expertise or role. For more
information about this tool, go to

Application Compatibility Testing
The Microsoft IT approach to application compatibility testing for the Windows Vista Beta 2
release is explained in detail in "Application Compatibility Testing for Windows Vista," a
Technical Case Study available on Microsoft IT Showcase.

Microsoft IT addressed the need for application compatibility testing by creating a Windows
Vista LOB application compatibility testing program. The program revealed compatibility
problems addressed by either the Windows Vista development team or the IT organization

Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                         Page 15
that owns the affected LOB applications. To set up the program, Microsoft IT took the actions
described in the following sections.

Establish Goals and Objectives
Microsoft IT established the following goals and objectives for its application compatibility

   Ensure that the selected internal LOB applications are compatible with Windows Vista.
   For each selected LOB application, test key functionality and user scenarios.
   Minimize the impact that upgrading to Windows Vista has on users, support (Helpdesk
    call volume), business unit IT (BUIT) teams, and, ultimately, Microsoft customers.
   Identify LOB application compatibility issues early in the product development life cycle.
   Help ship the highest-quality Windows Vista operating system possible.

Select a Program Manager
Because Microsoft business units, their LOB applications, and the associated BUITs are
widely distributed, Microsoft IT designated a single program manager to plan and coordinate
the program.

This manager's tasks included soliciting commitments from senior management, BUITs, and
test teams; selecting the LOB applications to be tested, scheduling the testing, and
coordinating with BUITs; negotiating with the support team; and expediting testing tasks.

Develop the Program Management Plan
The program manager defined the requirements and scope of the testing, including
scenarios, goals, and milestone dates. In addition, the program manager was responsible for
obtaining support resources, briefing all parties involved, and compiling the feedback from

Select the LOB Applications To Be Tested
To select the LOB applications, the program manager considered factors such as business
criticality, user base, and technology dependencies.

Prioritize the LOB Applications To Be Tested
The program manager identified a pool of about 300 LOB applications: about 100 first-priority
applications and a further 200 second-priority applications. The tier 1 applications each had
at least 5,000 users or were used by executives. These applications would be tested prior to
every major release milestone. Tier 2 applications had fewer users. They would be tested
less frequently than tier 1 applications (they would be worked into the testing schedule as
resources permitted).

Establish Communications Channels
To coordinate effort across organizational and national boundaries, the program manager
established individual contact persons. Each contact covered multiple LOB applications in a
given BUIT.

Create a Reporting Tool
The testing program used a Microsoft Office Excel® spreadsheet, which included the most
relevant information, such as the application name, a unique application identifier, its usage
status ("in production" versus "retired," for example), the responsible BUIT, contact persons,

Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                       Page 16
and test results. The spreadsheet also provided summaries of the number of applications in
each result category (for example, "passed" and "failed") categorized for tier 1, tier 2, and all

Build the Testing Environment
Testers endeavored to duplicate the actual daily-use environment as much as possible. To
do this, they matched the versions of all involved software to those in production whenever
possible, as well as duplicating real user actions and procedures.

Establish and Collect Measurements
Because Microsoft IT principally deployed Windows Vista Beta 2 as a voluntary download,
the number of successful installations was the primary metric that Microsoft IT used to
assess the success of the deployment. This information was collected by automated
inventory polling of workstations corporation-wide via Microsoft Systems Management Server
(SMS) and communicated via an internal Web site. This Web site, which also publicized the
shared goals, was continually updated with the current status compared to those goals.

Additionally, Microsoft IT tracked the closure rate of calls to the Helpdesk by using call-
tracking software. The goal was to keep the call rate to within 70 percent of the target.

Windows Vista Deployment
To meet the deployment objectives, Microsoft IT chose to deploy Windows Vista by using the
following resources:

   Windows Deployment Services. Microsoft IT used Windows Deployment Services to
    build new client computers and to flatten and rebuild existing computers.
   Product Web site. Microsoft IT provides a Web site to a share-based installation for all
    available Microsoft products. Using this well-known site for installation of Windows Vista
    provided end users with a consistent experience while using standard processes saved
    project resources.
   DVD image. Remote and international teams were able to create bootable media locally
    from a centrally managed image that Microsoft IT provided.

Deployment Types
Microsoft IT relied on upgrades and bare-metal installation (including flatten and rebuild) to
meet its Windows Vista Beta 2 deployment goals. The following are the most common
deployment scenarios for Windows Vista:

   Upgrade. The new operating system is installed on the client computer’s hard drive,
    without reformatting the drive, and with minimal impact on the existing file system.
   Forced upgrade. The new operating system is installed on the client computer’s hard
    disk drive without user intervention or initiation. As with the upgrade scenario, the hard
    drive is not reformatted, and the existing file system is left intact.
   Migration. User data (files and settings) in known locations (such as directories and
    registries) is stored, and the client computer’s hard disk drive is reformatted. The new
    operating system is installed, after which the user data is restored.
   Bare-metal installation. The new operating system is installed on the client computer’s
    hard disk drive after the drive is partitioned and formatted appropriately. No user data is

Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                       Page 17
       retained, and there is no assumption that the computer has a valid Windows operating
       system already installed.
      Flatten and rebuild. The hard disk drive of the client computer is reformatted, and the
       new operating system is installed. This scenario assumes that a valid Windows
       operating system is installed on the computer before the flatten and rebuild begins.
The following criteria can help an organization determine which upgrade path to use.

Table 4. Upgrade Path Based on Current Client Configuration

    Current configuration               Upgrade path                  Format

    Client computer is running          Upgrade                       Web portal or DVD
    Windows XP or already running
    an earlier Windows Vista build
    and needs the operating system
    upgraded to the latest

    Client computer is running          Migration                     Web portal, DVD, or using
    Windows XP and needs to                                           Windows Easy Transfer in
    move to Windows Vista with                                        conjunction with Windows
    data and settings intact. Or, the                                 Deployment Services.
    client computer needs to format
    an earlier Windows Vista
    milestone build on the upgrade,
    again keeping data and

    Client computer is new (new         Bare-metal installation       Windows Deployment Services
    hardware or new to the client)
    and needs a new operating

    Client needs a new operating        Flatten and rebuild           Windows Deployment Services
    system on the computer; no
    data/settings are needed.

Windows Deployment Services
Windows Deployment Services is the updated and redesigned version of RIS. Windows
Deployment Services assists with the rapid adoption and deployment of Windows operating
systems. An organization can use it to set up new computers through a network-based
installation without requiring an administrator to be physically present at each computer and
without requiring installation directly from CD media.

Windows Deployment Services is the feature name for a suite of components that work
together to enable the deployment of Windows operating systems, particularly Windows
Vista. These components fall into the following three categories:

      Server components. These components include a Preboot Execution Environment
       (PXE) server and trivial file transfer protocol (TFTP) server for network starting a client to
       load and install an operating system. Also included is a shared folder and image
       repository that contains startup images, installation images, and files that a booting client
       needs specifically for network startup.
      Client components. These components include a graphical user interface that runs
       within the Windows Pre-installation Environment (Windows PE) and communicates with
       the server components to select and install an operating system image.

Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                          Page 18
   Management components. These components are a set of tools that an administrator
    uses to manage the server, operating system images, and client computer accounts.

Deploying Windows Deployment Services
At the time of Windows Vista Beta 2 deployment, Microsoft IT had existing RIS servers with
Windows XP and Microsoft Windows Server 2003 images deployed throughout the
enterprise. In addition to providing installation services for Windows Vista, Microsoft IT
required all RIS deployment capabilities to be preserved on upgrade and moved to any new
servers. This requirement meant that Microsoft IT could run its Windows Deployment
Services implementation in mixed mode, allowing for deployment of Windows Image (WIM)
and earlier image types. To meet this requirement, Microsoft IT used three deployment
scenarios for Windows Deployment Services:

   New server installation. In a new server installation, Windows Deployment Services
    installs as an update to RIS, either as a software update to Windows Server 2003
    Service Pack 1 or as part of Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2. New servers were
    installed to provide extra installation resources for the Windows Vista deployment.
   Parallel migration. Microsoft IT already had many existing RIS servers. Where a new
    Windows Deployment Services server replaced an existing RIS server, Microsoft IT used
    parallel migration to get the new server in place with minimal impact to clients. The
    existing RIS server was left functional and in place until all aspects of Windows
    Deployment Services functionality were verified. After clients were successfully installing
    Windows Vista as well as Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, Microsoft IT took the
    RIS server offline.
   In-place upgrade. Many servers did not warrant replacement. Instead, Microsoft IT
    augmented them with an additional 50 gigabytes (GB) of disk space to accommodate
    additional images. In this scenario, the servers often had multiple roles installed and
    were often in remote offices. Upgrading these servers was a complex task that required
    close communication with the many server role owners as well as the regional support
    staff and release manager. The hardware upgrade was completed in advance of the
    software upgrade to reduce the number of variables if troubleshooting became

Implementing Windows Deployment Services
To preserve its investment in RIS, Microsoft IT chose to upgrade existing RIS servers to
Windows Deployment Services or to build new Windows Deployment Services servers in
mixed mode. Windows Deployment Services mixed mode enables deployment of WIM and
earlier (RIS) image types. To implement this functionality, Microsoft IT configured Windows
Deployment Services by using the OSChooser:Yes option.

Other implementation details include providing x86-based and x64-based images and
allowing the clients to choose what operating system to install regardless of processor type(in
the case of x64-based clients). To work around an x64-based basic input/output system
(BIOS), which does not report the architecture properly, Microsoft IT also set

Specifying the Client Image
To specify the client image, Microsoft IT began with the security-enhanced volume licensing
and activation feature of Windows Vista. Microsoft IT also applied configuration changes

Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                    Page 19
appropriate for the environment, including data collection tools and common applications.
Using a volume-licensed image meant that end users did not need to enter a product key
each time they installed Windows Vista. Not having to apply for a product key in advance of
installing the operating system or performing product activation steps saved time and created
a better user experience. The security-enhanced volume licensing solution was also available
for remote installations over a virtual private network (VPN).

Changes made to the base image included turning on Windows Firewall and installing
antivirus software. Image specifications that include the 2007 Microsoft Office system were
also established. When the specification was complete, it was used to create a reference

Implementing the Client Image
Microsoft IT then built a reference computer to the established Windows Vista specifications.
After the reference computer was built and reviewed for completeness, Microsoft IT created a
reference image by using sysprep.exe. Microsoft IT then added the prepared image to the
Windows Deployment Services server. After the image was added to the server, unattended
installation files and language packs were applied, which enabled Microsoft IT to associate
multiple languages to a single image.

Installing Windows Vista by Using Windows Deployment Services
After Windows Deployment Services was installed and configured, clients with PXE- capable
startup ROMs could boot to a Windows Deployment Services server when a user pressed
F12 at system startup. The Windows Deployment Services client would then load and
present installation options, including Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows
Server 2003. The client then selected the version to install and waited for the Windows Vista
installation and setup to complete.

Alternative Deployment Methods
In addition to using Windows Deployment Services for new or rebuilt clients, Microsoft IT
provided the following deployment methods.

Web-Based Installation from Product Web Servers
For upgrades and parallel installations and for computers that did not support PXE startup,
Microsoft IT provided a Web-based installation method by using its product Web servers,
which are used internally as a common installation point for Microsoft products. This upgrade
method enabled clients to preserve most of their configurations and application settings.
Preserving existing settings during upgrade got the end-user clients back to work more
quickly, making the deployment a better experience.

Installation from DVD
Microsoft IT also provided the Windows Vista Beta 2 product DVD to Microsoft employees.
Like the Web-based installation method, the product DVD was used for upgrades and parallel
installations. The DVD was equally useful for non-PXE clients and clients that were not
connected to the corporate network.

Why Microsoft IT Chose Its Deployment Method
In many operating system deployments, the IT department delivers and installs the operating
system software to the client computers in a client-request model. Microsoft IT chooses not
to perform this type of deployment for client operating systems. Instead, Microsoft IT provides

Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                    Page 20
the self-help process for end users to install the product themselves at their discretion.
Microsoft IT deploys client operating systems in this client-requested model for a variety of

Microsoft chose this deployment method partially because although it manages its computers
to a very tight security baseline, it allows all employees to have full administrative rights on
their computers. Employees can configure their computers as they choose in order to
complete their jobs; they can install almost any application, and they may have a variety of
Windows operating system versions installed. Employees need this flexibility to develop and
test Microsoft products. Because Microsoft employees do not have a single standard desktop
across the company, Microsoft IT must offer a self-service model rather than pushing a
company-wide standard operating system.

Note: The configurations and settings that Microsoft IT controls are those that provide
security or manage general productivity improvements (for example, pushing Microsoft .NET
Framework version 2.0 to all computers so that end users do not have to download it
themselves). Microsoft IT forces updates and default settings to client computers that help
keep the network secure. Microsoft IT tries to limit the restrictions that it places on each client
computer to allow employees the freedom to create and troubleshoot software as the
business dictates.

In some ways, the client-requested method is easier on the user. Instead of forcing an
operating system upgrade based the Microsoft IT schedule, users can choose to upgrade
their computers based on their own work schedules. Although they have to install the product
themselves, they can choose a time that is convenient for them. To make this method cost-
effective, Microsoft IT needs to provide clear and accurate processes to ensure that even
novice users can start and finish an upgrade without encountering problems.

The client-requested deployment method improves Microsoft products. The nonrestrictive
environment allows Microsoft employees to test the software in all kinds of scenarios. For
example, because Microsoft employees install and configure Windows Vista themselves,
they find issues that might not have been found otherwise. As a result, Microsoft ships better
products that have been tested by users of all types.

Although this deployment method is not possible for organizations whose users are not
administrators on their computers, many of the techniques and technologies that Microsoft IT
uses are completely transferable to any kind of deployment. The planning processes and
best practices are not specific to a client-requested model, and most of the technologies (like
image preparation and Windows Deployment Services) can be used with any deployment

Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                        Page 21
Microsoft IT followed or established many best practices during the Windows Vista
deployment. Microsoft IT spent months planning the deployment, testing, self-hosting, and
working on desktop deployment technologies prior to making the Windows Vista Beta 2
commonly available throughout Microsoft. Below is a list of the Microsoft IT best practices for
a successful Windows Vista deployment:

   Read the documentation. Before a user installs Windows Vista, he or she should read
    at least the following documentation on the Microsoft Web site. This content will help the
    user become familiar with the product and any known issues.
        Release notes. For information about known issues with Windows Vista Beta 2, see
        Product overview for IT professionals. To view this content, see the Microsoft
         Web site.
        Product evaluation. To view this content, see the Microsoft Web site.
   Make sure you have clear responsibilities and priorities. Clear responsibilities and
    aligned priorities help ensure that a project progresses efficiently. For example, make
    sure that a single program management team is overseeing the overall deployment plan
    and can drive status reporting and communication to stakeholders.
   Document all processes. In projects with a longer duration, it is important for an
    organization to document all of its processes. This way, if employees change positions
    or leave the organization, the people taking over have a clear picture of how to
    accomplish their jobs.
   Use information and feedback from past deployments. This may seem like common
    sense, but an administrator who is new to his or her position may not know that this
    feedback exists. An administrator can use feedback from any deployment—not just from
    operating system installations. For example, an administrator can use feedback if he or
    she deployed Windows XP Service Pack 2.
   Test critical applications prior to deployment. An administrator can use the
    Application Compatibility feature to find out whether your existing applications will be
    compatible with Windows Vista. For more information, see the Microsoft Web site.
   Deploy a Key Management Server. Using a Key Management Server to implement
    Volume Licensing version 2 creates a better client experience by eliminating the need to
    acquire a product key prior to installation and reduces license management expense.
   Be aware of disk space considerations. When planning for deployment, an
    administrator must take into account the required disk space for the installation. For
    detailed information about space requirements for Windows Vista Beta 2, see the
    Microsoft Web site.

Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                      Page 22
Microsoft IT deployed Windows Vista Beta 2 into the Microsoft global environment by using
client-driven installation methods based on readily available deployment technologies.
Microsoft IT was able to create a compelling installation experience, based on client requests
rather than scheduled or mandatory installation. Careful planning, training the deployment
team, educating end users, using the latest deployment technologies, and being responsive
to the client base participating in the beta program have put Microsoft IT on track to achieve
all Beta 2 goals.

Any organization, regardless of its size, should complete each of the phases described in this
document to create a great user experience, achieve deployment goals, and mitigate risk
during Windows Vista deployment.

Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                    Page 23
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Planning the Windows Vista Deployment at Microsoft                                                      Page 24

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