There’s a few considerations when deploying your OS and the Applications. Firstly, in terms of planning you need to get yourself a deployment schedule. It’s a good idea to get a good pilot group early on with only a small number of applications and who represent non-Techie users. It’s also a good idea to get your Service Desk some Windows 7 secondary machines or VM’s in order to provide support for both environments as your roll out. Once you are satisfied with the results of your first pilot group you should move onto a second pilot with a more varied group of applications. The first pilot should be used for fleshing out your process and also verifying that the image is solid rather than stress testing your applications. IT teams are bad candidates to be early pilot users as they do not reflect the majority of your user base (assuming!!) When you have deemed your processes and image are equipped to handle the migration you can begin to roll out to a wider base and at a quicker rate. This may partly be dictated by the readiness of applications but you should also consider external variables. Some departments may have training scheduled or possibly peaks in productivity which means they can only migrate during certain intervals. All Departments and Upper Management types need to be consulted.
The number of machines which can be deployed in a fixed time would also be dictated by tools being used and hardware and network resources. Is Multicasting a possibility on your network, if so you don’t have to worry about saturating the network but you may want to try and benchmark test how long it will take to do 50-100 machines at once. If you are using Unicasting you should really consult with your network team for guidance on what your threshold should be.
You should also consider your help desk capacity to support these users in case your pilot failed to highlights some repeatetive questions that may come their way en masse or even possibly issues with Data missing or a corrupted deployment.
For application deployments through a Distribution Tool you should ensure the tool does not have anything set which may interfere with the applications being deployed to Windows 7 or later e.g. An Operating System check. Are any properties changed in your MSI’s just being over-rided by your Distribution Tool?
Deploying applications for Windows 7 has not really changed from Windows XP. You should just beware of the different possible gotchas as mentioned above. You will likely also use the same deployment tool to deploy your OS to the users. Be that with tools such as Marimba, SCCM, Altiris etc. Or perhaps, if you would like to go for a more cost effective solution for OS Deployment you might consider using WDS. For more on this you can read my post HERE
That completes this series for migrating to Windows 7. I hope this was informative and useful to anybody who may have been seeking information on this.
Thanks for reading,