1.) Current InfrastructureThis is really around the concept of what is your systems' overall layout. What particular machines may be getting replaced, which ones need upgraded, and which ones need to be removed. Having a good overall understanding of the hardware assets helps any migration to a new operating system.
What operating system (OS) are you upgrading from?It also may make sense to isolate various operating systems for the migration, focusing on each level of an operating system to isolate issues consistently and help to reduce redundancy.
- Windows 2000: Some software works, some have issues when migrating to Windows 7.
- Windows XP: In some cases you can use the XP compatibility mode found in Windows 7 to remove some of these issues. Keep in mind that XP compatibility mode is really just an XP VM running in Windows 7, so there can be significant overhead on the machine.
- Windows Vista: This should be the simplest to migrate from, however, testing of the applications should be completed before migrating.
- Windows 7: You may be asking yourself, why would I worry about Windows 7 applications when I'm moving to Windows 7? When an application is created specifically for Windows 7, it adds significant dependencies on the Windows 7 SDK, which may not be backwards compatible. So it can also not be assumed that a Windows 7 application will work on any other Windows OS unless fully tested.
2.) Moving to 64 bit level OS?This one seems to be getting overlooked. Is the plan to migrate to the 64 bit version of Windows 7 or are you staying on the 32 bit version? Of course everybody wants to move to 64 bit because there are some key advantages from being able to use more memory, being able to address more memory from a developers perspective, and being able to run more on a machine. However, if you move to 64 bit, you have to also ensure that all the drivers are available that you need. There are also some instances where DLLs need to be compiled on the 64 bit OS to work correctly. The 64 bit version of Windows 7 is great, just take some extra time to ensure testing, and especially stress testing, is completed to make the migration smooth.
3.) Hardware requirementsAll new operating systems usually require some hardware upgrades or a certain level of hardware to ensure proper execution and running environment. Windows 7 is not different and this goes along with the first comment of laying out the hardware map/system infrastructure to understand what is needed.
This was first published in February 2010