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Windows Vista

Using BDD 2007 for Deployment Planning

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1/23/2013 4:55:10 PM

BDD 2007 is Microsoft’s best offering for high-volume Windows Vista deployment projects. It reduces complexity and increases standardization by allowing you to deploy a hardware and software baseline to all users and computers. With standard baselines, you can more easily manage the computing environment and spend less time managing and deploying computers and more time on mission critical tasks.

BDD 2007 provides automation tools and guidance that help reduce labor and increase reliability by producing standardized configurations. It provides fully developed processes for you to do the following:

  • Document the project’s business case.

  • Take an inventory of the existing production computers to determine the installed application base and the types of hardware currently deployed.

  • Determine which applications can be redeployed on new systems, and start a process for packaging or scripting those applications so that you can reinstall them quickly and consistently without user intervention.

  • Define a strategy for addressing applications that cannot be supported on the new platform.

  • Determine which types of hardware will be reused as part of the new computer deployment and which types might need to be retired.

  • Create an imaging process to produce a standard enterprise image of Windows Vista to aid in configuration management and to speed deployments.

  • Establish a process for capturing user state from existing computers and for restoring user state on the newly deployed computers.

  • Provide a method for backing up the current computer before deploying Windows Vista.

  • Establish a network map of the client computers, servers, and other networking equipment to assist in planning for deployment.

  • Provide an end-to-end process for the actual deployment of the new computers. The guidance includes Lite Touch and Zero-Touch installations.

  • Create a plan for training users to use Windows Vista.

While you can certainly undertake a high-volume deployment project without BDD 2007, that approach is discouraged. This is because without BDD 2007, you must develop your own planning, development, and deployment processes. You also must define your own best practices and develop your own automation. By using BDD 2007 as your deployment framework, you save potentially hundreds of hours that you would otherwise spend writing scripts, writing answer files, developing images, and so on. BDD 2007 handles most scenarios intrinsically, and you can easily extend BDD 2007 for additional scenarios. You can even use BDD 2007 with most third-party deployment technologies. In fact, many third-party deployment vendors will be extending BDD 2007 in their own product lineups.


Planning Guide

The Plan, Build, and Deploy Guide describes how to plan, manage, and complete the desktop-deployment project. It includes guidance for project planning, developing schedules, building teams, and so on. Everyone participating in the project should read this guide to better understand the project as a whole. Your management team should use its guidance to manage the daily activities of the project, however.

As illustrated in Figure 1, the Plan, Build, and Deploy Guide divides deployment projects in to five phases: Envisioning, Planning, Developing, Stabilizing, and Deployment. It provides a scheduling template that includes the five phases that you can use to build your own schedule and estimate the required resources and time.

Figure 1. Deployment phases for deploying Windows Vista using the BDD.

Each feature team guide in BDD 2007 also acknowledges the five deployment phases. Each guide contains a top-level section for each phase that describes the tasks and deliverables that each team must complete for that phase. Performing the technical work around the five deployment phases ensures that the work each feature team performs remains synchronized. The following sections describe each phase.

Envisioning

The initial phase of the planning process involves envisioning the deployment project and determining goals and expected outcomes. The Envisioning Phase includes several key steps, for which BDD 2007 provides job aids to help complete:

  • Set up teams The initial task is to define the teams that will plan, design, and perform the deployment. 

  • Perform a current assessment This step includes identifying existing systems and applications, determining existing operating systems, and identifying deficiencies in the current environment that the Windows Vista deployment will address.

  • Define business goals Concrete, quantifiable business goals should drive your need for the deployment. Rather than simply planning to deploy the latest technology for technology’s sake, identify key deficiencies in the existing system that Windows Vista will address as well as process and productivity gains that the deployment will make possible.

  • Create vision statement and define scope Create a vision statement that defines how planned technology changes (including the Windows Vista deployment) will meet the defined business goals. The scope determines the extent of the vision that can be accomplished through the Windows Vista deployment.

  • Create user profiles Develop an accurate and complete picture of users’ functions, needs, and wants. Refine these into user profiles that accurately identify the types of users in the organization. Understanding the users and what they need is the first step in determining how to structure the deployment to benefit the most users.

  • Develop a solution concept Create this high-level document to define how the team will meet the requirements of the project.

  • Create risk-assessment documents In this step, evaluate the overall deployment with the intent to anticipate, address, mitigate, and prevent risks associated with the deployment. Risk assessment and documentation is an ongoing task throughout the project.

  • Write a project structure This document describes how the team manages and supports the project and describes the administrative structure for the project team. This document should define standards that the team will use, including methods of communication, documentation standards, and change-control standards.

  • Approve milestones When you complete the initial planning and documentation, identify and schedule key milestones for the deployment.

Planning

The Envisioning Phase creates the framework for the Windows Vista deployment. The Planning Phase serves as a transition between vision and implementation, laying the groundwork for the actual deployment. The Planning Phase uses the documents and processes created in the Envisioning Phase to add structure and content to the deployment plan. Key steps in this phase include the following tasks. BDD 2007 provides job aids to address many of these tasks.

  • Create the development and testing environment Build a testing lab that adequately embodies the target deployment environment, using virtualization to reduce the cost of lab creation. In addition to resources such as servers and sample target systems used to develop and test the deployment, the lab should also include the resources that the Deployment feature team will use to prepare and accomplish the final deployment.

  • Develop the solution design This document builds on the solution concept, project structure, and other documents created during the Envisioning Phase to define the conceptual, logical, and physical solution designs for the planned deployment. This document serves as a roadmap for the Deployment feature team to begin building the deployment.

  • Create the functional specification This document defines the requirements of all stakeholders targeted by the deployment and serves as a contract between the customer and the project team. It should clearly define the goals, scope, and outcomes of the deployment.

  • Develop the project plan This document is a collection of plans that address the tasks the Deployment feature team will perform to carry out the project as defined by the functional specification. Each plan in this document covers a particular area, such as facilities and hardware, testing, training, and communication.

  • Create the project schedule This schedule compiles individual schedules created by team members for the purpose of planning deployment activities.

  • Complete a computer inventory During the Planning Phase, a complete computer inventory must be made to identify existing systems and applications that the deployment will affect. In addition, the server resources to be used for deployment must also be identified and evaluated for suitability.

  • Perform network analysis Diagram network topology and identify and inventory network devices.

Developing

The Developing Phase is the period during which the team builds and unit-tests the solution. The Developing Phase includes seven key tasks:

  • Start the development cycle In this initial step, the team creates a lab server for development work and begins the process of creating images, installation scripts, and application packages. The team should also create an issue-tracking system so that team members can communicate about and coordinate solutions to issues.

  • Prepare the computing environment In this key task, the teams build a deployment environment with facilities such as servers, networking, system backup, and data repositories (such as Microsoft Visual SourceSafe) with separate workspaces (computers and network shares) for each feature team. This environment provides the infrastructure for teams to work both independently and jointly as necessary to complete their development tasks.

  • Develop the solution scripts In this step, the teams begin the process of packaging applications, creating computer images, and developing remediation steps for application-compatibility issues. The teams also plan how and what user data will be retained and migrated during the deployment and validate that network infrastructure (shares, credentials, and other components) are in place and functioning properly prior to deployment.

  • Develop deployment procedures Using the documents, processes, and other resources created to this point, begin creating the documents that the teams will use to accomplish the deployment and post-deployment tasks. These documents include training materials for users, administrators, and others who will maintain systems and applications after deployment; a plan for communicating with users about the upcoming changes; and site-deployment procedures to simplify and standardize the deployment of solutions across sites.

  • Develop operations procedures This document describes the operations procedures to support, maintain, and operate the solution following deployment. Key processes to describe include maintenance, disaster recovery, new-site installation, performance and fault monitoring, and support and troubleshooting.

  • Test the solution Perform test deployments and remedy any issues that arise, using the issue-tracking framework created during the Planning Phase to monitor and address these issues.

Stabilizing

The Stabilizing Phase addresses the testing of a solution that is feature-complete. This phase is usually when pilots are conducted, with an emphasis on real-world testing and with the goal of identifying, prioritizing, and fixing bugs. Key tasks in this phase include:

  • Conducting the pilot At this stage, the teams use a small pilot deployment to test the deployment and identify any remaining issues. Procedures, resources, and personnel should be in place to assist in addressing any user issues that arise during the pilot deployment. This key task should also include obtaining user feedback as well as review and remediation of issues identified during the pilot.

  • Operational-readiness review All teams at this stage perform a complete operational-readiness review to determine that the deployment plan is ready to move forward to full-scale deployment. The solution is frozen at this stage, and any remaining issues are addressed.

  • Final release This task incorporates all fixes and issue resolutions to create the final release of the solution, which should now be ready for full deployment.

Deploying

During the Deploying Phase, the team deploys the solution and ensures that it is stable and usable. The key tasks involved in the Deploying Phase include:

  • Deploying core technology Based on the plans and procedures developed in the Planning Phase, install, configure, and test deployment servers at each site. Also, train administration staff in preparation for deployment.

  • Deploying sites Teams perform the deployment of Windows Vista at each site using the procedures and resources developed during the Planning and Building Phases. Team members remain on site to stabilize each site deployment, ensuring that users can move forward with reliable systems and applications and that the goals of the deployment plan for the site have been met.

  • Stabilizing the deployment At this key step, the Deployment feature team ensures stabilization across all sites and addresses any remaining deployment issues.

  • Completing the deployment This step marks the transition from deployment to operations and support. Ongoing operations are transitioned from the Deployment feature team to permanent staff. Reporting systems are activated and support processes are fully operational.

Feature Team Guides

In a BDD 2007 project, a feature team is a cross-organizational team that focuses on solving a particular problem, such as security. Feature teams divide the work into discrete parts that are easier for you to manage. Figure 2 illustrates the relationship between feature teams in BDD 2007. These teams help you to apply specialized expertise to necessary areas. Most important, feature teams foster ownership of specific problem spaces by empowering the team to complete the work and holding the team accountable. The solution provides a feature team guide for each feature team that BDD 2007 defines.

Figure 2. Feature teams in BDD 2007.

The feature team guides provide information about specific technical areas, such as application management or computer imaging. By separating the technical content from the planning content, you can focus on the documents that are most appropriate for your role. Feature team guides lead you through planning, building, and deploying specific tasks within a larger deployment project. For example, the Computer Imaging System Feature Team Guide is specific to using BDD 2007 to build disk images, although the project includes many other technical areas.

Each feature team guide contains checkpoints that refer to milestones in the Plan, Build, and Deploy Guide. These checkpoints ensure that activities occurring among different teams remain synchronized. The feature team guides also separate step-by-step processes from conceptual content. This separation helps you to jump straight to the technical content, assuming that you’re already familiar with the concepts and processes contained in the body of the guide.

BDD 2007 provides the following feature team guides:

  • Application Compatibility Feature Team Guide This guide focuses on inventorying the current computers and testing the compatibility of applications with Windows.

  • Application Management Feature Team Guide This guide targets the team responsible for assisting in the planning, deployment, and migration of applications. It includes one technical sub-guide, the Office Deployment Guide, which describes how to deploy the 2007 Office system as part of a large Windows Vista deployment initiative.

  • Computer Imaging System Feature Team Guide This guide focuses on creating computer images of Windows Vista. It includes comprehensive guidance on how to implement, customize, and operate the automated imaging process included in the BDD 2007 solution.

  • Deployment Feature Team Guide This guide targets the team responsible for executing computer deployments. It provides information on server placement and capacity planning as well as specific information on deployment tools and processes. It includes six technical sub-guides: Deployment Configuration Guide, Deployment Configuration Samples Guide, Lite Touch Installation Guide, Volume Activation Guide, Zero Touch Installation Guide, and Zero Touch Installation Management Pack.

  • Desired Configuration Monitoring Feature Team Guide This guide describes how to monitor desktop computer settings after deployment and report differences. Using this guide requires a Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 infrastructure.

  • Infrastructure Remediation Feature Team Guide This guide describes how to assess the current computer hardware to determine hardware upgrade requirements and how to analyze the network for any limitations or constraints that may affect the deployment.

  • Operations Readiness Feature Team Guide This guide targets the people who manage the IT operations environment. It provides guidance for integrating the IT operations requirements into the overall deployment process.

  • Security Feature Team Guide This guide focuses on how to assess computer security requirements. It provides guidance for integrating security requirements into the imaging and deployment process.

  • Test Feature Team Guide This guide describes how to test the solution and set up a test lab for it.

  • User State Migration Feature Team Guide This guide describes how to identify users’ state data, save it, and restore it after deploying Windows Vista.

Solution Framework

You use the solution’s framework (technology files) to set up the imaging and deployment servers. This framework helps you create standard desktop configurations. It includes tools to build and deploy custom Windows Vista images with a variety of special needs, such as backing up the destination computer prior to deployment, capturing and restoring user state, enabling BitLocker Drive Encryption, and so on. By using the solution framework as your starting point, you can take advantage of the deployment best practices that Microsoft and its customers have developed over several years, most of which are manifested in the framework’s script code.

Note

The solution framework does not contain copies of Windows Vista or the 2007 Office system. To use BDD 2007, you must acquire licensed copies of this software and other hardware-specific software such as DVD-player software and CD-creation software. Each feature team guide in BDD 2007 describes requirements for using the guidance as well as the tools.


Job Aids

BDD 2007 provides job aids (document templates) as starting points for project deliverables. For example, where the Plan, Build, and Deploy Guide indicates the need for a functional specification, the solution includes a job aid that shows what type of content to include in the functional specification. You can customize the job aids to fit your specific needs. The following list describes each job aid in BDD 2007:

  • Application Knowledge Sheet Provides a template for recording application information

  • Assessment Template Provides a template for recording infrastructure information

  • Client Build Requirements Provides a template for recording the required client configuration, including operating system and core applications settings

  • Communications Plan Describes how to communicate project status and information within the organization and outside the organization

  • Current State Assessment Template Describes and assesses the current infrastructure

  • Functional Specification Provides an overview of the project’s requirements

  • Inventory Template Provides a template for recording software and hardware inventory

  • Migration Plan Describes what will be migrated during the deployment

  • Network and Workstation Hardware Upgrades List Provides a template for recording the necessary network and computer hardware upgrades

  • Pilot Plan Describes how to pilot-test the project in the organization

  • Risk Template Tool Describes and assesses the top risks to the project

  • Site Deployment Project Plan Provides a scheduling template for Office Project

  • Test Cases Workbook Provides a template for recording the results of test cases

  • Test Plan Describes the methodologies and tools to use for testing

  • Test Specification Describes how to test the project

  • Training Plan Describes how, when, and what types of training will be provided

  • Vision Scope Outlines the overall project objectives and responsibilities

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