here is a great TechNet Guide on migrating to either of the new OS’s this fall / Spring

Choosing a Deployment Strategy

Updated: June 11, 2008

Applies To: Windows 7,Windows Server 2008 R2

Appearances
can be deceiving. On the surface, the number of strategies for
deploying the Windows® operating system seems daunting. Many tools are
available, but don’t confuse tools with strategies. In reality,
Microsoft® recommends just a few, targeted deployment strategies for
specific scenarios. These strategies are based on tools and
technologies that do much of the heavy lifting so that you can focus
more on the business and less on getting all the pieces working
together.

This Web page helps any person responsible for
deploying the Windows operating system choose the best deployment
strategy for his or her environment. From enthusiasts in small
businesses who have been nominated to deploy Windows to IT pros with
years of deployment experience—this Web page helps you identify your
scenario and match a strategy to it. After choosing a strategy, you can
read detailed information about it, including high-level instructions
and additional resources from Microsoft.

The strategy table defines four recommended deployment strategies:

  • High-Touch with Retail Media.
    A hands-on, manual deployment of retail media (installing the Windows
    operating system on each client computer by using the installation DVD)
    and manual configuration of each computer. This strategy can save
    organizations some time and money by helping them automate portions of
    a largely manual installation process. Microsoft recommends this
    strategy to organizations lacking a dedicated information technology
    (IT) staff and having small, unmanaged networks with fewer than 100
    client computers.

  • High Touch with Standard Image.
    This strategy is similar to the High Touch with Retail Media strategy
    but uses an operating system image that includes your customizations
    and application configurations. Organizations using this strategy
    usually have at least one IT pro (with or without prior deployment
    experience) on staff. Microsoft recommends this strategy in small or
    distributed networks with 100–200 client computers.

  • Lite-Touch, High-Volume Deployment.
    This strategy requires limited interaction during deployment.
    Interaction occurs at the beginning of installation, but the remainder
    of the process is automated. Microsoft recommends this strategy to
    organizations with a dedicated IT staff that have managed networks with
    200–500 client computers. Prior deployment experience is not required
    but is beneficial for using this strategy.

  • Zero-Touch, High-Volume Deployment.
    This strategy requires no interaction during deployment. The process is
    fully automated through Microsoft System Center Configuration
    Manager 2007. Organizations using this strategy usually have IT pros
    who are experts in deployment, networking, and System Center products.
    Microsoft recommends this strategy in managed networks with 500 or more
    client computers.

The strategies shown in the
strategy table correspond to the skill level of the organization’s IT
staff members as well as the organization’s licensing, the number of
client computers, and infrastructure. Often, the skill level of the IT
staff and the size of the company are synchronized: A small company
will have a few IT generalists, while a large company will have
numerous IT specialists. The criteria that the strategy table shows are
guidelines, not rules, and you can move among the strategies based on
all the criteria.

To use the strategy table, choose the column that best
matches your scenario. In cases where you identify with multiple
columns, start with the leftmost column. You realize more benefits
(cost savings, time savings, and so on) by moving right in the strategy
table, but the skills and investment (time and money) required to get
started also increase. Therefore, consider improving your scenario to
enable you to move right in the strategy table. For example, if the
only criterion preventing you from performing a lite-touch, high-volume
deployment is that you’re using retail media, consider purchasing a
volume license. Click the link in the heading of the chosen column to
read more about implementing that particular strategy.

 

  High-Touch with Retail Media High Touch with Standard Image Lite-Touch, High-Volume Deployment Zero-Touch, High-Volume Deployment

IT skill level

IT generalist

IT pro with optional deployment experience

IT pro with deployment experience recommended

IT pro with deployment and System Center expertise

Windows licensing

Retail

Retail or Software Assurance

Software Assurance

Enterprise Agreement

Number of client computers

<100

100–200

200–500

>500

Infrastructure

  • Distributed locations
  • Small, unmanaged networks
  • Manual client computer configuration
  • Distributed locations
  • Small networks
  • Standardized configurations, including applications
  • Managed networks
  • At least one office with more than 25 users
  • Windows Server® products
  • System Center Configuration Manager (optional)
  • Managed network
  • At least one office with over 25 users
  • Windows Server products
  • System Center Configuration Manager

Application support

Manually installed commercial applications

Manually installed commercial or line-of-business (LOB) applications

Automatically installed commercial or LOB applications

Automatically installed commercial or LOB applications

User interaction

Manual, hands-on deployment

Manual, hands-on deployment

Limited interaction at the beginning of installation

Fully automated deployment

Lower cost and effort by…

…automating client computer configuration

…creating standardized images

…providing network-based deployment to support large-scale deployment with limited interaction

…providing network-based deployment to support large scale-deployment with no interaction

Helping to…

…create reproducible and faster client computer installation

…reduce configuration testing and deployment time

…leverage standardized images with network access by using pull automation

…leverage standardized images with network access by using push automation

Strategy description

High-Touch with Retail Media

High Touch with Standard Image

Lite-Touch, High-Volume Deployment

Zero-Touch, High-Volume Deployment

Tools

noteNote
For a complete view of Windows 7 resources, articles, demos, and guidance, please visit the Springboard Series for Windows 7 on the Windows Client TechCenter.

For a downloadable version of this document, see Choosing a Deployment Strategy in the Microsoft Download Center (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=153884).

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