1E Claims 39,000 Windows 7 System Upgrades In One Month

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A fast Windows 7 upgrade could be useful with XP on death row

IT efficiency specialist company 1E has claimed a record, delivering a Windows 7 upgrade to 39,000 users at a single company within the space of a month, using its new Nomad2012 product.

With Windows 8 on the horizon, most companies are still using Windows XP and/or Windows 7, and now face the prospect of upgrading systems before the end of support for Windows XP. 1E reckons its new product will make the process easier by assigning the upgrade to a background task and delegating as much of the work as possible to peer-to-peer traffic on local networks.

Windows 7 upgrade the easy way?

1E, which initially made efficiency software designed to cut down on energy use with the help of remote management, has branched out into other remote efficiency tasks. This time, it is concentrating on an issue which faces a lot of companies.

“Tens of millions of desktops haven’t updated to Windows 7,” said Geoff Collins, head of product management, 1E. “In the business sector, most people are on XP, and it is going End-of-Life.”

The upgrade can look like a big project, and some firms will call upon Dell or an Accenture to handle it, but Collins reckons it’s better to put in some infrastructure which will handle future software upgrades – and pay for itself in the Windows 7 update.

1E can’t name the big customer who upgraded 39,000 desktops, but it’s a US telecoms company, and as far as we can tell, no one has upgraded more desktops more quickly.

The software works with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012, and uses a minimal amount of network bandwidth through what 1E describes as “Reverse QOS” (quality of service). Where QOS attempts to maximise the performance of one network service, Reverse QOS tries to miminise the impact  of an upgrade, which can mean up to 20GB of data per machine, on other services .

To further minimise the impact of the upgrade, files are cached locally, and a PC will act as a peer-to-peer information source for others on its subnetwork, also locally holding the all-important backups, which could be needed if an upgrade goes wrong.

True to its original Green IT roots, the only 1E customer who has gone public with using Nomad2012 is Environmental Resources Management (ERM), a sustinability consultancy with around 4000 employees.

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