I get a modest amount of e-mail, mostly stuff I request be sent to me daily. Today I received some spam, technically something I did not want, but it is worth writing about, cost/benefit for migrating to “7”.
The spam quotes Gartner as finding that manually, one IT person can do 2 or 3 migrations per day. The spammer wanted me to buy a solution that would automate the process so one guy could do 100 per day. Come on. That’s not even close to what can be done with FLOSS. The spammer tries to sell the idea by quoting the costs of manpower for the IT staff and the end user amounting to $1million+ based on less downtime and more productivity for a few thousand end users.
Look. The idea of doing such a migration in office hours is plain silly so downtime for the end users should not be a consideration. Do it at night or on the weekend, please. Then use a disc-imaging system like Clonezilla to broadcast/multicast the bytes. That saves a lot of repetition. Create an image with /etc/rc.local doing a few things (set up /etc/hosts from DHCP or printers from LDAP etc.) to set up the machine and you’re done. I do that even if I am just going through a stack of boxes one machine at a time and it takes a few minutes to create the file-structures on the hard drive. Similarly, using PXE-booting thin clients doesn’t require anything to be done on the clients except set them to boot PXE. How much time does that take? 3 minutes per box if you have any dedication, 5 minutes if you take phone calls in the process, even less if PXE is the first choice from wakeonlan.
40+ in the video could mean thousands if you have a few network switches.
For setting up normal thick clients, Clonezilla can be configured to bring up a utility on each machine to transfer the partitions and then occupied blocks of files. For 5 gB of used space the multicast takes about 8 minutes at 100 megabits/s. How big is your LAN? You can install GNU/Linux on every machine on the LAN in 8 minutes. That could be thousands per day. Call it a couple of days if you count the time setting up the server and client image. Even if you have to walk around to each PC to make them boot PXE, one can setup way more than 100 using full-automated installation or cloning. GNU/Linux has it all.