Springmark Consultants Ltd

Customer Case Study: Delivering a Universal Solution with Zero Downtime

Customer:

The customer is one of the UK’s leading retailers, with over 21 million people visiting their stores each week. Offering high quality, great value clothing and home products, as well as outstanding quality foods. With over 75,000 people employed in the UK and abroad, they have over 600 UK stores, plus an ever expanding international business.

Requirement:

The customer required the latest service pack for all clients, with zero down time to users and no impact on its 24 hours per day/seven days per week operations. A goal that was successfully achieved thanks to the professionalism, dedication and expertise of Springmark Consultants.

The customer’s existing fleet of several thousand seats, although on a relatively small hardware variant, had become diverse both in operating systems and the applications being used. Springmark was tasked with bringing all the fleet into a standard solution, removing varying versions of software and replacing them with corporate approved versions, while at the same time refreshing the operating system on all users systems with a known configuration.

Solution:

Springmark effectively integrated Microsoft BDD 2007 with the existing SMS 2003 infrastructure, along with the Operating System Deployment (OSD) feature pack, utilising dynamic applications and User State Migration Tool (USMT).

A standard core build was created which was deployed to all seats on a staggered deployment to ensure no impact to the customers operations. This was done using SMS to target the seats to be refreshed at a specific time, then utilise a zero touch installation to put the core build down, using driver inject to install only the device drivers required by the target hardware without the need for a ‘fat’ build containing all drivers require for all hardware variants.

This decreased deployment time, prevented unnecessary files being put down, and allowed the solution to be easily updated as new hardware came on line, as no new core build was required, merely additional drivers added to BDD 2007

The applications where replaced on the clients using a dynamic mapping between what the SMS SQL database reported as being previously installed on the client. This information was then used to determine which corporate approved version required installing. This installation of applications was all done as part of the zero touch install.

The users profiles where captured using UMST in the early phase of the refresh process, before any changes were made to the client computer, these profiles where restored at the end of the process ensuring a familiar look and feel when the client computer was used post re-build.

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