Friday 28 November 2014

Microsoft Desktop Infrastructure Optimisation - more real than anyone expected

You have to be careful for what you ask for, as you just might get it.

I know that it may sound a little cheesy, but this statement really captures what I am thinking right now. Six years ago I attended a presentation by a senior Microsoft employee who was touting the benefits of the then new minted Desktop Optimisation model or more commonly known as the Microsoft Infrastructure Optimisation (IO) model. During the presentation (which was very well done) the Microsoft employee (who would now be called an evangelist) touted what was a strategic vision for Microsoft. 

We have been to “strategic” sessions before. We have seen vision statements before. However, I have to give credit to Microsoft, as they have follaowed through with their ideas and approach of taking their customers from a basic (read slow and expensive) infrastructure to a more dynamic (fast changing, agile, and much more effective) one.

Let's go back to 2009. The following diagram illustrates where most of us were  in 2009 - hopefully in the Standardised section (if you were lucky, your company was striving in the Rationalised section).  

I am using a slightly different version of the original Microsoft IO model (the original is on an old laptop in the garage) sourced from Getronics (which you can find here) but the key messages are the same. 

At the time that Microsoft Vista was released, Microsoft had just experienced a severe “morality moment” with the release of Windows XP Service Pack 2. Service 2 for Windows XP was effectively a security update that recognised that most computers were connected to the internet, and now were vulnerable to a huge variety of new threats including, trojans, worms, malware and even adware. Something had to be done to resolve the millions of vulnerable systems that Microsoft was ultimately responsible for. Windows XP Service Pack 2 (remember this in 2006/7) started the long (painful) journey to building a secure desktop.

The key message at the time, was that most organisations were in either the Basic or Standardised sections of this model. Microsoft, through its efforts in building its newer (modern) versions of Internet Explorer (IE) and the desktop and server platforms associated ecosystem software (think SCCM) has moved most organisations (us) from Basic to somewhere between Rationalised and the event goal of Dynamic platforms.

As I mentioned in my last posting  on the Windows update process  it now looks like Microsoft has started to deliver on the “Dynamic” promise. By providing rapid, updates to their workstation OS platforms, they are now setting the scene for incremental and numerous updates that add bug fixes, resolve security vulnerability issues and even add new features to their platforms through monthly and possibly weekly updates.

And the now the next challenge is, can we keep up?

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