Mapping the PC Genome
Desktop DNA delivers enterprise-wide system migrations.
- By Eric Johnson
Anyone responsible for desktop administration will eventually be asked
to perform the much-dreaded upgrade. Whether your company wants to move
to the newest version of Windows or to the latest and greatest hardware
platform, these changes are difficult enough to plan without worrying
about users’ settings. Sure, you could just tell users to save what they
need to a network share somewhere, but how many users really know what
they need or even how to go about saving that information to a share?
Thanks to Miramar Systems’ Desktop DNA Enterprise Edition, you’ll no longer
have to spend late nights and long weekends trying to upgrade 3,000 users.
Now all you have to do is copy the user’s DNA.
So just what is user DNA? Well, it’s much more than just Mighty Mouse
wallpaper and an “I Love Ballroom Dancing” screensaver. Printer, network,
application and desktop settings, along with files and folders, make up
a computer’s DNA. Desktop DNA is a product that allows for the migration
of this information from one computer to another.
When you start Desktop DNA, you’re presented with a wizard to configure
the settings for the migration (see screenshot). There are two options
for migrations: Real-time and deferred. With real-time, you have both
the old and the new computers up and running at the same time. You first
configure the old computer as the source and then point the new computer
back at the old one. The migration process then proceeds to pull the pieces
of DNA you specify over to the new machine.
In deferred migrations, you package the settings and data into a DNA
file and place the file on a network share or some form of removable media.
You can then later extract the DNA file to the target machine. Desktop
DNA even supports Disk Spanning, so you could break out 1,396 floppy disks
and spend the next 10 years sticking them in the drive and clicking OK.
(Personally, I’d stick with the network or CD-R media method.) There are
two options for loading the DNA file onto a new system: You can fire up
Desktop DNA and run through the wizard to unpack the file or create the
DNA file as a self-extracting executable. The deferred migration is also
a great tool to back up user settings, just in case a computer experiences
a catastrophic crash and you have to rebuild.
|The Wizard is used to configure all aspects of a
migration, including which applications and settings to migrate. (Click
image to view larger version.)
With a simple interface and powerful tool kit, Desktop DNA Enterprise
Edition is bound to make the life of any administrator a lot easier. Now
that you have the map of the PC genome at your fingertips, you can spend
a little more time out on the golf course and a lot less time running
through cubicle mazes. Your users will thank you, and your social life
Eric Johnson, SQL Server MVP, is the owner of Consortio Services in Colorado Springs providing IT systems management and technology
consulting. He is also the President of the Colorado Springs SQL Server
User Group. He can be contacted at www.consortioservices.com.