Life After Windows 7 End of Life

Windows 7 EOL

By now, hopefully, your organization has begun its migration journey to Windows 10 and is well-underway in executing the upgrade. (See our Windows 7 EOL Preparation Checklist if you haven’t done so already).  

Now, if you’ve completed your migration, or at least see the light at the end of the tunnel, you can start thinking about how to manage your IT environment going forward. Do you have an endpoint management solution in place? If not, why do you need one? 

Benefits of an Endpoint Management Solution

An endpoint management solution detects, monitors, updates, and helps you troubleshoot your endpoint devices- desktops, laptops, and servers. Most successful breaches begin at the endpoint. So, it is essential to monitor and manage endpoints to maintain security and up-time. 

  • Monitoring and Alerts – Maintaining visibility and control of your endpoints is crucial. The endpoint management solution ensures that all your devices have been detected during network or domain discovery and have an agent installed for monitoring and management of that device. It alerts you of any issues, auto-remediates many issues, and helps you maintain system up-time. 
  • IT Automation – An effective endpoint management solution automates most of your common IT processes including asset discovery, inventory, software deployment, patch management, and periodic maintenance procedures. This saves time and increases the efficiency of your IT team. Automated remediation of IT incidents is another critical function of an endpoint management tool. Many common issues can be remediated by executing scripts via the agent on the device. This allows you to “manage by exception” and only get involved when the incident requires your expertise. Automated remediation shortens the mean time to resolution (MTTR) of many IT incidents. 
  • Security – Cyberattacks are on a rise and they’re becoming more and more sophisticated. Keeping endpoints secure is, of course, a top priority for every organization. Your endpoint management solution should allow you to automate the software patch management process. This ensures that your endpoints are always up-to-date with the latest security patches. This puts you ahead of all of the companies that fail to patch their systems in a timely manner and are susceptible to cyberattacks as a result. Advanced endpoint management solutions also integrate with backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solutions to make it easy to backup your systems and data. This is key to protecting your organization from ransomware attacks, for example.
  • Remote management – Cannot travel to a remote location to address a problem? Centrally monitor and manage all of your devices, no matter where they are located. Remote management enables IT professionals to manage devices and remediate issues in a highly efficient manner. And, with tools such as VSA Live Connect you can do this without interrupting your end-users. 
  • Business Growth for MSPs – One of the critical resources Managed Service Providers are responsible for are endpoints.  Employing the right Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) solution can help MSPs maximize technician efficiency, which can increase the endpoint to technician ratio. This allows MSPs to grow their business and meet service level agreements (SLAs), while keeping costs under control.  

Windows as a Service Update Schedule

If your organization has been running Windows 7 for a long time, upgrading to Windows 10 is going to bring a few interesting changes. Windows 10 brings a new update cadence that Microsoft calls “Windows as a Service.” Windows 10 gets major feature updates every six months along with monthly patch releases. And each feature release is supported for 18 months after its initial release. These releases have overlapping periods of production support as shown in the figure below.

Windows as a Service - Predictable and clear timeframes
Windows as a Service – Predictable and clear timeframes

Servicing Channels

After upgrading to Windows 10, IT professionals in organizations will need to determine how frequently they want to update their devices. This can be done via three Windows servicing channels.  

  • The Semi-Annual Channel (SAC)  This channel provides the functionality of twice-per-year feature update releases. In this channel, feature updates are available as soon as Microsoft releases them. However, organizations can defer the updates to selective devices by withholding their approval and deployment. 
  • Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) – This channel is mostly used for embedded devices such as – medical devices, point of sales machines (POS) and ATMs. These devices perform only single tasks and do not require updates as frequently as other devices. Hence, Microsoft offers LTSC releases every two to three years and organizations can choose to install them as in-place upgrades or even skip releases over a 10-year life cycle. 
  • Windows Insider – Super excited to know about future updates? Install the Windows Insider Program on your devices. The Windows Insider program allows IT professionals to consume and deploy pre- production code to their test machines, gaining early visibility into future updates. 

Windows Virtual Desktop Management

If your organization needs to stay on Windows 7 to continue using a few legacy applications, Microsoft is providing you another option  Windows Virtual Desktop. Windows virtual desktop is a desktop and app virtualization service running on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. It allows businesses to stay on Windows 7 and still receive all security updates for up to 3 years after the Windows 7 EOL date.  

However, your organization would still require an endpoint solution for efficient deployment and management of your virtual environment. 

Managing a hybrid cloud environment can be a complex undertaking. Leverage Kaseya VSA – our endpoint and network management solution – to efficiently manage your on-premises IT and cloud environment. 

Request a demo here.

You may also be interested in attending our webinar: Don’t Put Your Business at Risk by Not Migrating

Hear from our special guest speaker Greg Schulz, Microsoft MVP, and learn about the risks and key considerations associated with Windows 7 migration.

Learn about:

  • Security Risks if you Don’t Migrate
  • The advantages of Win 10 and Win Server 2019
  • Microsoft Software Update Models
  • Your Options for Staying or Migrating
  • And more

 Webinar Date & Time: Wednesday, 28 August, 2019 at 2pm EDT

 Register Here

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