IT Faces More Hurdles with Win 10 Anniversary
December 05, 2016

Rex McMillan
Ivanti

Share this

Win 10 is now in official anniversary mode with its 1607 anniversary update ready to roll out to some 400 million devices. Microsoft is optimistic users will covet this update and offers suggestions on how you can fast track your update if so desired. While users may find the anniversary update features such as improved taskbar management helpful, IT pros will continue to grapple with the new way Microsoft is executing updates: these feature updates were previously called branch upgrades and quality updates, the latter also known as cumulative patches.

Feature updates' impact lies between a service pack and an operating system upgrade. They can be as large as 4GB and will typically occur every six months. They contain a combination of new features and fixes, and will cause an upgrade impact to the end user. These feature updates are going to have a much bigger impact on your network and local storage than the old service packs. They are bigger, going to be released more frequently, and will have a higher user impact during upgrades.

To add to the complexity, Win 10 is executing a number of types of servicing branches.


Even further, Microsoft has announced Win 10 Ver. 1607 is initially considered the Current Branch (CB) and will become Current Branch for Business (CBB) in four to six months.

If you're an IT pro charged with optimizing the performance of your enterprise, what do branches mean for you? Here are a few things to consider:

Choose Stability: Enterprises that must have minimal service disruptions, such as health care, may want to opt for the Long Term Servicing Branch, with updates every two to three years and a long support lifetime.

Test the Waters: IT can choose to deploy a more frequently changing branch on a subset of computers, the early adopters. This gives IT a type of beta trial, if you will, to identify potential application compatibility issues that could adversely affect performance.

Standardization: For your organization you may find that one branch will work for most machines.

Mitigate Risk: Some of the branches are supported for only months so where does this leave your network security? It means IT will have more work to do in making sure it deploys feature updates as they become available, since like it or not, Win 10 feature updates are frequent and support has an end date.

Upgrade Model

We've discussed how to parse out these branches, but let us emphasize that these branch updates are going to be constantly rolling out, and will often overlap.

Here is a four step approach that can be applied to different rollout plans:

Preview Insider Branch: Insider branch should be installed and used to preview features, perform early testing and prepare for the release of current branch. Due to release cadence, it will pay large dividends to use early branches to find and resolve issues. This enables IT to prepare for the release and piloting of CB and have time to mitigate potential issues.

Pilot on Current Branch: As branches are progressive in nature, rollouts should schedule the pilot phase to commence with the release of Current Branch. Current Branch will stabilize over time so pilot systems can detect issues that may affect production systems. This branch should be used for application compatibility testing. Leveraging CB enables the organization to test applications and be prepared to migrate to the branch when it is slated as CCB (Current Branch for Business).

Production on Current Branch for Business: When the branch is declared Current Branch for Business, it should be very stable and the pilot rollouts should have already identified branch compatibility issues that can be addressed before this phase begins. Production systems should be run on CCB.

Grace Period for Problem Upgrades: Enterprises should be done with upgrades before hitting the grace period and use this time to address problem upgrades only.

IT needs to evaluate the performance impact of these various branches, in terms of frequency, support limitations and security risks and have a plan in place to avoid disruption as these Win 10 updates start hitting your enterprise.

Rex McMillan is Principal Product Manager at Ivanti.
Share this

The Latest

December 05, 2019

Application performance monitoring (APM) has become one of the key strategies adopted by IT teams and application owners in today’s era of digital business services. Application downtime has always been considered adverse to business productivity. But in today’s digital economy, what is becoming equally dreadful is application slowdown. When an application is slow, the end user’s experience accessing the application is negatively affected leaving a dent on the business in terms of commercial loss and brand damage ...

December 04, 2019

Useful digital transformation means altering or designing new business processes, and implementing them via the people and technology changes needed to support these new business processes ...

December 03, 2019
The word "digital" is today thrown around in word and phrase like rice at a wedding and never do two utterances thereof have the same meaning. Common phrases like "digital skills" and "digital transformation" are explained in 101 different ways. The outcome of this is a predictable cycle of confusion, especially at business management level where often the answer to business issues is "more technology" ...
December 02, 2019

xMatters recently released the results of its Incident Management in the Age of Customer-Centricity research study to better understand the range of various incident management practices and how the increased focus on customer experience has caused roles across an organization to evolve. Findings highlight the ongoing challenges organizations face as they continue to introduce and rapidly evolve digital services ...

November 26, 2019

The new App Attention Index Report from AppDynamics finds that consumers are using an average 32 digital services every day — more than four times as many as they realize. What's more, their use of digital services has evolved from a conscious decision to carry around a device and use it for a specific task, to an unconscious and automated behavior — a digital reflex. So what does all this mean for the IT teams driving application performance on the backend? Bottom line: delivering seamless and world-class digital experiences is critical if businesses want to stay relevant and ensure long-term customer loyalty. Here are some key considerations for IT leaders and developers to consider ...

November 25, 2019

Through the adoption of agile technologies, financial firms can begin to use software to both operate more effectively and be faster to market with improvements for customer experiences. Making sure there is the necessary software in place to give customers frictionless everyday activities, like remote deposits, business overdraft services and wealth management, is key for a positive customer experience ...

November 21, 2019

For the past two years, Couchbase has been digging into enterprises' digital strategies. Can they deliver the experiences and services their end-users need? What pressure are they under to innovate and succeed? And what is driving investments in new technologies? ...

November 20, 2019

Adapting to new business requirements and technological shifts requires that IT Ops teams adopt a different viewpoint, and along with that, skills and culture. A survey by OpsRamp uncovered some common thinking among IT Operations leaders on how to address talent, budget, and data management pains amid digital disruption ...

November 19, 2019

Unexpected and unintentional drops in network quality, so-called network brownouts, cause serious financial damage and frustrate employees. A recent survey sponsored by Netrounds reveals that more than 60% of network brownouts are first discovered by IT’s internal and external customers, or never even reported, instead of being proactively detected by IT organizations ...

November 18, 2019

Digital transformation reaches into every aspect of our work and personal lives, to the point that there is an automatic expectation of 24/7, anywhere availability regarding any organization with an online presence. This environment is ripe for artificial intelligence, so it's no surprise that IT Operations has been an early adopter of AI ...