10 IT Pro Pain Points Simplified with MDOP
Everyone enjoys a good list. Lists are everywhere—lists for popular songs, best- and worst-dressed celebrities, top vacation destinations, and so on. Our list is a bit more humble (if not a bit geeky). We are Microsoft, after all.
1. Roaming User Settings in Mixed Environments
Our first pain is here, because it’s fresh: Roaming user profiles between the Windows 7 operating system and Windows 8 are not supported. (See Incompatibility between Windows 7 and Windows 8 roaming user profiles.) In addition, roaming user profiles don’t work between session-based and full desktops.
The second key thing is that UE-V is customizable. You can create custom settings location templates, which define where UE-V will find the settings and files that it should synchronize, by using the UE-V Generator. You can also create a network share in which to store the custom settings location templates and update your policy to point the UE-V agent to it.
2. Remediating Application Compatibility Conflicts
Arguably, one of the most painful steps of deployment is testing and remediating applications. Regression testing consumes an inordinate amount of time. Fixing any discovered compatibility issues requires an uncommon skillset that is difficult to learn and sometimes requires outside help.
3. Getting the Right Applications to the Right Users
Packaging applications for automated deployment and configuration is often one of the most time-consuming, difficult, and expensive part of any deployment. And how do you get the right applications to the right users on all of the right devices?
4. Managing and Controlling Group Policy
Managing and controlling Group Policy is our fourth pain point. Simply put, the problem is that any change a Group Policy administrator makes affects the production environment immediately. There is no review process, no approval process. In addition, Group Policy does not maintain any sort of history for each Group Policy object (GPO), making it difficult to know who changed what and when. You can more precisely express this pain as “cleaning up someone else’s mess.”
5. Reducing Downtime that Errant GPOs Cause
Our fifth pain point also deals with Group Policy, and the obvious relief is AGPM. We call out this pain separate from the previous one, because we frequently hear IT pros lamenting about the time they changed a GPO and the help desk made them wish they had not come to work that day.
6. Supporting BitLocker Drive Encryption
Sixth on our list of IT pro pain points is supporting BitLocker Drive Encryption in large enterprises, where provisioning and managing compliance can sometimes be challenging. BitLocker provides full-volume encryption to help protect corporate data while Windows is offline. There is nothing particularly painful about BitLocker itself, especially in Windows 8, which enhances BitLocker in significant ways. (See article “BitLocker Overview” on TechNet for more information.)
7. Monitoring BitLocker Compliance and Identifying Risk
Monitoring BitLocker compliance is another pain point that MBAM can help reduce. BitLocker does not provide a way to know which desktops are compliant with an organization’s BitLocker policies. It is like flying in bad weather without instrumentation. You just don’t know which desktops are compliant and which are not. To drive this point home, imagine a scenario in which a mobile PC is lost or stolen. Can you quickly determine your organization’s risk by looking up whether the desktop was compliant?
8. Troubleshooting Desktops That Won't Start
Troubleshooting unresponsive or unbootable desktops is our eighth IT pro pain point. Troubleshooting can be time-consuming and often does not lead to a solution. Contributing to such considerations, IT pros usually have to visit users’ desks to troubleshoot their desktops, and they have limited experience with their tools, because they use those tools so infrequently.
9. Removing Rootkits and Other Malware
Spyware, viruses, and malware are more advanced than they were in the old days, and they’re using technologies like bootkits and rootkits to load themselves into memory and remain hidden from most forms of detection. Removing these kits and other types of malware is our ninth pain point.
10. Using Too Many Management Tools
Number 10 on our list of pains for IT pros will hit home with many of you: management tool overload. We have tools for everything these days, and each tool includes at least one console that we must use. Sometimes, just getting a single task done can mean opening several consoles or user interfaces. Although we can’t consolidate all of your tools, we can help integrate some of the MDOP tools we discussed in this article with your existing management infrastructure.
That’s it. MDOP is like a Swiss Army knife for tackling IT pro pain. If you’re considering Microsoft Software Assurance or a platform Enterprise Agreement for your organization, make sure you add MDOP to the package. If you have Software Assurance in your organization already but don’t know whether you own MDOP, check with your purchasing department to find out if you are already licensed to deploy it.