WaaS or Windows-As-A-Service. It has quite a ring to it and you could think : what does it change for me ?
Well , actually quite a lot ! As explained in the following article https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt598226%28v=vs.85%29.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396, Microsoft has evolved to a continous release cycle of new features of the client OS starting from Windows 10. What’s important about these new features is that Microsoft will provide servicing updates ( aka normal security updates ) for the last 2 features and they foresee 2-3 feature upgrades per year.
Windows 10 servicing options for updates and upgrades (Windows)https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt598226%28v=vs.85%29.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396
Basically this means that your enterprise has several options :
- -> “Ahead of the competition” : Use the Windows 10 Professional or Enterprise build. Install new features to your likings but don’t skip more then 1 feature upgrade in order to keep getting these required servicing updates for your client environment. You can use all the new added value that will be made available to the client platform.
- -> “Business As Usual” : Use the Windows 10 Enterprise Long term Servicing Branch build ( no Software Assurance ) for deployment. The build recieves servicing updates for 10 years but lacks certain features ( ex. Edge and Store ) and recieves no feature upgrades.
- -> “Hybrid Model” : A combined model , let’s say the best of both worlds. You use Windows 10 Enterprise Long Term Servicing Branch with SA. This means that you deploy a LTSB build but when microsoft releases a Windows feature as LTSB feature you can deploy this build to your environment. Microsoft expects to release a new LTSB build every 12 months.
Now , this means that, if you would like to use the full blown potential of the client environment some checks are required :
Have the processes in place for a rapid, continuous release cycle.
How to test ? Who will tests ? What to test ? Approval in place ? A defined flow for new releases ?
Have the required resources for this.
The people are available to perform these actions ?
Have the required toolsets for this.
The management or deployment toolset needs to follow the releases. Some automated test scenarios can be an added value. Some ITSM tools might help too.
Have the mindset for this.
Maybe the most important one, Step away from the traditional approach.
So buccle up, find out which format is right for and find a partner that can help out on some of the missing pieces.