Prowess Announces Windows XP-to-7 Migration Tool

Prowess, a provider of IT management solutions and services, announced the release of SmartMigrate - a free, wizard-based solution that enables migrations from Windows XP to Windows 7. Currently in beta but available for trial use, SmartMigrate is intended to offer a relatively simply means to help preserve existing applications, files and folders in native XP environments as they are moved onto Windows 7 machines.

There are often migration issues when attempting to move a shop from Windows XP to 7, Aaron Suzuki, CEO of Prowess, tells 5 Minute Briefing. Most tools, he explains, help small businesses or consumers move most of their applications and data to a Windows 7 environment, but in reality, "there is no 'in-place' migration. There are some tools from independent software vendors that 'fake it' in a sense, but there is no way to keep everything and just upgrade the OS."

For larger companies with multiple types of applications, this kind of approach is untenable, he says. "For most businesses with over 500 or 1,000 desktops, this isn't what they would do. The big challenge for larger businesses is different -- it's application compatibility. Businesses get hung up whether it is a home-grown application they don't want to migrate or more probably can't afford to migrate, or an ISV app where the business is dependent upon the ISV achieving compatibility."

SmartMigrate grew out of Prowess's SmartDeploy software to address the "gnarly" XP-to-7 migration challenge, Suzuki explains. The wizard-driven interface of SmartMigrate simplifies this otherwise complex migration process, walking users through a six-step process to migrate an existing Windows XP environment into a virtual machine running on Windows 7. SmartMigrate enables customers to move immediately to Windows 7, Suzuki says.

In addition, planned updates allow SmartMigrate to create virtual machines compatible with numerous target platforms including Windows Virtual PC, VMware Workstation and Player, Parallels Workstation, and Oracle VM VirtualBox.

While SmartMigrate has only been tested for XP-to-7 migration scenarios, Suzuki says Prowess may consider support for migrations from Windows server platform, particularly Windows Server 2003, "because it shares the same code base as XP."

The vendor also plans to support migrations to KVM (kernel-based virtual machine), the virtualization solution that enables Linux boxes to run multiple virtual machines running unmodified Linux or Windows images. "SmartMigrate is based on the same capabilities as our SmartVDK API, which allows you to create VMs for multiple different manufacturers including Microsoft, VMware, Parallels, and VirtualBox," says Suzuki. "The current beta is limited to Microsoft and VMware, but we will add the others through incremental releases during the beta, and we hope to be able to announce KVM support sometime in mid-2011."

For more information, go here.