New server application migration tools and add-on management modules for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager will give IT pros some relief from the often painful migration process.
With Microsoft's recent spate of mobile and big data releases, analysts hope Microsoft provides a glimpse into the future of its other flagship products during TechEd North America 2014.
"My expectation is most news to be around Windows Server, Systems Center and perhaps a little Azure," said Wes Miller, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, an IT consulting firm based in Kirkland, Wash.
Indeed, several vendors are set to unveil a host of server tools and preview SCCM add-on modules.
AppZero, based in Andover, Mass., will unveil AppZero V6.0 at Tech Ed, to help IT professionals migrate server-based applications from Windows Server 2003 R2 to a new version of the server operating system.
Just as Windows XP hit its end of extended support, Windows Server 2003 R2 will face the same obstacle on July 14, 2015, according to Microsoft's product life cycle support page.
AppZero V6.0 includes a number of new features that reduce server application migrations to minimal or little downtime. Among the new updates to reduce migration time are the ability to extract files, registry and configuration data and place them on a new server or in the cloud while the source application continues running. The updated tool also now automates the synchronization of the production machine and migration machines to reduce downtime.
The AppZero Integration Pack will enable migrations to be driven by Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manger, service provider or Azure management platform, the company said. The software serves as an add-on to Microsoft's System Center 2012 Orchestrator, which provides IT administrators the ability to scale the server application migrations.
Phuong Nguyen, senior IT architect for IBM in Houston has been using AppZero's tool since 2012. His team migrates servers and applications for large clients to the IBM product line.
Nguyen's deployment of AppZero saves him vast amounts of time when he performs his migration tasks. In one large migration, Nguyen conducted a migration without using AppZero. It took 17 hours to complete. Using AppZero, the migration time dropped dramatically to only 45 minutes, he said.
Imation also will preview a management tool add-on for Microsoft's SCCM for managing the USB-based Windows to Go devices. Although the tool is initially an on-premise version, the product could eventually have a cloud-based version in the future, according to a company spokesman.
Meanwhile, Perfecto Mobile, a tools automation provider based in Woburn, Mass. will preview its MobileCloud Platform lab management tool running the new Windows Phone 8.1 beta. The testing and automation tool enables developers and organizations to create Windows Phone and other iOS and Android-based smart phone applications in the cloud without having to purchase or host their own devices on-premise.
Most organizations do primary testing with a dozen devices and up to 30 for compatibility testing, said a company spokesperson.
Perfecto Mobile expects to make available the tool supporting the Windows Phone 8.1 in the late first half of 2014 when Microsoft makes Windows Phone 8.1 generally available as well.
In addition, Perfecto Mobile said it received a $20 million investment from FTV Capital and its existing investors today.