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Planning Your Migration To AV Defender

Once you have successfully collected the information necessary to prepare your migration, the next step is to plan your deployment of AV Defender. This is an often overlooked but important step to ensure success and minimize service interruption to your clients. During this stage, you will create a deployment plan and schedule.

Understanding Capacity

It may be tempting to deploy AV Defender to your entire customer base all at once, however there are important things to consider before using this methodology. While the AV Defender software is certainly capable of a mass deployment, you should consider whether your organization is capable of administering this approach.

Based on previous experience, SolarWinds MSP has found that less than 1% of the computers in an environment tend to have security issues that require remediation. However, this experience can vary widely from one environment to the next. In a worst case scenario, as many as 10% of your deployed computers may require manual remediation.

Although it is a worst case scenario,SolarWinds MSP recommend that you base your deployment plan on a 10% failure rate to ensure that you are adequately prepared. If you deploy to 100 computers, as many as ten may require an hour of your time. This is based on the estimate that you should plan on spending six minutes per computer for remediation. This provides insight into how many computers that you can deploy AV Defender in a sustainable fashion. If you have ten available man-hours in an afternoon, then you have a total capacity of 100 (10X10) computers that you can migrate to AV Defender.

A useful formula can be expressed as:

Capacity = (Number of Man hours) x 60 (computers per hour)

After you have calculated your total capacity, you should plan your bulk deployment in groups that are smaller than your maximum capacity at the given time.

Building Your Deployment Plan

As every network environment is different, the challenges experienced in each environment will be unique. It is important, therefore, to stage your deployment of AV Defender at each customer (or environment) to ensure that you mitigate and proactively resolve issues that are specific to that customer.

SolarWinds MSP recommends that you use the deployment process below for each unique environment:

  • Deploy AV Defender to a single non-essential workstation.
    • Evaluate the user experience.
    • Isolate and resolve any issues that occur.
    • When confidence in the migration process is high, proceed to the next step.
  • Deploy AV Defender to a non-essential server.
    • Evaluate the user experience.
    • Isolate and resolve any issues that occur.
    • When confidence in the migration process is high, proceed to the next step.
  • Deploy AV Defender to the remainder of your workstations in groups (under capacity)
    • Evaluate the user experience.
    • Isolate and resolve any issues that occur.
    • When confidence in the migration process is high, proceed to the next step.
  • Deploy AV Defender to non-essential business servers.
    • Evaluate the user experience.
    • Isolate and resolve any issues that occur.
    • When confidence in the migration process is high, proceed to the next step.
  • Deploy AV Defender to key business servers during a maintenance window.
    • Deploy AV Defender to each individual server one by one.
    • Ensure that processes are functioning properly before proceeding.

This should ensure that any potential issues that may occur are understood and mitigated prior to mass deployment.

Base your deployment plan and schedule on the template provided above and write down when you expect to deploy each stage so that you can share this information with your customer. Providing visibility to the deployment plan will help to instill confidence and allow customers to understand the work that is required.