Deploying Microsoft Upgrade Analytics

Hi All, In todays post I am going to walk through the process of deploying Microsoft’s Azure/OMS solution named Upgrade Analytics. The purpose of Upgrade Analytics is to assist organisations with their planning process for in-place upgrades of Windows 10 builds through the review and remediation of all applications and drivers that are deployed within the existing fleet of workstations, either Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 or an existing Windows 10 system.

Throughout this post I will be focusing on how to deploy Upgrade Readiness to existing workstations, the analysis of the information that is collected, processed and presented through Upgrade Analytics I will cover in a separate dedicated post at a later date.

Upgrade Analytics is a ‘solution’ that is provided by Microsoft that runs within a Operations Management Suite workspace which in turn runs on Azure. Therefore, for the purpose of the post it is assumed that there is an existing Azure tenant available, as well as a valid subscription (Upgrade Analytics is a free solution, but as with all Azure resources the OMS workspace we will create needs to reside within a subscription).

As Upgrade Analytics allows administrators to analyse large numbers of workstations I am going to assume that SCCM has also been deployed in the environment and is available for use.

OK, lets proceed with the deployment…

Phase 1 – Creating the Upgrade Analytics solution

Firstly, logon to your existing Azure Portal, and select the ‘Create a Resource’ option in the top left and search for ‘Upgrade Analytics’.

Here we can see the full description of Upgrade Analytics, review and select ‘Create’

We are now prompted for a log analytics workspace in which to create the Upgrade Analytics solution. Select ‘select a workspace’

As we can see there are no existing workspaces so I will select the option to ‘Create New Workspace’

We need to name the new Log Analytics workspace, select a suitable Subscription and Resource Group and click ‘OK’

After the workspace has completed deployment we can now click ‘Create’ to start the deployment of the Upgrade Analytics solution

Once the deployment has completed we can now verify that the solution existing by searching for ‘Solutions’ in the Microsoft Azure portal

Within the solutions blade we can see that the new Upgrade Analytics solution is now present and we can select it

Currently we can see that there are currently 0 systems currently uploading data to the new solution so we will now proceed with configuring workstations to upload data for analysis

Using SCCM to configure workstations to upload data

Now we have created the new solution we need to obtain our Commercial Id Key from the solution and then use SCCM Client Settings to configure this on existing workstations.

Within the new solution we need to select ‘Upgrade Readiness Settings’ and copy the Commercial Id Key that is displayed

Note: Also on this page I can change the version of Windows 10 we are assessing our workstations for upgrade to. This will need to be modified each time we are ready to start analysis for the next Windows 10 build

Now we need to switch to our SCCM console and browse to ‘Client Settings’

I do not want to deploy this configuration to my existing servers as I will not be assessing these for upgrade but I do want to deploy this to all existing workstations. To allow for this configuration I will create a new Client Settings Policy and give it the name of ‘All Windows Workstations – Upgrade Readiness’

It is now possible to configure the Windows Analytics component of the new client settings policy by enabling the management of telemetry settings, pasting our previously obtained Commercial Id Key, and I have selected to Enabled telemetry data from Windows 8.1 and earlier systems as I want to assess their readiness for upgrade to Windows 10. I have also allowed all Internet Explorer data uploaded as I want to analyse this data.

Click ‘OK’, and we now have out new policy ready for deployment

To deploy the new client settings policy simply right-click the new policy and chose ‘Deploy’. Then select the collection we want to deploy to, in this example I am going to be deploying to the ‘All Windows Workstations’ collection

Click ‘OK’ and we can now see that the client settings are deployed

This completes the required configuration within SCCM. We now need to wait for the following processes to complete:

  • SCCM clients to perform a policy refresh – Normally within 1 hour
  • Workstations to upload data to OMS – Normally within 1 day
  • Upgrade Analytics to process the data – Overnight each day

Verifying the deployment

2 days after configuring my workstations I again logged on to the Azure Portal and navigated to the Upgrade Analytics portal. Here I can now see that my test workstations have successfully uploaded data.

I am now in a position to start using Upgrade Analytics to plan for my upgrades to Windows 10 build 1809!!!

Author: Andrew Stalker

I am an IT consultant currently working in Sydney, Australia. I specialise in Microsoft infrastructure technologies, specifically System Centre and Azure Cloud computing including EMS & Office 365.

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