A Review: Migrate7 v. USMT

USMT v Migrate7

USMT is a tool offered at “no charge” by Microsoft for Windows PC migration.  The tool was developed as a result of large enterprise customers asking vendors and also Microsoft about the time, disruption, and expense involved in migrating Windows users.  It’s free… like a puppy.
The real work starts when you get it home.  To help us understand USMT better, we asked a network management firm to test USMT and Migrate7 to determine how they stack up.  We thought you’d be interested in the data.  Pop us a note if you have something to add or change in this post with a comment or by reaching out to us on our Contact page.  We hope you find this information useful.
As far as free tools go, USMT is in our opinion quite rudimentary in many areas and offers no user interface to IT managers and much lower reliability without extensive customization.
Customers state that the application support is quite thin in many areas, even in Microsoft’s own applications.

Comparing Migrate7 and USMT: Key Features

Migrate7
USMT
GUI Interface and configuration editing system
Yes
No
Command Line Scripting
Yes
Yes
Native Compression of Stored Data
Yes
No
Duplicate File Awareness
No
Yes
User Data Password Protected
Yes
No
Migration Tool Can be Executed From Network Location
Yes
No
Supports Roaming Profile Migrations
Yes
No
Supports Terminal Service Profiles
Yes
No
Supports Cross Domain Migrations
Yes
Yes
System Center Configuration Manager Integration
Yes
Yes
Encryption of user state data while transiting network
Yes
No
Flexible Storage of User State Data
Yes
Yes
Agent-less Migration (No binaries installed on client system)
Yes
No
Backup Logged on User incrementally
Yes
No

The network testing company we hired told us that USMT is sensitive to Registry and Profile settings, which are common on Windows PC’s and can cause USMT to fail. To support that assertion, we recently posted on a Microsoft Certified Professional article quoting data from VMWare stating that “USMT has a 29% data and settings loss rate in VMWare’s testing.” Our eyebrows went up when we read that.

USMT

  • USMT is reportedly weak on support for settings transfer.  It goes mostly for the easy stuff.
  • The versions of each application must match on the source and destination computers.
  • This is a huge because USMT does not the migration of the settings of an earlier version of an application to a later version except for Microsoft Office, which USMT can migrate from an earlier version to a later version.
  • Inconsistent migration compatibility; especially when migrating between different OS versions.  This leads to a lot of research and testing time to determine feasibility.
  • USMT requires technician to learn how to read and edit raw XML files that are required to have granular control over the migration.
  • USMT Has version and locale (language) dependencies, especially with Microsoft Office
  • It does not operate in a secure network environment, operates only at a file system level
  • USMTs complex line command switch options lead to management complexity and a steep learning curve
  • It is found by many IT administrators to be time consuming and error prone in large enterprise environments.  One tech told us:  “It’s rudimentary and it fails half the time.”

Migrate7

Easy to configure.

Set up and run the first Migrate7 migration in a few minutes.

  • Highly-reliable and dependable.  99.9% reliability (two sigma)
  • Easily create multiple configurations for different departments or branches
  • Delivers a demonstrated migration ROI of $300-2000 resulting from ease of use and simple implementation
  • Takes care of migrating Outlook and setting it up correctly
  • Provides incremental backup and selective restoration – protects and preserves personalities over time
  • Handles remote non-logged in users, no problem
  • Easily distributed for large-scale migrations.  No Install required.
  • Strong enough to be used for regular backup and even has an optional end user restore tool available.
  • Migrates more deeply.  500+ more settings on Microsoft Word just for starters.  USMT only moves some settings in the tests that we reviewed
  • Migrates personalities in half the time of USMT last time we saw numbers on it (We hope to update performance numbers soon).
  • Supports manual and automated secure transfer over secure networks
  • No need for network file share rights, can be run as LocalSystem
  • Significantly easier to add custom application, file, and registry support
  • Miigrate7, unlike USMT…migrates from and to different application versions as needed
  • Tranxition provides live, human beings for support and migration design, included as part of the license agreement
  • When a firm chooses Migrate7 as part of their deployment process, they receive a highly-mature, deeply-tested application that has saved organizations around the globe over $1.2B over the last decade or so.     Start an evaluation process and see why going with Migrate7 is the only sensible choice for IT professionals.
Start a no-cost evaluation of Migrate7 today

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