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Network and Classroom Management Thread, Desktop Deployment Methods - What method do you employ? in Technical; Originally Posted by limbo Originally Posted by daveyboy We have 7 computer suites - and some very inventive students. We ...
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    Re: Desktop Deployment Methods - What method do you employ?

    Quote Originally Posted by limbo
    Quote Originally Posted by daveyboy
    We have 7 computer suites - and some very inventive students.
    We have 19 computer suites so size is possible not the factor here - what kind of things do your "inventive students" get up to?
    Limbo..your at a girls school so that explains a lot. You and AlanD have it easy in that regard.

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    Re: Desktop Deployment Methods - What method do you employ?

    @eduabncs - perhaps you are right, but we do have some of the male species in our Sixth form who get up to a few things.

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    Re: Desktop Deployment Methods - What method do you employ?

    Using Ghost 8 works brilliant can't complain

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    Re: Desktop Deployment Methods - What method do you employ?

    Hi Daveyboy

    Is zenworks quite good then? I was looking at it but pricing is somewhat prohibitive :/

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    Re: Desktop Deployment Methods - What method do you employ?

    We use Zenworks 7 here too, as for pricing take a look at the Schools Licence Agreement http://www.novell.com/licensing/academic/sla.html

    It's an annual renewal with costs based on either workstation count or student enrolment AT TIME OF RENEWAL (whichever works out cheaper) staff accounts are included for free. We base ours on a student enrolment of 1000 for the bundle of OES (licenced for upto 1000 servers) , Zenworks Desktop Management & Groupwise at a value of 2 points per student. Each point is $1 so our annual fee is $2000, which is roughly £1000. Plus, all slected products come with full version upgrade maintenance for the duration of the agreement.

    List of applicable products is http://www.novell.com/licensing/cont...ibita_emea.pdf

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    Re: Desktop Deployment Methods - What method do you employ?

    Ghostcast. I am a computer teacher in a lab with 36 computers and we have no onsite tech support. I experimented a little and found imaging to be a very simple and quick solution.
    Fortunately the computers are all the same make and model. At the beginning of the year I rebuild a new or updated image with all the service packs and new software. Then I multicast the image to the lab machines. 20 minutes later it's done. Fast, easy, reliable method for the last 3 years.

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    Re: Desktop Deployment Methods - What method do you employ?

    Ghost, RIS, and on some a simple CD. I am starting to move our Ghost images to an RIS deployment method over half-term- that way we get the benefits of using our existing Ghost images with PXE.

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    Re: Desktop Deployment Methods - What method do you employ?

    We are using Windows Deployment Services with server running in legacy mode. So RIS, yep.
    See also this WAIK User's guide.
    But the small problem with the deployment for us is the troubles with configuration management. Our network is very heterogeneous. I can't recall the moment we weren't in transition. New people come, we purchase new hardware that already uses new kind of software. But we also need to keep all these old stuff working because it's all in business. Surely it creates specific problems. Mostly because I need to keep out network in a state that is certified by internal rules. The organization wants users to have their desktops look standard to not confuse the basic operations, to avoid all these questions about "how do I write my document? I need to send it to my collegues right know". So basically we create a standard masted image of OS with several general applications such as Office preinstalled. At the same time different hardware requires different software, unfortunately. This all requires keeping several images on the server and that's surely not a handy thing.
    As for the topic what we do afer deploying the OS onto computers, we deploy applications. We are using group policies to deploy MSI packages throught the departments. I would say it's not that easy as it seems from the wording when you first start thinking about deployment. The most complex moment is again connected to the distribution of the software across the domain. While we deploy the standard images onto equal hardware, the problem here is to supply departments with different software specific for the tasks people do there. That involves the need to script the distribution. I can't said that it was always possible to me to automate deploying speicific configurations for all cases. Sometimes I am unable to automate the configurations because such complex scritping is out of my scope and it takes to much to build it. I would prefer the way to configure the OS image after deploying it to users. I heard somewhere Scriptlogic offers something similar but I haven't any opportunity to work with it yet. If anyone of you have worked with it I will be interested in hearing from you.
    To the point, does some of you have any experience in implementing such operations? What's best practice for you?
    By the way, there's a good article explaining what's new in WDS against the basic RIS you might want to read.

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    Re: Desktop Deployment Methods - What method do you employ?

    Well, I have some experience with memebership-based deployment. We are using the Desktop Authority management tool from Scriptlogic for that. I guess, you are probably talking about ability to configure the desktop configuration on the fly.

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    Re: Desktop Deployment Methods - What method do you employ?

    Great to hear from the one experienced. Yes, I guess, I am talking about that. Look, the problem like I see it now is that I need configure dektops on the user side manually to install all the set of applications specific for the user I just don't know who it should be called in terms of desktop management. What do you call 'on-the-fly' here?
    Currently I am using these steps to apply software to the specific user/group. So the scheme is create OU/group, create GPO, link to the OU, edit GPO to specify security filtering, refresh gpo.

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    Re: Desktop Deployment Methods - What method do you employ?

    I mean that it's possible to apply settings to the user only at those times when it's needed by changing the desktop configuration right at the used side.

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    Re: Desktop Deployment Methods - What method do you employ?

    Quote Originally Posted by limbo
    HP / Toshiba recovery CD's when needed - but I think this is only two desktops this year that have needed reinstalling.

    All software is pushed out through MSI's so the basic XP install is enough.

    I am curious - how often do you guys find you need to reinstall a PC - it is not enough here to justify spending any time setting something like RIS or WDS up. We used to use Ghost under Windows 98 but under XP we just have not found the need.

    Or is it something that is just done as a matter of course every few months to keep the PC's healthy?

    I realise how the above might sound patronising - but it is meant as a genuine question as there maybe something I am missing.
    Asking questions is always good - you don't learn if you don't ask :-)

    We don't routinely re-image but the benefit of WDS etc is that you can make sure you get all the machines the same - no chance of forgetting bits or tweaks. We deploy about 800-1000 new machines per year so it's really useful to have something that's pretty much totally automatic!

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    Re: Desktop Deployment Methods - What method do you employ?

    Quote Originally Posted by alexkeller
    apply settings to the user only at those times when it's needed
    Meaning that it's possible to define when the settings will be applied somehow?

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    Re: Desktop Deployment Methods - What method do you employ?

    Yes. When I said on-the-fly I meant that it's possible to configure the desktop based on the events. So what I do here. I deploy a standard OS image and configure desktops after according to what the configuration I assigned for the user. Desktop is configured automatically when user logs on to the system. I find such event based is very handy as there's no need to keep several preconfigured images as I did it previously. As an example from recent experience. We moved one room from one floor to another. And the bad thing with all that was that we have another network segment set up on that floor. Users have to lose their gateway configuration and the printer setup as the consequence. But the most handy thing I like from managing desktops with desktop authority is that such situations are easily fixable there. I just changed the profile settings and refreshed the policy for the OU with users from that room. But you'd better refer to their site for more details.

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    Re: Desktop Deployment Methods - What method do you employ?

    Thanks for the info, Alex! That's a really interesting link. That's very similar to what I want to get. That timing section is what you are talking about? Nice demo. Thank you. I'll probably try it, I see they say they provide fully functional version for trial. Thanks once again.

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