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O/S Deployment Thread, OSD Best Practice in Technical; I've finally got OSD working on SCCM (only took me 4 months!) and I'm having a think about how to ...
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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Question OSD Best Practice

    I've finally got OSD working on SCCM (only took me 4 months!) and I'm having a think about how to deploy the OS.

    The way I see it, there's two options:
    1. Create a task sequence that just installs Windows and deploys the software
    2. Build reference images with everything installed in them

    What do you guys do?

    What's quicker to deploy? (I'm guessing no. 2 - I might be wrong of course!)

    What's easier to maintain? (I'm guessing no. 1)

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    Theblacksheep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    I've finally got OSD working on SCCM (only took me 4 months!) and I'm having a think about how to deploy the OS.

    The way I see it, there's two options:
    1. Create a task sequence that just installs Windows and deploys the software
    2. Build reference images with everything installed in them

    What do you guys do?

    What's quicker to deploy? (I'm guessing no. 2 - I might be wrong of course!)

    What's easier to maintain? (I'm guessing no. 1)

    For each type of OS I build a reference machine from a raw image (build and capture)

    Then I build a base image from this + Snapshot VM. (base)
    Add the stuff I want into the base image + snaphot VM. (base +1)
    Modify a new 'build and capture' OSD to just 'capture' and capture the base+1 image.

    Test and do stuff.

    Change Base+1 image. update and modify it accordingly.
    recapture (base +2).


    I put all the base stuff in the WIM. windows7 wim is about 4.5GB, up from about 2.5 as standard.
    Big packages I put in as part of the build task sequence (not WIM), or advertise to a collection later.

    So to directly answer your question, a mix of both, depending on package size.



    P.s. make sure you snapshot before capture.
    Last edited by Theblacksheep; 8th April 2010 at 04:10 PM.

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    Didn't I read somewhere that with Vista and 7, it is possible to do updates straight to the images without having to load them first? This was never possible with XP because of the HAL getting in the way but with Vista and 7 being hardware non-specific it's a non-issue. Now, I can't speak to application upgrades being handled this way, but I believe updates to the OS as well as drivers can be done without the annoying step of throwing the image on the machine, updating the image then tossing it back up to the image server. If I read correctly, then it would seem your answer is that #2 is the best choice either way.

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    SeanVin's Avatar
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    We have just been wrestling with this one. We've gone with keeping the base images as small as possible and deploy the software, as this makes everything easier to manage. If we update or change an application we do not have to rebuild the base images, although we take a hit as it takes longer to do a deployment. We are using XP and as far as I am aware cannot inject applications into images.

    It took us a least 4 months to get OSD working as well, SCCM is not the most intuitive system to set-up.

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    Tier 1 - Base SOE with programs everyone uses - Office, Adobe suite, 7-Zip, App-V client, etc
    Tier 2 - Group apps (eg. Students, Staff, etc) - Smart Board Notebook, Symantec Endpoint Protection, etc
    We skip Tier 3 as we use App-V to deploy individual or small group apps.

    The more you put in the Tier 1 image is the quicker you can deploy. For us however the Tier 2 apps only adds 15-20 minutes per workstation. You can put everything in one SOE and deploy it quickly but you're then turning SCCM into another Ghost clone when it is so much more powerful. Keep in mind building a Tier 1 SOE is the LONGEST part of the process, putting less apps in here will speed up getting the SOE right.

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    Chiming in here (a year after the thread) ... we found that deploying Windows 7 with SCCM 2007 directly from the CD without building a reference image first caused the drive to be called D: rather than C:. I see another thread about this below (Drive letter of OS Disk after OSD) but wanted to add this here.

    We've had some luck building a plain vanilla Win 7 reference image (using a virtual machine), then capturing it from there and deploying that. Then, we can still deploy out the applications individually.

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    Sounds like you guys are doing it the way I do it. However, I've run into an issue. When I capture my image, it appears not to generalize and all imaged computers have the same cmid. The sid is different so I know it's sysprepping.

    Has anyone else noticed this? I didn't even notice until I tried converting our MAKS to KMS. However, the count wasn't going up due to the duplicate CMIDs.

    Extra bit of info.. I have a task sequence "Prepare OS" before "capture OS" which I believe what runs the sysprep. I don't actually run sysprep which is I believe is correct from what I read.

    Thanks!

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    Gatt's Avatar
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    @Ric_ - in my experience, its best to use the TS's...
    It makes it a heck of a lot easier if you need to add/remove software, also you can do pre-application and post-application windows updates.
    Also cuts down on the need to store lots of WIMs...

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    TheScarfedOne's Avatar
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    Mine is a base WIM, with differnt TS's for different purposes - with the TS's adding all the software. I use Collection Membership queried by AD group to deploy software too.

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    Gatt's Avatar
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    My only problem with WIMs is constantly having to update them with new applications (Flash and Java anyone?) as well as Windows Updates....
    At least with TS's everything is always new and clean

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    With XP I was building images manually, capturing then deploying a full base WIM then adding AV onto the end of the task sequence (never liked putting that on a base image)

    When going to 7 I'm hoping to have a single image that injects the correct drivers based on machine type, seen some nice articles on doing it with WMI queries etc.

    SCCM OSD – Driver best practices « HayesJupe's Blog

    In an ideal world it would be a bare 7 installation with the apps all done by the Task Sequence... however we have too many apps that won't play nicely so they'll need to go onto the base image.

    Nice article about image options here

    Desktop Image Management: Build a Better Desktop Image | TechNet Magazine

    I've always liked OSD, going back to SMS 2003 (which was fun if you wanted PXE boot as you had to rebuild the capture CD with a custom version of WinPE )

    The only annoying thing with SCCM is having to store the images twice; once as a source and then the copy on the distribution point... wish there was a way to dedupe that (well I guess there is by using Windows Storage Server but can't do it on a VM )
    Last edited by gshaw; 5th September 2011 at 02:22 PM.

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    So we are now about a month into full-blown deployment with SCCM 2007. It does have a steep learning curve, as someone else mentioned ... but it is going to save us so much time in the long run!

    We kept the Win 7 ref image very light, with no apps - and then deployed our base software (Office 2010, Adobe utilities, JRE, Quicktime, SCRATCH, etc.) by collection. Teachers have just come back to school and are pleased with how much faster their machines log in without all the extra apps bloating the OS.

    We're still working on a few apps, and have some strange glitches, but I would say we have 90% of our users covered with all apps they need at this point.

    I used SCCM over the weekend to build, capture, and deploy a new Remote Desktop Services Farm (2008R2), this one with apps, into virtual machines ... it was great (and I did it all from home)!

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