At our school we have introduced WDS as our method of deploying images, at the same time I was also recommended to look at Novell Zenworks 10.2. This was coming from a Novell guy who did some virtualisation work for us as he was from a Novell background and said it was far more powerfull than SCCM.
I originally started to look at WDS and we have managed to get it working at a very basic level, we had a few problems on the way and we have got it working so that we can deploy a wim file from a WDS server to the client. The next stage is really to automate it all so there is no need for a technical person to be at the end users desk. The aim here is to make it fully zero touch rather than a lite touch deployment, so if a machine is playing up and we want to reimage we can go to a web console or similar, pick a machine click a few buttons and it will reimage a machine and next boot, give it the correct computer name if it's already been on the network, join it to the domain etc etc.
I am aware that there is a lot of work on the Microsoft side to get this working and it will likely involve using SCCM.
We have made more progress using zenworks but its been a nightmare just to image a machine and drivers and coming from a Microsoft background its been a struggle to fully understand a Novell product. As you know us techies have limited time with so many things on the ball that to spend a lot of time on it would not be possible. I recently got a quote to get a consultant in to get zenworks working and showing us what we need to do for it to work in our environment with the requirements we had. Its a lot of money and because of the issues we have had I am now thinking whether we should get a Microsoft SCCM consultant in to see what can be offered and at what cost.
Does anyone know of any Microsoft SCCM consultant's/companies that they recommend for this type of work? It would literally be getting us up and running with this, there are a few goals we are looking to achieve mainly from a Windows 7 deployment.
If anyone can recommend please give me a shout.
The SCCM documentation on Technet is very good and it's not that bad to set up once you get your head around it. Given that SCCM will cost you about £30 p.a. on a Schools Agreement, you will need to try hard to justify the expense of consultancy.
I would expect a SCCM 'expert' to spend 1 day analysing your systems, 3 days installing and creating a base image and then another day for documentation.
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