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To image or not to image

Created: 15 Apr 2008 • Updated: 21 May 2010 | 3 comments

Right now we have about 2700 client machines. Most of our clients, 75%, are in one location. The rest are spread out in various locations with different line speeds.

My question is how do you deploy new machines? Do you use an image with just the OS, an image with OS and major apps like office, an unattended install or something else?

Right now we use and image with all major apps already installed. Some of us are thinking about going to either an OS image then use DS to install apps or unattended install. There are pros and cons to anyway you deploy a machine. What has or has not worked for you?

Thanks in advanced

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Tenacious Geo's picture

We favor the image with only the OS and all the needed software is installed after the image with a set of software install tasks that run after the image task. This way it's very easy to keep the image up-to-date and keep the other components isolated.


dfnkt_'s picture

I agree with George. You should update your image at the very minimum once every 3 months. A monthly update or bi-monthly update is preferable. Keeping the image with just the OS and any applicable updates speeds up this process.

Our image is Windows XP SP2 with all updates and our corporate AV pre-installed. We use WinPE as the preboot automation environment and do hardware independent imaging through scripts for HAL / Driver injection. I have been toying with the idea of installing the AV client through the cmdlines.txt file rather than packing it in the image so that it is even more manageable. Keeping all the software somewhere else makes it much easier to update those apps when patches/hotfixes are released and you don't have to go rebuilding your image.

If you have any questions on whatever method you choose, there are a ton of great articles here on the Juice, Altiris Forums, and Altirigos that should help you out.

Pikoshi's picture

We currently use an image with all major apps installed. In our enviroment, we need the speed this affords us. It seems to me that what it really comes down to is either a need for speed when getting a computer completely setup vs a need to save the space that a larger image would take up.

One thing to consider for the people who are remote-have you considered storing an image of their machine on their local computer just in case? We have it setup so that an image of their machine is stored in a hidden partition on their drive so that if their computer goes down hard, we can remotely image it so they are not having to ship it in to us. Saves them and us time when all we have to do is tell them how to access the partition and what commands to run.

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