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Large Deployment Help - DS 6.9

Created: 21 Aug 2012 • Updated: 29 Sep 2012 | 5 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

Hello all

I have been given the task of upgrading our business to Win 7, and also some other sister businesses which we are part of. All has been going well and everything is working fine. We can rebuild machines as neccesary and also build new ones without a hitch. As it currently stands, you boot to the network, select WinPe and eventually select the Win7 image, it builds, injects drivers and all is ok.

Only thing is now the bosses have decided we are to hand over the deployment server to a 3rd party company who actually supply our new PCs, as we have 350 on order which they want to have built in bulk, with a fully automated solution.

Basically how is this done? I thought i could just set a job, to push the image to all machines, but as i know nothing about the machines in terms of MAC address, serial number etc i cant import a CSV for the job itself.

They want it so that they can plug in up to 50 at a time, just boot them to the network then Altiris will do the rest, no involvement or selecting of jobs or anything.

Any help greatly appreciated

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andykn101's picture

You need to think about this from a high level process perspective first. Do you want any machine unknown to DS to build with an image? If so, when the Chief Exec plugs in his multimedia laptop toy, built specially for him by the Exec IT Support team without using Altiris, into the network it will get an image. Same with any other computer.

So, you need to work out how to tell automatically if an unknown computer is to be built or not. Are they all a specific new model? The you can run WMI queries in WinPE to see if the machine meets those criteria and should be imaged. You can use Initial Deployment for this, it's still quite dangerous if you don't get your logic correct to work out if a computer should be imaged or not.

You can ask Initial Deployment to ignore servers, but if anyone's used non server hardware to install a server OS onto that may get caught.

Authorised Symantec Consultant (ASC) with Endpoint Management Limited, an Authorised Symantec Delivery Provider based in the UK.

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SOLUTION
Tim.Jing's picture

There are ways to setup a key to boot into automation at the setup, and then someone can apply the jobs to the machine once it shows up in the console. Is that what you are looking for?

ianatkin's picture

I'd also be wary of deploying 50 machines simultaneously over the LAN. It can be done, but you need to factor in that such deployments degrade the network. Also, the time taken to deploy 50 machines is not the same as when you deploy one. On mulitcast, drop outs often occur, which can result is a bit of tension in a tightly scheduled deployment. 

On big deployments, the floor staff will often have a swiss-army knife to make the deployments more robust.  This normally manifests as each one carrying a little bag of bootable CD's, DVDs and/or USB sticks to ensure that should LAN deployments be an issue that they have a workaround.

Also, as Andy has already indicated, it is really, really bad to have a setup where machines can network boot and automatically be deployed without safeguards being put in place first. If you don't scope the deployments, you can certainly end up with curious staff imaging their own machines by mistake...

Ian Atkin, IT Services, Oxford University, UK

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ianatkin's picture

rmasters -do you want anymore clarification on this one?

Ian Atkin, IT Services, Oxford University, UK

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ianatkin's picture

As masters seems to have gone on holiday, am marking Andy's post here as the answer (on the grounds it has the most votes!)

Kind Regards,
Ian./

Ian Atkin, IT Services, Oxford University, UK

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