We are living more than 3 years with ghost 2.5. We need support for more system and new hardware. When will come new Ghost solution Suite 3.0
Rumours would indicate that it may appear at the end of the year, but I very much doubt there will be any advance notification of a release date.
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EdT is right. On both accounts, unfortuantely.
Our goal has been to release a new version of GSS by end-of-year. It is now looking, based on our current milestones, like more of a 1st quarter of 2013 release date. I know we can't get this out soon enough. We're working hard to make it happen, but unfortunately our original plan is no longer realistic.
Sr. Product Manager
Endpoint Management and Mobility Group
thanks for keeping us informed Jon Sharp. We look forward to more updates.
I sure hope they'll still include the DOS version - every single license I have sold to any client, involves the DOS client and bootable 1.44 floppies (these days, 1.44/2.88MB virtual flopies on CD-ROMs).
It would be great if you can give more information about how customer use DOS specially switches of different binaries , task , end to end use case.
We use the DOS Ghost.exe from Ghost Solution Suite 2.5.1 99% of the time. If any Symantec engineer wants to see exactly how, send me a personal message with an *@symantec.com e-mail address - then I'll email a small 5MB ISO file, containing a bootable .ISO - with a virtual 2.88MB floppy.
The 2.88MB floppy has a .ZIP packed ghost.exe + a RAM drive, allowing ghost to exist on the 2.88MB floppy, and also allow a mouse driver to save it's settings - despite being on a CD-ROM.
Unlike WinPE, it boots and shows Ghost in less than 5 seconds after boot - no user intervention needed before.
Usual switches needed when creating an image: -fro -sure -ib z9 -split=635 -ntexact -fdsp
Usual switches when cloning back to many PCs: -sure -ntexact
Usual switches when cloning back to a single PC: -sure -ntexact -fdsp
And...here's the coolest thing about the DOS version over the Windows version: it's VERY good at reading broken hard drives. When cloning broken drives, some times, we have to clone disk-to-disk due to network time-out's - that's understandable. When a drive, which is REALLY broken, and can't even be read in Windows and disk-to-disk cloning never finishes...we still try to clone it with DOS Ghost and then use a file recovery program which is able to scan the entire drive over a few hour's...and then recover at least SOME files. Only a week ago, I saved +7000 pictures for a customer who had dropped her laptop on the floor. Without Ghost...we couldn't have done it.
If we try the same thing with the Windows version...it usually just crashes.
We DO use the Windows version with BartPE. Some servers are just to odd to work with normal disk-builder in Symantec's PC builder. BartPE...let us do the magic :-)
Do you know at least if there will be soon a version compatible with Windows 8, as many troubles are encountered in imaging (capture and deploy) and client sides.
Please send Private Message if you need some early adopter to test the latest version/patch.
I second that - we're running on Microsoft MSDN Windows 8 here, so feel free to contact your's truly for help with testing any DOS/Windows version of Ghost (full cloning, not app. deployment).
As Jon mentioned that our original plan for GSS is no longer realistic, you still can achieve Windows 8 imaging via Deployment Solution (DS) in ITMS (named as Orion) which is releasing shortly. There will be limited support for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 imaging (create and deploy image on same hardware, no Deploy Anywhere support), scripted os install (SOI) in DS, UEFI support for SOI in DS, UEFI PXE boot support in Network Boot Service in DS.
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"Hey guys! No GSS, but you can buy Altir... I mean ITMS! It's not covered under existing maintenance contracts, but hey, you've got money to spend on a product that does way more than you need, right?"
My managers are asking us if we should renew our maintenance for GSS and after a few years of virtually no updates, I am having a hard time giving them any justification to keep it.
GSS 3.0 appears to be VaporWare. I think it is time to move to SCCC/MDT/WDS for imaging.
We loved you Ghost, and we miss you. Have a good life.
I too had to make the decision to renew or not. I hope this thread is not just additional vapor ware from Symantec. If this project does in fact get canceled again, there will be some upset customers, me being one of them. I have other Symantec products and this would be the straw to make me switch to alternative vendors. That being said, I would like to make a recommendation that version 3 contain a multi-user console. This is a major issue with the current product.
Are there any details you can provide re: 3.0 that techs can use to justify renewing maintenance? We've got an SCCM 2012 implementation in the works, but I love the simplicity that I got out of GSS. That said, it's a line-item on a budget.
We are still planning on GSS 3.0, and have a team of developers working on it now. I know this is very long-coming, but I want to reassure you, as best as I can without actually handing you code--which I'd like to do, but can't yet--that we are actively working on it. I hope that when we release it, the wait will be worth it.
Is this a part-time undertaking or is there an actual project plan that would allow you to estimate a completion date?
Limiting my complaining to one paragraph:
GSS is so far behind the times I have had hardware rolling in for months now that I can’t support with the current product. The only other alternative is to use WDS which has come quite a long way since I last used it and once its implemented I can say there’s probably 0% chance of coming back to Symantec.
We are having similar problems with BackupExec not supporting server 2012 but they at least have "pending" kb article”
Can the GSS team make a similar KB that we can subscribe to so we get updated on its release?
Hi there, any news from GSS 3 ? If you need an alpha/beta tester contact me, i'm so inpatient to see what new features come with the console ! Do you have some screenshots available ?
As you can see from this thread, progress updates are few and far between. Patience is necessary, and if you see hell freezing over, assume it's not going to happen. ;-)
i hope that if they give up, they release the source code at least ....
Well, I tried. They won't renew maintenance without some kind of evidence that a damned thing is happening. Congratulations on creating the Duke Nukem Forever of imaging suites.
It would be nice to at least have an update on the progress (if any) and a new release date. I highly doubt this is a real project
This is what I have been told by third party with "big links" with Symantec:
I did get a response from somebody a bit higher up within the Symantec organization and they stated that they would not be launching a version 3 for GSS…
Which makes the statements above by Symantec employees all the worse. Just kill the product.
It's all smoke and mirrors. Let's face it, the customer base for any future Ghost releases is dropping every day and Symantec are not going to invest development time in a product where they may not recoup their dev costs. They just buy a product/company and then use it as a cash cow for as long as possible before retiring it. I expect the same will happen with Ghost in due course.
I agree and most companies have moved on. The thing that bothers me is them saying once again that they restarted the development.
Altiris is way too much expensive. I think there is a real market for GSS with Small and Medium Business because of its price. Who wants to spend 40$ per machine for a deployment software ??? it's way too much !
WinPE includes their imaging/compression tool "imagex.exe". It is not that difficult to use for imaging machines from a network server or from local USB devices.
WDS and MDT are free, and the multicast model is pretty awesome.
Nothing from Microsoft is <free> - there is always a cost overhead in there somewhere....;-))
Fair point. FOG (http://fogproject.org) is free, however, and it's been acting as a great GSS replacement for several organizations I've worked with.
I think if they could just allow the end user to install the latest version of PE into the boot wizard many of the compatability issues would be resolved (EUFI and GPT). I tried replacing the PE source files myself but the program choked on it
It's not a case of allowing it - the structure of WinPE 3 and 4 is different to WinPE 2 so different software is needed to handle driver insertion, etc.
I could've swore Symantec announced the end of GSS a year or so ago. I thought 2.5 was the last version and gave up on ever getting a new piece of software.
A sales agent I spoke with wasn't aware of 3.0 coming out so it is either dead or not even close to release.
Sales agents won't necessarily know. The posting by Jon Sharp on 21st December 2012 is probably the nearest to those in the know as he is the PM for Ghost, but he has been awfully quiet since then, which indeed suggests little prospect of any release in the forseeable future.
Once again, another Symantec Product (much like backup exec) that we have depended on for years and years falls dead. I can no longer wait. I won't be renewing. Last chance Mr. PM. You just keep locking threads, starting new ones and still NOTHING.
I'm DONE. No Ghost, No Endpoint, NO BACKUP EXEC. No SYMANTEC! I WANT A REFUND FOR 20 YEARS OF LOYALTY!
I would say no update from the PM since December pretty much indicates this product is yet again dead.
I just finished my Windows Deployment Services (WDS) project after Ghost wasnt able to deal with any of my new equipment. I am currently in the middle of implementing Data Protection Manager to replace Backup Exec since it doesnt support Windows 8 or Server 2012. We dumped Norton enterprise about 6 years ago after it was triple the price of Sophos and paired with terrible support. We also implemented a Barracuda email archiving system when your own solution came in quoted 50 grand higher. We probably would have dropped about a quarter million dollars on your software over 10 years if they kept up with the times and priced themselves competetively. In the end I guess thanks for removing yourself from the competitive marketplace and saving me a mint in licensing.
This just seems to be the case with symantec in every product of theirs i've came across. Maybe if they spent less on marketing and more on developing, they might be some light at the end of the tunnel. Symantecs mantra is '"The next release will fix that!"
You know Symantec, a simple note indicating the GSS product line is dead would be sufficient. It's not like you're going to loose any sales from anyone here if you announce the end of life for GSS, because everyone here already paid for it years ago. No need to string anyone along even more.
I think this little professional courtesy is not too much to ask.
If you are going to surprise the world and produce a new version that supports Windows 8, UEFI, etc., then you have kind of missed that boat because in case you haven't noticed, those items have been out for some time now and we've all had to scramble to find alternative solutions, already leaving GSS behind on those items, which as you can imagine has left a somewhat negative impression towards Symantec.
Keith and to the rest ---
I was just reading that the ghost consumer product has been EOL as well. Basically put, I don't think the ghost.exe in any way shape or form will ever support EUFI / GPT, etc.
Symantec has unofficilly, officially, killed ghost in all shapes and forms. Why, got me, it was the standard forever. It did everything we needed and it worked. I just don't get it. You have a industry standard product and you just stop making it.
Not to get too far on a tangent rant, but I am getting tired of all these companies buying each other up and killing products.
I still miss Lookout. Microsoft bought and killed that and somehow turned it into MS Search. I just wanted a search tool for Outlook, not a whole OS search tool. Oh well, what can we do...
Ghost Solution Suite (GSS) was not EOL'd. That was Norton Ghost. That product is not the consumer version of GSS, but really a different product. The two aren't related (though they might have been at some point). I state that just to make sure you all are aware that the EOL of Norton Ghost has no effect on GSS.
GSS has not been EOL'd. Nor, at this time, do we anticipate doing so. I've stated before on this forum that we have a release planned. Unfortunately, with a new CEO put in place, all our products were put through a more rigorous evaluation. This has delayed GSS significantly.
I know we are very far behind for some of these platform support items, so we are working as fast as possible to get this update into your hands.
I hope that clarifies things.
As the poster commented, it was the retail version of Ghost that was EOL'd. This was based on the old Partition Magic product that Symantec acquired many years ago, and drove into a wall. PM was one of my toolkit apps back in the floppy disk days, and I'm guessing that Symantec tried to capitalize on the Ghost name when they re-engineered PM into the rather poorer retail version. I think the relationship was nothing more than sharing a name. Frankly, the Paragon Partition Manager product is what retail Ghost should have been competing with, but it failed on both price and performance, and there is, I suspect, no money to be made in this part of the market given the cost of developing something that works properly with modern hardware.
Jon - I don't envy you your position.
We, as users, well understand the need for a product to recoup development costs and make a profit as well, otherwise there is no point in spending any money on developing it. Given the lack of clarity within Symantec, it is up to you to try and maintain some level of hope in what remains of your customer base, but that hope is fading day by day as you/Symantec are unable to give any real information on your intentions. Of course, the potential market for Ghost is also dropping day by day and sooner or later, a point will come when the development cost of a new version exceeds the potential market, and you will be forced to tell us that the GSS product has been EOL'd as well.
What I believe Symantec is overlooking is how its general reputation is being damaged by this form of negative marketing. Technicians talk to each other, and todays first line support technicians will become the CIOs of the future, and will remember the tales of Symantec they heard from their colleagues and the events they saw for themselves.
The phrase "I no longer trust Symantec because of........" is becoming commonplace amongst my peers and unless your new CEO is somehow able to change the entire culture of Symantec, then I really fear for your future.
I just hope that, if a new version is released, it won't be totally redone like Backup Exec 2012...where so many functions and options have been pulled out...
Well, who the hell is your CEO so we could write him and tell him what we think ? An other finance guy who doesn't understand anything in IT i guess !
GSS was cheap compared to alternative products, and just worked fine. It just needed some new functionnality. Now we're stucked with Microsoft's crap !
And ghost could could clone my dual boot (Win/Linux) computers, that was for us a greeaaat feature !
Symantec has to put more staff on this project, to release a new version before 2014.
Type "symantec ceo fired" into Google - pretty much tells you all you need to know.
Customer communication is lacking. First we are told a new version is coming hold on. Again we are told a new version is coming. Then no communications from the project manager for 4+ months. This leads to the speculation that we are once again being strung along by Symantec. The previous post mentioning reputation is dead on. Many of us are not only current/former Ghost clients but also use other Symantec products. This type of customer service (new CEO or not) will kill the company because I for one will always think twice about purchasing additional products if this is the way the company will treat its clients. Just communicate a schedule, say you dont know, or state the project is dead.
Jon, I appreciate the reply, but unfortunately it did not clarify anything. We have operating systems we need a solution to image & deploy today, not at some unknown potential date in the future.
I understand that my reply doesn't give you much to go on. What I'm avoiding, in case it wasn't clear, was giving you seemingly concrete information that really is subject to change.
Is there a GSS 3.0? Yes. I've seen it installed and (somewhat) functional. It isn't complete yet, (it isn't even beta quality yet, or we wouldn't be having this conversation) but it's much more than a list of requirements.
Will it arrive when you want it to? No. For that, it would have arrived in 2011, not 2013. I regret that I was unable to deliver that solution to you guys sooner. I recognize that for some of you (the broad "you" that is not just those watching this thread), we're too late. I wish that were not the case, and I hope we can win you back.
Let me address Windows 8. Hopefully you've all seen our support KB. While not everything works with Windows 8, some things do, and we support those things. Here's a link to the KB: http://www.symantec.com/docs/DOC6337
For UEFI: We're working on an update to GSS 2.5.1 (knowing that GSS 3.0 is further out) that will address UEFI. It won't be complete, but hopefully we'll address 80% of what customers need. This should be available in the coming months. That's what we're heads-down working on right now and it is our top priority.
I hate to hijack this thread, but as I need info to do my job, let me pose a question to those of you on this thread: Are you GSS console users, or do you mostly just use the various tools? So we don't over-run this thread, please PM me if you'd like to respond. Thanks!
I hope this info is helpful. I'm certain it is nothing like the "GSS will ship on such and such date with features X, Y, Z" but I hope it has provided you with some helpful info.
Thanks for listening.
Is any of the GSS 3.0 work new, or are you still working with the code that the dev team produced before they were disbanded a few years ago?
Also, a version of Ghost is bundled with DS - is this being updated in line with the standalone product?
Some of the work is net-new, some of it is part of the original GSS 3.0 work. Yes, the Ghost tools that are bundled with DS are also being updated along-side the GSS 3.0 work. Both products benefit from some of the work that's going into GSS 3.0.
We use GSS 2.5.1 in a variety of ways.
1) Build simple DOS boot disks for mcast sessions.
2) Build MS PE with ghost tools embedded.
3) Use the console to image whole buildings of machines at same time via multicast sessions. We install Ghost client on our images, create imaging tasks and separate rename and join domain tasks. We can image a whole building without ever physically attending\touching a machine.
4) Use Console for executing commands and pushing files - however this has been taken over by PowerShell remoting.
Items 1 and 2 would be easy to go without as free MS tools and a bit of scripting would suffice. However for us the item 3 the Console is crucial tool. It has a light footprint is easy to setup and maintain and just works. Even the current version based on Vista still has never failed us. Obviously when we come to discuss Windows 8 and forward - then we are at a standstill. I for one would like to move the build of our machines to Windows 8, but this will not be possible until we get an update to GSS that provides full support for Windows 8 within the Console. Currently the standalone tools work fine; we just need the Console updating.
Like Pete, we use GSS 2.5.1 as a critical part of our imaging system. When it came to investigating deploying Windows 8 at our school, I did a test run and every step works perfectly to a point... I can capture the image, I can manually deploy the image via WinPE from the target machine.
The issue lies with the Ghost Client for Windows. It is not able to report the computer name / configuration to Console, and so we are unable to use Ghost for image push to whole rooms or buildings at a time, and the configuration task to rename the computer and join the domain no longer works.
I do not know the inner workings of Ghost, but it seems to me the issue lies solely in the client application, in that it cannot read and report the computer configuration correctly. If we could only get the client to function correctly, all else is fine.
We are already committed to deploying Windows 8 in 2013, so I will need to look into WDS or similar moving forward. I will keep an eye on this thread in hopes that Ghost updates soon, as if it was currently working our deployment project is already finished!
@Pete Gomersall, @HTBG,
Thanks for the feedback, guys. Very helpful. And Pete, I hope I didn't give the impression of getting rid of the console. I don't imagine there will ever come a day when that makes sense to do and it is certainly not part of our plans now.
Yes, a lot of the issues you see with Windows 8 imaging comes from problems with the Ghost Client on Windows 8. That's not all of it, but it is the lion's share.
Thanks for your fast response @jon_sharp
As I image our school only twice a year on set dates (during semester breaks), and one is fast approaching (40 work days left), I have decided to do a one-time dirty deployment. As all our computers currently run Windows 7 and register in Console, I can push a Windows 8 image one time. I will write a script to join the domain in post-ghost.
Subsequently I will never be able to push from Ghost 2.5.1 again, but that will give me until December to develop an alternative or hopefully for Ghost 3.0 to come out :)
This also gives me more time to focus on making our Windows 8 image the best it can be rather than delay it to develop a new system.