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Old 10-10-2009, 04:25 AM   #1
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Default OS Network Deployment/PXE/RIS

Hi everyone. I was wondering if anyone had experience/knowledge of OS deployment via a network. I work in a school which runs around 400 computers, and so when it comes to 'building' new systems, a quick and easy install of a OS is essential. We have been using Acronis True Image, to archive the 'New Build' image as such, which is accessed by any system on the network through PXE booting, and subsequently locating Acronis (kept on the server) by means of RIS. My big question, is what are the alternatives to Acronis for such a situation? I need the program to perform all the same functions of Acronis. I would also need to find out about the licensing costs. Would a one off fee be paid (imaging software kept on server) or would each and every system that accesses the image have to be accounted for also? I'm a little confused when it comes to costing. HELP!

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Old 10-10-2009, 06:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: OS Network Deployment/PXE/RIS

why not just use RIS on it's own?

I see no benefit to creating an acronis image, you;ll use the same amoutn of bandwidth, but. you need to buy a program to make it, you can;t slip stream updates to the image, you have to use multiple images for machines with different drivers.
if you're installing software on the image, then my personal feeling is that you're doing it wrong, much better to install software with GPO then you can push out the upgrades and patches for programs in a similar way without having to worry what machines are in what area, (e.g computers in the science dept may have science specific software not found else where).

loads of people come up with these imaging ideas, and don't get me wrong, they are cool for restoring test machines to a specific way in a fast and easy way, (in a lab where you're connecting direct attached storage). but over a network it's just as slow as a regular unattended PXE boot and fresh windows install using RIS.

-of course my opinion may be subject to change if I see something better! -I just haven't found anything yet.
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