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Hour 5. Implementing Windows Deployment Services

What You’ll Learn in This Hour:

Hour 10, “Adding Client Computers and Member Servers to the Domain,” looks at the process of adding client computers to the domain. We do not, however, tackle issues related to the actual process of installing client operating systems on those computers, which, depending on how you do it, can be quite time-consuming. An alternative to individual installations or third-party software solutions is the new Windows Deployment Services (WDS). This hour looks at the Windows Deployment Services and how you use it to install desktop operating systems on network client computers.

Using Windows Deployment Services

An alternative to installing client operating systems, such as Windows Vista, individually on desktop computers is to use the Windows Deployment Services. WDS replaces the Remote Installation Services (RIS) provided by Windows Server 2003.

WDS enables you to install a client operating system (including Windows Vista and Windows XP) during an image-based installation. The image for the client operating system is stored on the WDS server and WDS, by design, is used to install an operating system on a client that currently does not have an operating system installed on it.

WDS provides a couple important components that enable you to install an operating system over the network to a computer that has no operating system (and an unformatted hard drive). The Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE) server enables the WDS client to boot using Windows PE. The Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) server (of WDS) enables the operating system image to be installed.

By the Way

WDS can also be used to configure multiple servers with the Windows Server 2008 network operating system. This can be useful when you are rolling out a number of new servers on a network.

To use WDS to deploy a client operating system, such as Windows Vista (or the Windows Server 2008 operating system to multiple servers), you must configure a WDS server on the network. The Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) must also be available on the network, and you also need to have a DHCP server and a DNS server available. Because AD DS, DHCP, and DNS are all important services required for a domain, you basically need to have your domain infrastructure up and running before taking advantage of WDS.

Images used for installing operating systems to WDS clients must be stored on the WDS server on an NTFS volume. The first step in rolling out client operating systems (and server operating systems, if required) is to add the Windows Deployment Services role to a server on the network running Windows Server 2008.

Installing the Windows Deployment Services

You can install WDS on a domain member server or a domain controller. You cannot install WDS on a multihomed server (a server with more than one network card that may be functioning as a router or supplying a public connection to network clients using Network Address Translation [NAT] see Hour 18, “Implementing, Network Routing,” for more about routing and Hour 22, “Using Network Address Translation and Certificate Services,” for NAT).

It is important for any domain server that will function as a WDS server to also have enough dedicated hard drive space to hold the client images (and perhaps server NOS images) that you need to store. You can initiate the addition of the Windows Deployment Service role from either the Initial Configuration Tasks window or the Server Manager.

To add the Windows Deployment Services role to a server running Windows Server 2008, follow these steps:

1. From the Server Manager (with the Roles node selected) or the Initial Configuration Tasks window, select Add Roles. The Add Roles Wizard opens. Click Next to bypass the initial wizard page.

2. On the next wizard page, select the Windows Deployment Services check box (see Figure 5.1) and then click Next.

Figure 5.1. Select the Windows Deployment Services role.

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3. On the next page, you are provided a short introduction to the Windows Deployment Services and are also provided links to subject matter related to WDS. When you are ready to continue, click Next.

4. On the next page, the services related to WDS (Deployment Server and Transport Server) are listed and selected (see Figure 5.2). Make sure both services are selected and then click Next.

Figure 5.2. Install the Deployment Server and Transport Server for a complete Windows Deployment Services installation.

[View full size image]

By the Way

To deploy a “typical” WDS server you need to install both the Deployment Server and Transport Server services. You can deploy a standalone server that provides data via multicasting by installing the Transport Server only. This service uses a subset of the Deployment Server core networking components.

5. The Confirmation page appears. To install WDS, click Install.

6. When the final wizard page appears (the Results page), click Close.

The WDS is added to the server’s configuration. You can view the WDS role and other roles installed on the server by expanding the Roles node in the Server Manager.

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