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TechNet Solution Guide Addresses WinDeployment Best Practices

From the “better late than never” school of information sharing, I just found an October 2014 TechNet Solution Guide that many Windows administrators are likely to find captivating. It’s entitled “Automate and manage Windows operating system deployments” and it explains how to use the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (particularly LTI, aka Lite Touch Installation) and System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) Zero Touch Installation (ZTI) to easily bridge from test/pilot one-offs to large-scale production environment deployments. The former part lets you get the images you wish to distribute just right before going into production, and the latter lets you broadcast your canonical images wherever you need them to go. Good stuff. This nice little diagram illustrates the kinds of very typical situations that the Guide is intended to address:

For many readers (and me) this list of common scenarios is distressingly familiar.

Here’s a link to the latest version of the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) for 2013, from the MS Download Center. You can’t, of course, use SCCM unless you have the proper licenses, so in the dread phrase from my old math textbooks, that portion of this assignment (obtaining, installing, and configuring System Center and so forth) is left “as an exercise for the reader!” 😉 Enjoy!