Deployment Options



I'm working for a company that's spread all over the country with 5
larger centers (700 machines total) and many branch offices on slow
links (400 machines total). We need to come up with a good image
deployment and management strategy and there doesn't seem to be one.
We don't have volume licensing, standardized hardware, SMS or WinPE.
Our initial strategy was to use RIS in the large centres and Ghost the
remote sites, but maintaining one set of images is hard enough, much
less 2 different imaging technologies. We do have techs in the large
centers though.

Ghost images:
- need to maintain a dedicated imaging PC as per (I understand
it's possible to ghost FAT32 which allows image modification and
convert to NTFS later but there may be cluster size problems with
this?) I'm also not sure how he got around the HAL issue.
- have to re-burn and send CD's across the country every time there's
an image change, cannot leverage the network (If using BartPE to boot
to the network, we need to maintain the netdrivers on that as well)
- cost is prohibitive, esp. compared to free Microsoft technologies

- cannot use on slow links (no way to burn RIS images to CD for
deployment AFAIK?)
- need to maintain 1 image per HAL. In our organization with a French
image requirement, we would need to maintain 8 images per site. I've
tried the proceedures here to quickly make different HAL images:
but it doesn't work (black screen on startup).

-several tweaks such as icon locations, application settings etc.
cannot be made.
-Lots of testing required for each change

Altris is not an option for us and vendor-based imaging is too costly.

Is there anything we're missing??

Thank you very much,


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