>Windows Deployment Services (WDS) allows us to distribute Windows 8 on an enterprise wide scale. In part 6 of my Windows 8 deployment series, we will configure WDS and optimize our image deployment.
The greatest thing about MDT is how what you need is always where you are looking. In our last post, we finished by updating our deployment share. By updating our deployment share, MDT automatically built our boot media. We did not have to call DISM or any other tool in order to do this. The second greatest thing is how versatile MDT is.
By default, both a .WIM and an .ISO file are created when we update our deployment share. This allows us to use a variety of deployment options (CD, USB, and PXE). In your environment, you will most likely use PXE as the primary means of deployment. As efficient as WDS is, you can deploy a complete OS, necessary applications, and settings in under 30 minutes! Oh – and it’s free!
This production machine has just 2 GB of RAM and a traditional hard drive. Still imaged in 29 minutes!
How to install WDS
Setting up and configuring WDS in Server 2012 is a snap when compared to earlier versions. Within Server Manager, we will launch the Add Roles and Features wizard.
We will then proceed through our wizard and select the Windows Deployment Services server role.
This role will also install the WDS RSAT console.
Continue through the wizard. Be sure that under Role Services, both Deployment Server and “Transport Server” are selected.
The Transport Server service provides multicasting capability.
Finally, press “next” and then “install”. After a few minutes, your server will have the WDS role installed!
If you will be configuring multiple WDS servers, export the configuration settings to automate setup.
Now that WDS is installed, we will need to configure a few items. First, launch the Windows Deployment Services MMC. Expand to your server, right click, and select “configure”.
The WDS MMC
Once the Configuration Wizard is launched, proceed through the wizard. Be sure to select “Integrated with Active Directory”.
Integrating WDS with AD makes management much easier
Once you reach the PXE Server Settings menu, select “Respond” to all clients computers (known and unknown).
Selecting this option will allow you to use MDT in a nearly Zero Touch environment.
Continue through the rest of the wizard and launch the Deployment Workbench.
Enabling Multicasting with MDT
When MDT is integrated into WDS, imaging is a whole lot easier! For one, you don’t have to worry about multicast sessions or prestaging clients! To configure MDT for multicasting, right click on your deployment share and select Properties. On the General Tab, simply check the Enable Multicasting for this Share button.
They certainly do make it easy!
After pressing Ok, refresh your WDS console. Then expand the Multicast Transmissions section. You should now see a new multicast session for MDT.
This Auto-Cast session is only on and always activated. It is ready to deploy!
Importing the boot images
Finally, we need to import our MDT generated boot images into WDS. This will allow computers to PXE-stream our Windows PE setup. Within the WDS MMC, right click on Boot Images and select Add Boot Images. If you do not see your Boot Images listed, browse to your deployment share and open the Boot folder.
Our X86 MDT generated boot image
For simplicity, I will only import the x86 boot image. The x86 boot image will deploy a 32 bit and 64 bit operating system.
A production view of a WDS server with boot images
Now that WDS is configured, we are ready to deploy Windows 8! In our next post, we will deploy Windows 8 and streamline the installation process. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know!