none
Is MDT dying? It sure feels like it...

All replies

  • It's definitely gotten worse since Michael Niehaus moved to a new position and isn't the guy in charge of MDT.  He still helps out, but it's not the same.  If MDT dies then Microsoft is also dead to me.
    Thursday, May 17, 2018 1:53 PM
  • More and more, I think it isn't just MDT, but the idea of image prep in general. Even something as simple as running sysprep from a brand new, no-internet-ever installation is a mess, due to appx/sysprep incompatibilities.

    Related, there's been a lot of PR and talk about autopilot, which is basically a cloud-based alternative to MDT. But it has a slew of prerequisites and is way more limited in capability than MDT. 

    Thursday, May 17, 2018 2:18 PM
  • More and more, I think it isn't just MDT, but the idea of image prep in general. Even something as simple as running sysprep from a brand new, no-internet-ever installation is a mess, due to appx/sysprep incompatibilities.

    Related, there's been a lot of PR and talk about autopilot, which is basically a cloud-based alternative to MDT. But it has a slew of prerequisites and is way more limited in capability than MDT. 

    Autopilot is really not an alternative to MDT, its something entirely different and also just a small part in a larger scheme of managing Windows computers using a MDM, namely Intune.

    Autopilot's task is only to provide the user a convenient way of enrolling their computers into Intune right from OOBE. While the MDM might do stuff to your Windows computer that is kind of comparable to MDT, the Autopilot part is definitely not.
    MDT is a modular imaging solution where a product like Intune is more of a provisioning solution if you want to make that comparison.

    Also it's not new, Apple had DEP (Device Enrollment Program) for quite some time and Microsoft is just out of a preview phase with Autopilot and it's not near as robust as you would want it to be at the moment of me writing this.

    Additionally you can use MDT with Autopilot together to reap the benefits of using your own image and providing a convenient way of enrolling your devices into Intune (for example).

    Koen.



    Thursday, May 17, 2018 9:07 PM
  • In addition, based on various customers engagement I am yet to see any issues with SYSPREP / APPX (as long as you apply some very basic configuration settings such as blocking Windows Store from going to the internet). Granted, I always advise IT Pros not to go down the rabbit hole of upgrading existing images (which was not even supported until a few releaes ago) and instead use automation solutions (like MDT, Image Factory, etc) to cleanly rebuild images with every new release. By investing a bit of time into automation, you reap benefits for years to come. Just my two cents.

    Cheers,
    Anton

    Vacuum Breather Blog | Wing Commander Saga | Twitter

    Note: Posts are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. If posts are helpful please don't forget to rate them as "Helpful" or as "Answer".

    Friday, May 18, 2018 6:38 AM
  • Thanks for the feedback Anton.

    If the images you (the image builder) build do not contain any local accounts, then several of the issues definitely can be dodged with config settings (that only work on Enterprise/Edu) or avoiding internet access.

    If you need a single local user account, which is not unreasonable for certain use cases, then even with no internet, you can run into sysprep failures removing appx packages. This is even with everything automated via MDT and no windows upgrades involved.

    Even successfully running sysprep from a fresh windows install with a single local account messes up appx packages.

    Further, the broken state that appx packages end up in if you manage to get an upgrade+sysprep to work is so bad that Microsoft really should just go back to declaring the scenario not supported and blocking it. You end up with things like the appx .net frameworks missing.


    Friday, May 18, 2018 2:39 PM
  • In addition, based on various customers engagement I am yet to see any issues with SYSPREP / APPX (as long as you apply some very basic configuration settings such as blocking Windows Store from going to the internet). Granted, I always advise IT Pros not to go down the rabbit hole of upgrading existing images (which was not even supported until a few releaes ago) and instead use automation solutions (like MDT, Image Factory, etc) to cleanly rebuild images with every new release. By investing a bit of time into automation, you reap benefits for years to come. Just my two cents.

    Cheers,
    Anton

    Vacuum Breather Blog | Wing Commander Saga | Twitter

    Note: Posts are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. If posts are helpful please don't forget to rate them as "Helpful" or as "Answer".

    Agreed.  Automation is a must nowadays.  Windows 10 is constantly getting updated and if you don't automate your image builds, you will never be able to keep up.

    As for the sysprep issue, blocking Windows Store updates and disabling the consumer features should prevent this issue from happening (see more info here https://deploymentresearch.com/Research/Post/615/Fixing-why-Sysprep-fails-in-Windows-10-due-to-Windows-Store-updates).

    Friday, May 18, 2018 7:14 PM

  • Agreed.  Automation is a must nowadays.  Windows 10 is constantly getting updated and if you don't automate your image builds, you will never be able to keep up.

    As for the sysprep issue, blocking Windows Store updates and disabling the consumer features should prevent this issue from happening (see more info here https://deploymentresearch.com/Research/Post/615/Fixing-why-Sysprep-fails-in-Windows-10-due-to-Windows-Store-updates).

    Unfortunately it is not enough if your image includes a local user. The deploymentresearch post does not capture the entirety of what is going on.

    There are appxpackages present on a machine even when windows store, consumer features, and internet are disabled.

    They include calculator, various .net dependencies, etc. They are installed asynchronously per-user.

    Friday, May 18, 2018 7:28 PM

  • Agreed.  Automation is a must nowadays.  Windows 10 is constantly getting updated and if you don't automate your image builds, you will never be able to keep up.

    As for the sysprep issue, blocking Windows Store updates and disabling the consumer features should prevent this issue from happening (see more info here https://deploymentresearch.com/Research/Post/615/Fixing-why-Sysprep-fails-in-Windows-10-due-to-Windows-Store-updates).

    Unfortunately it is not enough if your image includes a local user. The deploymentresearch post does not capture the entirety of what is going on.

    There are appxpackages present on a machine even when windows store, consumer features, and internet are disabled.

    They include calculator, various .net dependencies, etc. They are installed asynchronously per-user.

    Why do you need any other user than the local administrator in your image?  You should be modifying the default profile for any other user.
    Friday, May 18, 2018 7:45 PM

  • Why do you need any other user than the local administrator in your image?  You should be modifying the default profile for any other user.
    Our images are not deployed to a typical office environment. Instead, we actually need the installed image to have a specific local user account with software installed for that specific user. This means it isn't enough to just modify the default profile and add the user later.
    Friday, May 18, 2018 7:58 PM
  • Why not capture your image without this "special" software?  You can use another task sequence to deploy your captured WIM and install the software as the user.
    Friday, May 18, 2018 11:04 PM
  • Why not capture your image without this "special" software?  You can use another task sequence to deploy your captured WIM and install the software as the user.

    Unfortunately the software installation process is quite lengthy (hours), while the deployment needs to be quick. I realize that may sound peculiar but it is what it is.

    I do appreciate the idea/brainstorming. Thanks for the input.

    It's incredibly frustrating that Microsoft has made creating an image with an existing local account so broken.

    Friday, May 18, 2018 11:13 PM