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High School Network Setup RRS feed

  • Question

  • Greetings,

    Greetings!

    I am the technology director for a high school where each student has a laptop connected to our wireless campus.

    We currently have around 330 laptops. And each summer we have to go through each laptop and install new images which cost time
    and money on hiring interns.
    What other ways are there to manage these laptops? Would moving over to a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure be better off?

    Any advise would be helpful.

    Regards,
    Win
    Wednesday, December 2, 2009 6:27 PM

Answers

  • Hello Win,

    While VDI would certainly nice in sense of maintaining a core set of images that aren't hardware dependent, you might also want to investigate the benefits the newer imaging technologies (like the .WIM file format for Windows Vista and Windows 7) can give you.  Starting with Vista, a sysprepped image is hardware independent.  It can be installed on any hardware that supports Windows.  So with a free toolset like the latest Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=3bd8561f-77ac-4400-a0c1-fe871c461a89&displaylang=en you can capture, maintain, and deploy images that will run on any hardware.  And you can build and maintain driver packages to deploy along with those.

    You can also service images OFFLINE now... which means you can apply or remove drivers, updates, service packs, language packs.. to a captured OS that is STILL IN AN IMAGE FILE.  You don't have to go through the long process of building the machine, applying the changes, and re-capturing the machine.

    And for your actual deployment - the newest version of WDS (Windows Deployment Services) availble in Server 2008 R2 does some pretty amazing things with regard to multicast deployments. 

    Here is the "getting started guide" for WDS:  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc771670(WS.10).aspx
    And here is a page outlining the changes and recent improvements to deployment technologies for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7:
    http://blogs.technet.com/windowssystemdeployment/archive/2009/01/20/windows-7-deployment-changes.aspx
    (check out the "Servicing Infrastructure and Tools" section)

    Or just go to http://www.microsoft.com/deployment for links to these and other resources related to deployment.
    Kevin Remde US IT Evangelism - Microsoft Corporation http://blogs.technet.com/kevinremde
    • Marked as answer by Kevin Remde Monday, December 14, 2009 1:04 PM
    Thursday, December 3, 2009 12:24 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    in my opinion the virtual desktop infrastructure is a good idea, but i figure out just one problem: does your interns have the know how to implement and manage these kind of technology?. 
    From my own experience the transition between a classic desktop infrastructure and VDI is not and easy task, but i don't know your environment.

    Another option could be the definition of a process to deploy the images through the network.

    Regards
    Claudio Riefolo
    Thursday, December 3, 2009 11:27 AM
  • Hello Win,

    While VDI would certainly nice in sense of maintaining a core set of images that aren't hardware dependent, you might also want to investigate the benefits the newer imaging technologies (like the .WIM file format for Windows Vista and Windows 7) can give you.  Starting with Vista, a sysprepped image is hardware independent.  It can be installed on any hardware that supports Windows.  So with a free toolset like the latest Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=3bd8561f-77ac-4400-a0c1-fe871c461a89&displaylang=en you can capture, maintain, and deploy images that will run on any hardware.  And you can build and maintain driver packages to deploy along with those.

    You can also service images OFFLINE now... which means you can apply or remove drivers, updates, service packs, language packs.. to a captured OS that is STILL IN AN IMAGE FILE.  You don't have to go through the long process of building the machine, applying the changes, and re-capturing the machine.

    And for your actual deployment - the newest version of WDS (Windows Deployment Services) availble in Server 2008 R2 does some pretty amazing things with regard to multicast deployments. 

    Here is the "getting started guide" for WDS:  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc771670(WS.10).aspx
    And here is a page outlining the changes and recent improvements to deployment technologies for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7:
    http://blogs.technet.com/windowssystemdeployment/archive/2009/01/20/windows-7-deployment-changes.aspx
    (check out the "Servicing Infrastructure and Tools" section)

    Or just go to http://www.microsoft.com/deployment for links to these and other resources related to deployment.
    Kevin Remde US IT Evangelism - Microsoft Corporation http://blogs.technet.com/kevinremde
    • Marked as answer by Kevin Remde Monday, December 14, 2009 1:04 PM
    Thursday, December 3, 2009 12:24 PM
  • No,  the interns would probably not know the technology but the point is for us to cut down the cost hiring interns.
    Also, I would like to somehow cut cost on spending thousands of dollars each year to upgrade laptops because of slow performance.
    Would a VDI environment work?

    And also whats the difference between Citrix, VMware, and Windows Server 2008?
    And what could possibly be a recommended setup for the clients side and for the server side for a VDI environment.

    Thank you all for the replies!

    Thursday, December 3, 2009 4:17 PM
  • I agree with Kevin on this one WDS is the way to go since this dramatically reduces admin work you should take some time to understand all of its features in server 08....
    BrianM - MCSE,MCSA,MCTS,A+,NET+,SEC+ Toronto, On.
    Saturday, December 12, 2009 3:22 AM