Notes From The Microsoft Management Summit 2003

SMS Workstation Image Deployment

During the keynote presentation at the Microsoft Management Summit (Mar 18-21, 2003) in Las Vegas an upcoming feature pack was announced that will allow for the deployment of images, similar to how packages are deployed today. The SMS Feature Pack, "OS Provisioning" will provide support for the DABS (or Drizzle) distribution of images, which are then applied by rebooting into the Windows PE operating system to actually apply the image to the workstation. PowerQuest DeployCenter (Drive Image) and Symantec Ghost support is already confirmed and other vendors may be included before its release. In an effort to establish a standard for providing image configuration information (product ID, computer name, etc.), Microsoft is developing a new Image Definition File format is being worked on with other key vendors. The process will also allow for the migration of user data and settings by leveraging Microsoft's User State Migration tools. Integrated as a new folder in the SMS Management Console, the "Images" area will allow for targeted distribution and package definition file (PDF) support. Like any other package, the deployment may be configured to copy itself to client systems where the action of imaging may be triggered through its full Add/Remove Program (ARP) support. This is a very impressive capability that is sure to make a lot of people happy. 


Bob Kelly