There are 3 major deployment types available for use in the KACE Systems Deployment Appliance (SDA). They are complementary solutions that excel in different situations. 

Scripted Installs

  • Leverages the drivers and drivers_postinstall shares during the deployment
  • Requires volume license source media
  • No initial preparation other than creating an unattend using the wizard and uploading the source media
  • Customization is done via pre- and post-installation tasks
  • Can be deployed via unicast
  • Windows Only

System Images

  • Leverages the drivers_postinstall share during the deployment, if enabled.
  • Initial preparation must be done prior to image capture (e.g. sysprep - see the System Images Best Practice KB)
  • Customization can be done to the image itself and via pre- and post-installation tasks
  • Windows and Mac
  • 2 sub-types: K-Image and Native (WIM for Windows and ASR for Mac)

  • Image files are stored individually in the SDA hashstore and are de-duplicated across all images
  • Less space used for multiple images that have identical files
  • Slower imaging when deployed in full
  • Ability to perform a delta deployment (great for image refreshes)
  • Ability to use the Image Browser function to make changes to your image files
  • Can be deployed via unicast

  • Image files from a partition are stored within a single compressed WIM or DMG file
  • Requires the image master to have enough free space to capture the image locally
  • More space taken for multiple images (unless they are duplicated)
  • Faster imaging, especially with the KSWIM Toolkit (Windows unicast only). For more details see the blog post
  • Can be deployed via unicast or multicast (single partition only)

More information on the differences between K-Image and WIM can be found in this KB article