Scripting Question

How do you manage K2000 and how do you benchmark?

02/12/2016 987 views
Here at our institution we recently upgraded our K2000 appliance and bought the newest K2200.  We have been building source media and Scripted Installs the same way now for 5-6 years that I have been here. We of course had the initial training from Dell to help us with this.  Since we have brought this new K2200 to life, we have been having a hard time witnessing some of the speeds at which we are able to produce in a production environment.  With all the new improved hardware compared to our older appliance, we have seen very little benefit.  With some help from Dell, they seem to suggest that we are managing our appliance in a not "Best Practice" way.  That is, we are building windows updates into the source media rather than injecting into image at a mid-level task or Post Install Task, our source media is built using sysprepped WIN7 "WIM" images from a physical box (rather than virtual) using Windows AIK and Media Manager, and we are seeing upload and download speeds to the K2 Samba share at ~5MB and ~11MB respectively (For ~5weeks Dell has no reported these speeds to be acceptable or not).  Our standard image that we deploy takes ~45min - 60min to deploy.  This seems acceptable, but we have no other bench mark and Dell has provided none as well.  We have some images that can take well over 3hrs. deploy to one machine, granted they have much more Post Install Scripts.

Essentially, since we have bought the new K2200, all we have to bench mark off of is our old appliance which is no match relative to hardware and therefore we have raised questions to Dell about what we should actually be getting out of the new appliance in a production environment.

Can anyone out there relate to any of this?
Is there a better way to build images?
Do you build Windows Updates into the Source Media?
Do you use a physical box or a virtual machine to build Source Media?
What Speeds do you get from your Samba share?
How long does it take to image one machine using your most generic image?
Has Dell ever told you should be doing System Images instead of WIM images?

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All Answers

Scripted vs thin image vs fat image are all debatable

At the college we went with ready to go images to save post time and tech screw-ups.  We build all our images based on license boundaries.  I managed to cut the image time by storing my wims externally from the kbox.




I cast a 12gig compressed win (CAST 32gig on HDD) Win10x64 in about 18min

I cast a 32gig compressed win (CAST 78gig on HDD) Win7x64 Autocad in about 1hr 35min

Answered 02/12/2016 by: SMal.tmcc
Red Belt

  • Thank you for your time, very good feedback!
    • I can unicast faster then the multicast. I am not the norm, I push the envelope with my strange tweeks. We reimage twice a year so we have to have it as automated, high speed and non tech interactive as possible to insure consistency in all rooms. The K2 and my methods have allowed us to still do 3000 machines per cycle in a timely manner even with a large loss of staff.

      If you are using kimages the new box would have shown you an improvement because of the process used, with Wims I think you are going to reach the same the bottle neck - the Nic, till they get teaming running on the kbox you will not see a lot of speed increase deploying onboard wims, they encourage you to use mid or post tasks because this offloads the overhead on the target machine vs having to stream a larger image file from the kbox.
      • Thanks SMal. If you can elaborate on any of your tweeks I would greatly appreciate it. We use only unicast at this time, but are trying to bring multicast into production. It is that high(er) speed that referenced that we are looking for.
      • I am curious, what do you use for your off-board storage? - Thanks
      • windows shares on a server at each site.
    • We have heard of the suggestion to store off-board. However, did you go this route because you felt that you were being throttled and/or have limited space? I have a 6.3GB source media (Dell reports that is large..) and that will take us roughly 45min to an hour to deploy. We certainly use Post Install Task for things such as 3rd party tools for the Scripted Install in reference.
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      • this allows us to have storage at each site and not need to maintain RSA's It was both throttling and space, our first kbox was the cheapest the old boss could buy so we ran out of space quickly with both mac and windows images. My Main campus academic repository is 740 gig used space avg wim file size is 27gig. The casting of the wim is the biggest load (90%) if you are not installing any large apps post.
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