Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) is a free, fully supported download from Microsoft that adds via System Center Configuration Manager approximately 280 enhancements to Windows operating system (OS) deployments. Although it is not a technical requirement, it is commonly preferred by Configuration Manager administrators to utilize MDT when customizing, capturing, and deploying Windows operating systems by using Configuration Manager. In addition to integrating MDT with Configuration Manager, it is also often a preference by administrators to use an MDT Lite Touch (LTI) task sequence to create Windows reference images used in Configuration Manager.
When MDT is integrated with Configuration Manager, the MDT task sequence takes additional instructions from the MDT rules. In its most simple form, these settings are stored in a text file, CustomSettings.ini, but you also can choose to store the settings in a Microsoft SQL Server database, and run Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScripts), Windows PowerShell scripts, or call web services to dynamically determine the settings to use during an OS deployment. The MDT task sequences created within the Configuration Manager Administrator Console can utilize additional dynamically populated variables above and beyond those that are provided out of the box with Configuration Manager. These dynamic variables can help to further reduce the total number of task sequences required in Configuration Manager by optionally storing the dynamic settings outside of the task sequences themselves.
Integrating MDT into your Configuration Manager environment also makes possible the use of a capability called User Driven Installation (UDI). With UDI, you can provide end users or desktop support personnel with the means to interact with a number of OS deployment steps. Some exemples are naming the machine, choosing an organizational unit (OU), and choosing the applications to install. The UDI component comes included with a UDI Wizard Designer, as shown in Figure 4-1, which gives the administrator the ability to customize the interface presented during the installation of the OS.
Another benefit of MDT commonly preferred by Configuration Manager administrators is the ability to more easily create reference images through a build-and-capture task sequence created in the MDT Workbench. There are many customization tasks such as installing language packs which many administrators find easier to install in their core image through a task sequence created in the MDT Workbench, as opposed to a task sequence in Configuration Manager’s OSD capability. You can also use the same image for every type of OS deployment—Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM), MDT, System Center Configuration Manager, Windows Deployment Services (WDS), and more. MDT also supports a Suspend action through the use of an MDT script named LTISuspend.wsf that allows for reboots. LTISupend.wsf also provides a shortcut on the desktop that will resume the task sequence. This can be useful when you need to perform a manual installation or check the reference image before it’s automatically captured. The flexibility of using whichever methods you are most comfortable with is the primary reason administrators choose Configuration Manager as their OS deployment tool of choice.
If you do choose to integrate MDT into your Configuration Manager site, the minimum version of MDT that includes support for deploying a fresh installation of Windows 10 is MDT 2013 with Update 1. This version of MDT includes support for deploying operating systems running Windows 7 through Windows 10. As of this writing, MDT 2013 Update 2 is the latest released version available.
If you are currently running MDT 2012 Update 1 or higher, you can perform an in-place upgrade of your current MDT installation to MDT 2013 Update 1 or higher. If you are running a version released prior to MDT 2012 Update 1, you first must uninstall MDT and then install MDT 2013 Update 1 or Update 2. It is always recommended to back up your current MDT environment before attempting to upgrade.
Existing MDT task sequences that you’ve created in Configuration Manager 2012 are not modified during the MDT upgrade and should continue to function without any issue. After installing MDT 2013 Update 1 or higher, on the start menu of each machine that has the Configuration Manager Administrator console installed, run the Configure ConfigMgr Integration Wizard. This properly registers the new MDT components and extensions, and installs the updated MDT templates into the Configuration Manager Administrator Console.
You will also need to create a new MDT Toolkit Files package for use in any new Zero Touch Installation (ZTI) task sequences you will create following the MDT 2013 Update 1 or higher installation. You can utilize any previously created MDT Toolkit Files packages with your previously created task sequences, but any new task sequences must reference the updated MDT Toolkit Files package in order to support the new capabilities added to the newly installed version of MDT.
To learn more about the improvements in MDT 2013 Update 2, go to http://blogs.technet.com/b/msdeployment/archive/2015/12/22/mdt-2013-update-2-nowavailable.aspx
Source: Deploying Windows 10 Press Book