Overview of OSD and its capabilities for deploying an operating system (OS) within an enterprise environment. Understanding the foundational concepts and the components used for a Windows OS deployment is imperative for a successful installation.
It’s highly recommended that you test the OSD feature in a lab environment, disconnected from the production environment, and also during the development cycle of a task sequence to avoid mistaken deployments to critical systems.
The purpose of OSD
Using the OSD feature, you can configure an unattended or attended automated deployment process that is repeatable to many machines by using the existing Configuration Manager infrastructure. You can target an OS deployment to existing clients already managed or to unmanaged new computers that are unknown to the Configuration Manager environment. The following core areas historically have proven to be difficult barriers to overcome within environments of any size; OSD helps you to better cope with and mitigate these barriers:
- Content distribution: Windows OS images are typically large in size. The content management features and functionality provides a scalable solution for you to replicate the image contents to all hosting servers, and finally, to end-user computers, all while averting any disruptions to the WAN links.
- Scheduling or self-service: The administrator has the ability to control when the deployment of the OS will begin for enduser machines or provide users with the flexibility to carry out installation according to their scheduling needs. This can be set globally for all upgrade candidates or scheduled accordingly for individual requirements on machine resources in specific business units by way of grouping into collections and targeting via a deployment.
- Reporting, monitoring, and troubleshooting: Upgrading many devices is comparable to upgrading one device. With centralized reporting mechanisms, you can monitor and further drill an overall deployment status into specific system statuses to troubleshoot individual machine issues or issues affecting many machines. The timeto-resolution is greatly reduced when the resolution has been identified.
The core concepts of OSD contain many terms that you should be familiar with when planning an OSD strategy. The following table provides definitions for these terms:
- Image: File-based replica of a hard drive. Supports Windows Imaging Format (WIM) file format.
- Target computer: The computer on which you install a Microsoft Windows OS image.
- Reference computer: Fully configured computer from which you generate the WIM file.
- Source computer: Existing computer that is managed by Configuration Manager. It contains the user state data and settings that will be migrated to a new destination computer.
- Destination computer: Computer that will receive the user state data and settings that are migrated from a source computer.
- Sysprep: Windows system preparation tool that facilitates image creation on reference computers running Windows operating systems.
- User State Migration Tool (USMT): Utility used to collect and restore system, application, and user data.
- Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE): Preinstallation environment used in OS deployment.
- PXE: Preboot Execution Environment (WinPE).
- Windows Imaging Format (WIM file): A file containing an operating system/data image.
Source: Deploying Windows 10 Press Book