Windows Deployment Services Overview and Setup (2012 R2 Platform)

Windows Deployment Services
Windows Deployment Services

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This how to video gives you a brief but detailed overview of the benefits of Windows Deployment Services running on Windows Server 2012 R2 along with a quick setup of Windows Deployment Services showing you what you need to do to get a basic installation setup from scratch. Please enjoy!

More information from Technet.

Benefits of Windows Deployment Services

1.Allows network-based installation of Windows operating systems, which reduces the complexity and cost when compared to manual installations.

2.Supports deploying images for mixed environments including Windows 7and Windows Server 2008 R2 through Windows 8.1and Windows Server 2012 R2.

3.Uses standard Windows Setup technologies including Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE), .wim files, and image-based setup.

4.Transmits data and images by using multicast functionality.

5.Allows you to create images of a reference computer using the Image Capture Wizard, which is an alternative to the ImageX tool.

6.Allows you to add driver packages to the server and configure them to be deployed to client computers along with the install image.

  • Prerequisites for installing Windows Deployment Services
    Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS). A Windows Deployment Services server must be a member of an Active Directory Domain
    Services (AD DS) domain or a domain controller for an AD DS domain.
  • The AD DS domain and forest versions are irrelevant; all domain and forest configurations support Windows Deployment Services.
  • AD DS is not required if the WDS server is configured in Standalone mode.
  • DHCP. You must have a working Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server with an active scope on the network because
    Windows Deployment Services uses PXE, which relies on DHCP for IP addressing.
  • DNS. You must have a working Domain Name System (DNS) server on the network before you can run Windows Deployment Services.
  • NTFS volume. The server running Windows Deployment Services requires an NTFS file system volume for the image store.
  • Credentials. To install the role, you must be a member of the Local Administrators group on the server.
  • To initialize the server, you must be a member of the Domain Admins group.

Tools for managing Windows Deployment Services

1. Windows Deployment Services MMC snap-in – Provides an easy way to manage images, computers, and common server settings. You can perform almost all tasks from the MMC snap-in (for example, you cannot prestage client computers). Note that the snap-in is not available when you install only the Transport Server role service.

2. WDSUTIL command-line tool – enables you to manage the full functionality of the server. WDSUTIL also enables you to script common tasks.

3. Windows PowerShell cmdlets for WDS – enables you to manage and monitor the WDS server using Windows PowerShell scripts.

Installing the WDS role on virtual machines

  1. You can run Windows Deployment Services on Hyper-V virtual machines.
  2. Depending on the capacity of your server running Hyper-V, you can install, configure and use Windows Deployment Services.
  3. You can also create a virtual machine to act as a client machine when building and testing your deployment images. This is especially useful for building your custom images. Note, however, that the performance will often be degraded, particularly during the Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) download phase. This phase is very resource-intensive and may fail if insufficient resources are available on your server running Hyper-V.

Support for the Windows Deployment Services role in a clustered environment

The Windows Deployment Services server service is not cluster-aware. However, you can run multiple WDS servers in a network to provide fault-tolerance and load balancing.


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