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BITS – A New PC Imaging Model PowerPoint PPT Presentation

BITS – A New PC Imaging Model Tim Leamy – UC Davis Robert Smith – Stanford University Allan Chen – Stanford University Outline Overview of imaging tools Common Obstacles UC Davis Tackling the problem Identifying a solution Implementation Stanford Modifications Roadmap to deployment

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BITS – A New PC Imaging Model

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BITS – A New PC Imaging Model

Tim Leamy – UC Davis

Robert Smith – Stanford University

Allan Chen – Stanford University


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Outline

  • Overview of imaging tools

  • Common Obstacles

  • UC Davis

    • Tackling the problem

    • Identifying a solution

    • Implementation

  • Stanford

    • Modifications

    • Roadmap to deployment

    • Current Status

  • Contact info

  • Q&A

SIGUCCS Fall Conference


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Imaging Tools

  • Symantec Ghost

  • Altiris

  • Novell

  • UIU/Sysprep

  • PC-Rdist

  • PC-Radmind

  • Deep Freeze

  • Active Directory

    • MSI packages

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VariousObstacles

  • Client-server connectivity/reliability

  • Multicast vs. Unicast

  • Dealing with the registry

  • Knowing machines are up to date

  • Machine downtime

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UC Davis

  • 30,000 students

  • 17 computer rooms

  • 10 separate networks

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UC Davis

  • Win 9X – used PC-Rdist

  • Win XP – switched to Ghost

    • Attempted to use one Ghost console for labs on multiple subnets

    • Attempted to multicast across routers

  • Encountered difficulties with Ghost tools working across different networks

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UC Davis

  • Eureka moment – Ghost uses “virtual partitions” – why not use real ones?

  • Created two partitions on hard drive

    • FreeDOS partition

      • 4GB initially with FreeDOS, Ghost, and image files

    • WinXP partition

      • Rest of disk

  • Used PC-Rdist to copy ghost image files to FreeDOS partition

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UC Davis

  • Worked ok

    • Very fast to ghost from one partition to the other

    • Simple – put new image on server and it was copied to all clients

    • Could manage images for all labs from my office

    • But …

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UC Davis

  • Problems

    • PC-Rdist took a while to copy down image files

    • Could make a PC unusable for 15 minutes in middle of day

    • Copying image to entire lab was very slow

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UC Davis

  • Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS)

    • Used for Windows Automatic Updates

      • Already Built into XP

      • Robust

    • Uses “spare” bandwidth to download files in background

      • No disruption to student use

    • Uses standard web protocols

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UC Davis

  • Switch to BITS

    • Moved images to web servers

    • Downloaded bitsadmin.exe

    • Created bits.pl script

    • Used cron for true automation

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UC Davis

  • Worked Great!

    • Images transferred in background

    • Very reliable – copy image up and all PCs restored the next morning

    • Fast – PC have only ~10 minutes downtime for imaging

    • Easy to manage images

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Stanford

  • 10,000 residents

  • 2 large clusters

  • 77 residential clusters

  • Separate “administrative” and residential networks

    • Varying degrees of control

    • Varying state of upgrades, functionality, multicast, etc

  • Symantec Ghost

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Major Problem

  • Symantec Ghost issues led to:

    • Unreliable deployment

    • Inconsistent state of images from location to location

    • Relied on local Resident Computer Consultants for imaging

      • Did not always re-image when needed, but we still heard the complaints when things did not work

    • General embarrassment

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Search fora Solution

  • Other similar products (e.g. Altiris)

    • Cost

    • Not sure it would fix problem

  • Develop our own

    • PC-Radmind

      • Registry complexity

  • February 2006

    • Lots of research, but still at crossroads

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BATCHe

  • “Inspired” by SIGUCCS

  • Bay Area regional interest group dealing with educational technology, support, etc

  • Tim Leamy’s presentation on BITS

    • Ease of deployment

    • No “funny” protocols

    • We were sold

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Modifications

  • FreeDOS

    • Obtain IP through DHCP for initial rollout

  • Bits.pl

    • Time when “restore” file is created

  • Partition table

    • 3 partitions instead of 2

  • That’s it!!

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Roadmap toDeployment

  • April/May – connectivity, speed, load testing on multiple networks

  • May/June – initial implementation of modified bits.pl

  • August – successful full build, married!!

  • September – images deployed with FreeDOS, but without cron.tab

  • October – full implementation in clusters

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BITSImpressions

  • Easy to setup

    • Current bits.pl is setup to work in any environment

  • Easy to maintain

    • Simple web server is all that is needed

  • Confidence that all computers will get current images

    • Once set up, has consistently worked

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Contact Us

  • UC Davis BITS Website

    • http://lm.ucdavis.edu/people/tim/lab/winxp/winxp.html

  • Tim Leamy

    • [email protected]

  • Rob Smith

    • [email protected]

  • Allan Chen

    • [email protected]

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