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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

BITS – A New PC Imaging Model

Tim Leamy – UC Davis

Robert Smith – Stanford University

Allan Chen – Stanford University

outline
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

imaging tools
Imaging Tools
  • Symantec Ghost
  • Altiris
  • Novell
  • UIU/Sysprep
  • PC-Rdist
  • PC-Radmind
  • Deep Freeze
  • Active Directory
    • MSI packages

SIGUCCS Fall Conference

various obstacles
VariousObstacles
  • Client-server connectivity/reliability
  • Multicast vs. Unicast
  • Dealing with the registry
  • Knowing machines are up to date
  • Machine downtime

SIGUCCS Fall Conference

uc davis
UC Davis
  • 30,000 students
  • 17 computer rooms
  • 10 separate networks

SIGUCCS Fall Conference

uc davis7
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

SIGUCCS Fall Conference

uc davis8
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

SIGUCCS Fall Conference

uc davis9
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 …

SIGUCCS Fall Conference

uc davis10
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

SIGUCCS Fall Conference

uc davis11
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

SIGUCCS Fall Conference

uc davis12
UC Davis
  • Switch to BITS
    • Moved images to web servers
    • Downloaded bitsadmin.exe
    • Created bits.pl script
    • Used cron for true automation

SIGUCCS Fall Conference

uc davis13
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

SIGUCCS Fall Conference

stanford
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

SIGUCCS Fall Conference

major problem
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

SIGUCCS Fall Conference

search for a solution
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

SIGUCCS Fall Conference

batche
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

SIGUCCS Fall Conference

modifications
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!!

SIGUCCS Fall Conference

roadmap to deployment
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

SIGUCCS Fall Conference

bits impressions
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

SIGUCCS Fall Conference

contact us
Contact Us

SIGUCCS Fall Conference

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