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  1. BITS – A New PC Imaging Model Tim Leamy – UC Davis Robert Smith – Stanford University Allan Chen – Stanford University

  2. 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

  3. Imaging Tools • Symantec Ghost • Altiris • Novell • UIU/Sysprep • PC-Rdist • PC-Radmind • Deep Freeze • Active Directory • MSI packages SIGUCCS Fall Conference

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

  5. UC Davis • 30,000 students • 17 computer rooms • 10 separate networks SIGUCCS Fall Conference

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Contact Us • UC Davis BITS Website • http://lm.ucdavis.edu/people/tim/lab/winxp/winxp.html • Tim Leamy • tcleamy@ucdavis.edu • Rob Smith • rsmith11@stanford.edu • Allan Chen • allan.chen@stanford.edu SIGUCCS Fall Conference