Newest Book: Mastering Windows 7 Deployment

No sooner than Mastering Hyper-V Deployment is done, I’m working on Mastering Windows 7 Deployment.  I’m contributing 6 chapters to this one and I’m half way through writing the draft editions.  This book is providing all the steps and all the methods to do a Windows 7 deployment project using the MS product set.  I don’t know what the schedule is at the moment.  I’d suspect early next year will be the RTM.

 

P2V Migration for Software Assurance

This just appeared in my inbox, regarding a new beta available on Connect:

“P2V Migration for Software Assurance uses the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Sysinternals Disk2VHD to convert a user’s existing Windows XP or newer client environment to a virtual hard disk then automates the delivery of an updated and personalized Windows 7 operating system containing a virtual machine with the user’s previous Windows environment, applications and Web browser. The user’s previous virtual desktop retains its existing management components, domain membership and policies. The process also publishes applications and the browser for the user to access them seamlessly within Windows 7’s start menu.

Help Reduce Windows 7 Deployment Times: The ability to perform P2V conversion of Windows XP or newer 32-bit systems as part of Windows 7 and/or 64-bit deployment means that IT organizations do not need to wait as long to get value from Windows 7. IT organizations will deliver the new Windows 7 operating system builds while preserving the old environments of a limited set of users that would otherwise delay production deployment.
Extend the Timeframe to Mitigate Application Compatibility: Using this solution, targeted users can have access to their previous set of applications, just in case something was not provisioned as part of the Windows 7 deployment. Accessing previous applications is also easy for end users, as those applications are published to the Windows 7 start menu.

Users can Access Incompatible Legacy OS Applications: Using this solution, targeted users can have access to their previous set of applications, just in case something was not provisioned as part of the Windows 7 deployment. Accessing previous applications is also easy for end users, as those applications are published to the Windows 7 start menu”.

Sysprep & Hyper-V

You can automate the deployment of Hyper-V host servers using Sysprep.  W2008 would disable the autostart of the hypervisor in any machine deployed from a sysprepped template.  Ben Armstrong has confirmed that this is different with Windows Server 2008 R2; the hypervisor will automatically start.

You could use soemthing like WDS to deploy a new host.  I’d prefer MDT or ConfigMgr OSD because they use task sequences.  That will allow you to automate a bunch of operations using command line, batch scripts, or PowerShell scripts.

I did actually use WDS to build my original W2008 cluster back in 2008.  I didn’t have ConfigMgr and I wasn’t comfortable yet with MDT.  I prepped the initial build, figured out the kinks, and modified the images.  I repeated for the pilot.  The production deployment was completed in 1 hour (bare metal to functioning Hyper-V cluster) from a meeting room in a hotel room via VPN and HP ILO.

Heck, if you use one of the tasq sequence deployment solutions for normal server deployment then you only need to create a new task sequence to run against an existing Windows image (most probably Datacenter edition) and use the Server Manager powershell modules to enable the Failover Clustering feature and the Hyper-V role, reboot, install DPM/OpsMgr agents, etc.

So, if you deploy Hyper-V hosts freqeuently or you are planning a huge farm deployment, take a look at Sysprep, WDS, MDT and ConfigMgr OSD to automate the process.  A little work up front can save you a lot of time later on and give you a consistent result.

Notes for sysprepping a configured Hyper-V host:

  • External networks in the image will be converted into internal networks.
  • Passthrough disks will need to be reconfigured in the Hyper-V Manager.
  • The Dynamic MAC address pool on the host will be recreated so that it is unique.

Passed 70-635 Exam

I sat and passed the 70-635 (MDT 2008) exam today.  I know it’s old; but it’s required for a some MS partner stuff and a more modern replacement hasn’t been announced as a requirements replacement.  The exam was particularly easy considering that I had done work with Vista, WAIK (Vista and Windows 7), WinPE, MDT 2010, WDS (2003 SP2, 2008, 2008 R2), and ConfigMgr 2007.  It also goes into some Office 2007 deployment stuff which is easy enough and some SMS 2003 stuff.  The answers to the SMS questions centred around SP3 and the OSD feature pack with everything else being similar to ConfigMgr.

What I did not like was how some of the questions are written as trick questions rather than as tests of knowledge or experience.  That’s quite unfair.  I didn’t bother commenting on the questions; I have my doubts about the comments being used and I had places to be and things to do.

Next up (once the Prometric site lets me book an exam from my voucher) is 70-401: System Center Configuration Manager, Configuring.

Webcast Recording: Deploying Windows 7 & Windows Server 2008 R2

This morning I spoke at my first Microsoft Springboard STEP event.  The subject was “Deploying Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2” and featured WAIK/WSIM, Windows Deployment Services (WDS) and Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010.  We had a nice turn out and apart from my XP VM acting a bit funny at the end, all went well.  It was very much a demo, demo, demo session.

I recorded the webcast.  You can see the entire thing, unedited, right here.  It will be available for 365 days from now.  And here is the slide deck:

Thanks again to the folks at Microsoft Ireland for organising the venue and for helping to spread the word and thanks too to all who came along or tuned in live.

Webcast Recording: Deploying Windows 7 & Windows Server 2008 R2

This morning I spoke at my first Microsoft Springboard STEP event.  The subject was “Deploying Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2” and featured WAIK/WSIM, Windows Deployment Services (WDS) and Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010.  We had a nice turn out and apart from my XP VM acting a bit funny at the end, all went well.  It was very much a demo, demo, demo session.

I recorded the webcast.  You can see the entire thing, unedited, right here.  It will be available for 365 days from now.

Thanks again to the folks at Microsoft Ireland for organising the venue and for helping to spread the word and thanks too to all who came along or tuned in live.

My Demo Environment For Next Friday

Here’s the demonstration setup I’ll be using for the deployment session I’m presenting on Friday.  I’ll be talking about Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 deployment.  The technologies covered are WAIK, WDS and MDT 2010.

The demo machine is a Dell Latitude 6500.  It normally boots Windows 7 but I have attached an eSATA 7.2K 250GB hard drive.  That gives me decent speed on external storage; it’s also storage you can install Windows on to.  I boot the laptop up from that drive.  On there is Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V enabled.

On the parent partition is VMM 2008 R2 which I use to deploy new machines from templates stored in the library.  I’ve also installed Office 2007 so I can run PowerPoint and Office LiveMeeting 2007 so I can run the webcast.  I run LiveMeeting with the entire desktop shared and use a Polycom room microphone to pick up sound.  If I’m at a podium then I like to get up and walk a little bit.  I’ll also be using my laser pointer/clicker; it’s a decent sized thing – I don’t like little fiddly clickers.

There’s 5 demo VM’s configured.  I have a domain controller running W2008 R2 with AD, DNS and DHCP enabled and configured.  There is a deployment server running W2008 R2 with WDS enabled configured.  I’ve also installed WAIK and MDT 2010, both partially configured.  Some of the demos take too long for the session so I have some stuff pre-done.  There’s an XP SP3 VM, a blank VM and a Windows 7 VM.  The blank VM will be used to show the 3 types of deployment that I’ll be demonstrating, maybe even 4 given the time.  The Windows 7 VM is there in case I have time to demonstrate capturing an image.

All VM’s have a snapshot of their demo ready state.  I’ve defragged the disk to make the most of its speed.  When I run the session I’ll be sharing the entire desktop and expanding each VM to full screen (it appears like an RDP session).  This is because I’ll be plugged into a projector with a 1024*768 resolution and I need to be aware that viewers of the webcast will not be able to deal with huge resolutions.  I’m not RDP’ing into VM’s because a lot of the time I’m working with machines when there is no RDP available, e.g. BIOS, setup, etc.

And here’s a little something for Technorati: ZYRDJGJYCDG8

Irish Windows 7 and W2008 R2 Community Launch Videos

Microsoft Ireland has posted the video of the Dublin community launch of Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010.  I was lucky enough to be a part of the presentations, talking about the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit for Windows 7, the Application Compatibility Toolkit and Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010.  This was a demo intensive session and well worth checking out if you couldn’t make it on the day.  I’m in the “Windows 7 & Windows Server 2008 R2 Story Part I” video.