These are software packages that assist computer lab administrators or support providers who need to deploy standard operating system images to a large number of managed networked computers under their control.
ImageX is a command-line tool used for creating Windows disk images. These images, stored in the Windows Imaging Format, can be deployed on workstations, making this an ideal tool for computing lab adminstrators. ImageX is included as part of the free Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK), available from Microsoft's web site.
ImageX is available free as part of the WAIK package from Microsoft.
Ghost Solution Suite provides rapid and reliable Windows deployment. Ghost is the industry’s most widely-used corporate imaging, deployment and system management solution. Ghost can assist in all phases of Windows deployment and enhances Microsoft’s own best practices by providing a single management console in addition to significantly accelerated imaging and deployment.
Ghost Solution Suite is commercial software available from Symantec. Local Support Providers may contact the Provider Desk to open a support case.
Windows Deployment Services (WDS) is a server-based, network-enabled imaging and deployment suite used for creating, capturing, and deploying Windows disk images. These images captured and deployed over a network and are stored in Windows Imaging Format (.wim) making them compatible with other Microsoft imaging tools such as ImageX. The image-and-endpoint management and network deployment capabilities of WDS make it a great choice for large-area and/or large-volume imaging. As it is a server role for Windows Server 2008, it is also a great choice for orgs already running Windows server installations.
Windows Deployment Services is included with with Windows Server 2008. Volume licenses for Windows Server 2008 are available from the Office of Software Licensing.Additional information
- Microsoft's TechNet article for WDS
DeployStudio is a free server-based GUI tool used for creating, deploying, and administering Mac and Windows disk imaging. The Mac images are in .dmg format; Windows images are embedded in the Mac images for dual-boot setups (allowing for multicasting) or stored as .gz files for Windows-only imaging. Client computers are NetBooted or booted from an external drive, and then images are either created or deployed, either to/from the server over the network or to/from the external boot drive. DeployStudio is the most popular and well-supported Mac imaging tool at present (and is often recommended by Apple itself), and is especially useful for network imaging, though it can be used for on-site imaging as well.
DeployStudio is a free software package available from the vendor.