Nevermind if its xp, vista, 7, 8 or linux...
No, this DOES matter. If you're deploying linux, you're stuck with the abomination known as clonezilla, which has serious limitations.
If you're deploying Win 7/8 you're in luck because you can use Microsoft's free tools to deploy, no need for a server, MDT lite touch can be hosted from any Windows 7 system. If WDS really is out of the question, then you would just use MDT to build the WinPE boot media for you.
computer name after cloning, SID changing, diferent hardware etc
Computer name can be dealt with using MDT lite touch, you would use a variable to assign names with serial numbers, location, or even formfactor.
If the reference image is built and sysprepped in a VM, its hardware agnostic,
If you organize drivers in MDT in make/model hirearchies you can use the driver group variables to point them at the right folders based on the %Make% %Model% Variables detected by WMI at boot in WinPE.
MDT lite touch will build the images for you, and then you can roll out those images with MDT again.
Use The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit. WDS is optional, as its really only needed for PXE boot and multicasting. If you're looking for a FREE solution, it's hard to beat Microsoft's Deployment Toolkit, which is series of consoles and scripts to manage and automate the Windows Assesment and Deployment Toolkit.
While Alteris is a decent product, many of the features of MDT make it a somewhat outdated product.
Key benefits of MDT lite touch:
- Speed up deployments- MDT is fast, It can image a
system in 10min flat.
- Improve standardization -
Reducing Image count allows you to standardize the environment you
- Automate deployments - Tedious and
monotonous tasks are easily automated with MDT
Costs - MDT is free, and since it saves you time, it saves
- Scalable deployments - Start small, and
take it to the next level with a deployment database down the road.
or WDS integration.
But more than just imaging, MDT does more...
It names workstations, installs software on the fly for you (reducing image count) joins to the domain for you, (and it's free). http://mdtguy.wordpress.com/what-is-mdt/