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We have several branch office with Windows Server 2003 R2 installed. I have read that if you install WDS (Windows Deployment Services) it will install SIS and allow you to run it on any partition excluding the boot partition.

My Question is:

Is anyone doing this in a production environment and if so has it caused any issues/problems?

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So if I understand your request correctly, you want to take advantage of the Single Instance Storage mechanism of Windows Server 2003 R2 by installing WDS? Where did you read that using WDS would enable SIS? Can you quote the source?

I've not heard of anyone using this in production, or that it's even possible. But if I wanted to find out, I'd set up a virtual machine (or clone a production server) and try it out safely in the confines of the virtual environment. If you get it to work, let me know, it's an interesting proposal! :)

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Thanks for the tips, i was about to dig into testing when I found the answer to my question. – ITGuy24 Oct 19 '09 at 19:16
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I stumbled across my own answer (see below). SIS was only used for RIS and WDS 2003 running in mixed mode. It is not supported moving forward, so it definately isn't something I am even going to test for moving into production.

"Since both legacy and mixed modes allow for deploying RISetup- and RIPrep-based images of Windows, you may want to bear one thing in mind. Historically, RIS used a component called Single Instance Storage (SIS) in order to optimize image storage on disk. SIS, which later shipped as a part of Windows Storage Server 2003, utilized a service called Groveler, which runs in the background on RIS (and WDS) servers, looking for identical files. If the size and hash of any files match, SIS saves a copy to its own SIS Common Store folder and then creates a hardlink to each of the original versions it found.

SIS is designed to minimally impact processor utilization while enabling significant storage savings. It was a great concept that was used first by RIS and then broadly on the Windows Server platform. But SIS is no longer used for WDS going forward.

Since WDS on Windows Server 2003 running in native mode—and always on Windows Server 2008—utilizes WIM images for setup, it has its own compression and—more importantly—its own single instance file storage model, and it doesn't utilize SIS at all. The Image Store replaces the storage model used by RIS with a new WIM-based design for WDS. Additional information about SIS is available at"


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