Guest post by Aaron Parker. Whether you’re delivering Windows to physical or virtual desktops a consistent deployment and configuration of a Windows image and applications is a key part of delivering a great user experience. That means automating the deployment of Windows.
Microsoft provides free tools (as well as paid) for automation, including the Microsoft Assessment and Deployment Kit, the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and PowerShell. Automation has become more popular as Windows and these tools have matured, along with plenty of great information and resources provided by the community.
Having spent a lot of time talking to organisations of all sizes, a common thread has been the thinking that VDI solves all Windows desktop management problems. While it is true that certain features of desktop virtualization can simplify management and deliver of desktops and applications, VDI alone is not the entirety of desktop management.
I’m big on automation, especially when it comes to gold images. If you’re building images via a manual process, I contend that you cannot deliver the quality and consistency that is provided through an automated process. PVS, MCS/linked clones etc. are not a replacement for automation either. An open and repeatable build process improves the user experience and reduces the cost of support, because Windows is no longer a black box. Instead the entire process from start to finish, can be viewed, interrogated and understood by everyone.
A couple of years ago I ran a poll to gather feedback on what people are doing in regards to automation of their gold images in their VDI environments. This produced some interesting information; however, the number of respondents was relatively small. So we think it’s come time to run the poll again.
This time with the reach and influence of xenappblog.com, we want to hear from you and how you manage gold images in your VDI environments. What platform are you using and how do you manage gold images on that platform? We have a short survey that should only take 2 minutes to complete.
We’ll leave the survey open for the next 30 days and then present the results back to the community.