Michael Niehaus' Windows and Office deployment ramblings
Finally, we managed to get the updates for Microsoft Deployment and BDD 2007 out the door. I now understand why Microsoft product teams are so reluctant to announce specific release dates:
I will never bug a product group again to ask when their product/service pack/update will release. I know how it feels to be on the receiving end...
We released two separate updates, one for Microsoft Deployment and one for BDD 2007.
Most of you probably realize that Microsoft Deployment is the successor to BDD 2007, so you might ask yourself "why was a new BDD 2007 update released". The answer is pretty simple: so many people are using it (and still downloading it), we wanted to provide them a simpler way of adding support for Windows Vista SP1 deployment, so that they aren't forced to move to Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008 when all they want to do is get their current BDD 2007 installation working with Windows Vista SP1. So the BDD 2007 Update 2 release is focused on that single item. That said, we did include fixes for a few other BDD 2007 bugs, but overall the scope is very limited.
Now for those of you still running BDD 2007, I strongly encourage you to check out Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008. If you haven't started using either yet, skip BDD 2007 and go straight to Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008.
BDD 2007 Update 2 actually ships as a new MSI installer. This installer will automatically upgrade existing BDD 2007 or BDD 2007 Patch 1 installations if present. (This is different from BDD 2007 Patch 1, where you needed to install an MSP patch file.) If you haven't previously installed BDD 2007, you would still use this new MSI for doing the install. One installer for all purposes :-)
Notice that Microsoft Deployment now has a new, slightly-tweaked name: Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008. This hopefully removes some of the ambiguity around the original name, and assigns a date to help make it more clear that Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008 is designed to replace Business Desktop Deployment 2007. (As we added server deployment capabilities, keeping the "Business Desktop Deployment" name didn't work so well any more.) Let me say that one more time:
Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008 replaces Business Desktop Deployment 2007
Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008 replaces Business Desktop Deployment 2007
There is more in Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008 than just Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 support. We've also added new documentation, new server role configuration actions, script enhancements, and many other changes. See the release notes and the official announcements for more details on what has been added. (I'll try to cover more of these new features over the coming weeks.)
Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008 ships as a new MSI installer (just like BDD 2007 Update 2). This installer will automatically upgrade existing Microsoft Deployment installations, and can be used for new installs too. It will not upgrade BDD 2007, since MDT 2008 and BDD 2007 are designed to coexist on the same server. (The "Create distribution share" wizard in MDT 2008 will automatically upgrade the contents of a BDD 2007 distribution share directory, but after doing that you can no longer use that distribution share with BDD 2007. See the MDT 2008 documentation for more on that.)
If you are upgrading an existing installation, you'll need to re-run the "Create distribution share" wizard to update the scripts and tools on the existing distribution share directory. If you are using the ConfigMgr 2007 integration, you'll need to re-run the "Configure ConfigMgr Integration" wizard. Your existing configuration will be preserved. (Just in case you run into any issues after upgrading, I would encourage you to create a backup before doing the upgrade. It never hurts to be too cautious.)
The official announcements for Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008 and BDD 2007 Update 2 went out this morning on the Windows Vista and the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit team blogs:
It's amazing how quickly others pick up on this and post their own announcements. So far we've seen a few different languages:
And there have been plenty of other sites too. Help spread the word :-)
Richard Smith posted a new entry to the Deployment Guys blog today (http://blogs.technet.com/deploymentguys/archive/2008/03/20/sccm-2007-and-microsoft-deployment-toolkit-video-walkthrough.aspx), walking through the full "Configuration Manager 2007 with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit" scenario. Be sure to check that out.
Also check out the video (http://edge.technet.com/Media/664/) that Jeremy Chapman, Joey Snow, and I did that is now up on the Technet Edge web site. We chat about a variety of Windows deployment topics, including Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008. It's really hard for me to watch it - it's bad enough to see videos of myself giving presentations at conferences, which are taken from a good distance. This one is an extreme close-up in comparison. (See my stark office in the background. We had a flood a few months back caused by a water leak on floor above us, so everything was packed up while they cleaned up the mess and I haven't taken the time yet to unpack.)
I get lots of e-mail, and try my best to reply (although we've been really busy recently, so I've fallen hopelessly behind again). But recently there have been a few that really puzzled me: those written in other languages. Now while I can read through some of these and get the gist of the question being asked, I hate to reply based on that. So I use translation software to get a more accurate idea of what is being said.
I recently noticed a new (well, new to me at least) Windows Live website, http://translator.live.com, that does what I need. And it does a decent job of it.
It is entertaining sometimes to see how it decides to translate certain technical terms. For example, I received a message in German that used the word "Languagepacks". That was translated to "LANGUAGE luggage".
Now don't expect me to ever respond back in a foreign language -- I'm not that good, and you would probably rather try to figure out my English than my English run through a machine translator...
Mark Russinovich and a panel of experts talk about deploying Windows Vista in this hour-long webcast. Check it out:
There are plenty of familiar faces on the panel, a few of whom will be at MMS 2008 in Las Vegas.
There was a mention of a web site that you might want to check out too: Jerry Honeycutt's http://www.deploymentforum.com. The forums and postings at this site are all about deploying Windows, using the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and BDD 2007, and other related deployment technologies.
Registration for this year's Microsoft Management Summit is open, with early-bird pricing in effect through March 18th. This year it is back in Las Vegas, at the Venetian hotel, an outstanding location (at least for those of you who like the "fake-ness" of Vegas).
We have three sessions about the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit:
SY04 Advanced OS Deployment with Configuration Manager - Part 3: Extending OS deployment with the Microsoft Deployment toolkit
Thursday, May 1 10:15 AM - 11:30 AM, Bellini 2105
Microsoft Deployment is the next version of Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) 2007. New features in Microsoft Deployment integrate with and extend the native OS deployment functionality of Configuration Manager 2007 while providing thorough project management guidance. Examine how the Microsoft Deployment toolkit uses and extends the OS deployment capabilities presented in part 1 and 2, providing new wizards, task sequence templates, additional server deployment automation and other features.
SY05 Advanced OS Deployment with Configuration Manager - Part 4: Provisioning your Windows Deployment with Microsoft Deployment (BDD)
Thursday, May 1 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM, Bellini 2105
Now that you have a good understanding of the OS deployment features and functionality provided by Configuration Manager and Microsoft Deployment, we'll explore ways to create dynamic, data-driven deployment processes. We will discuss performing rules-based, data-driven deployments; using external data sources; adding your own scripts and customizing those provided with Microsoft Deployment; overriding task sequence properties and other advanced topics.
SN02 What's New in the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2008? Updates for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1
Thursday, May 1 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM, Veronese 2405
Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1 introduce new changes in the underlying service stack and Windows Automated Installation Kit. These changes are addressed in the second release of the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (formerly BDD). This session will introduce MDT 2008 changes, focused on Windows Vista SP1 support and Windows Server deployment. MDT 2008 provides broader support for deploying Windows Servers, including automated role installation using Server Manager in Windows Server 2008. This session will be presented first hand by solution developers and provide an overview of the Solution Accelerator, updates versus previous versions, tool demonstrations and the current roadmap and release schedule for future MDT releases.
So this time around we are trying something new: we have two sessions in the System Center track, following after Michael Kelley's sessions on the OS deployment features in Configuration Manager 2007. First he'll show all the new OS capabilities in ConfigMgr, then we'll talk about how we can extend and enhance those capabilities.
In the third session, we'll just talk about what's changing in the (still upcoming) new version of Microsoft Deployment. If you read the title carefully, you'll see that there's a slight name tweak on the way...
There are also sessions from Johan Arwidmark, Jeremy Chapman, and Steve Campbell, plus quite a few hands-on labs. So if you're looking for an abundance of information around OS deployment (whether Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, or previous versions) I think we'll have you covered :-)
I'm sure you've all seen the Apple ads with their catchy tunes. Here's one you probably haven't seen, a video shown at various Microsoft events but to my knowledge never outside of that. Thanks to whoever posted it on Soapbox, everyone can now see it.
The group performing the song is Magenta Lane, and it's a cover of the song "Girl from Mars" done originally by the group Ash. Personally, I like the cover better than the original. I'm not sure why they never released this song on one of their albums.
p.s. We're still working on the BDD 2007 and Microsoft Deployment updates, due soon. This blog posting is entirely for stress relief :-)
Here's a completely off-topic (on vacation) post, feel free to stop reading now :-)
Over the years, between my current and previous jobs as well as personal vacations, I've visited a variety of places. Eventually you start to lose track of them all. So, I thought I would plot them all with Live Search maps, adding virtual pushpins for each, using simple criteria: I must have spent at least one night at each location. You can see the full collection via:
I'm sure I've left some out and will add them as I think of them.
I'm still looking for good reasons to visit more places, so if you've got a good reason (especially for Asia and Australia) let me know :-)
We'll be coming out with an update for Microsoft Deployment sometime later this month (February) to fully support Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1 deployment with the Windows Automated Installation Kit 1.1, all of which were released to manufacturing this week. To give you an idea of what this deployment process looks like, I recorded a video that walks through the steps of installing Windows Server 2008 using Microsoft Deployment's Lite Touch capabilities. To make things a little more interesting, I decided to use the Server Core installation option. All total, the recording lasts just under 10 minutes, although that includes some editing to remove the boring parts.
Lite Touch Windows Server 2008 Walkthrough
Note that there is no wizard screen at the end of the process to show the results. This is because the Server Core installation option does not include Internet Explorer (among other things). So using HTA applications isn't possible.
The next step in this process would be to customize the task sequence, perhaps adding an additional "Install Roles & Features" step to install additional roles for this computer. For example, this step could be used to install DNS, DHCP, and Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (ADAM) on the server:
Our Microsoft Deployment scripts will take care of installing the roles. We also have additional actions that can be added to configure some of these roles, e.g. to perform the Active Directory DCPROMO process, to create DNS zones and DHCP scopes, etc.
Because the Server Core installation option is a reduced version of Windows, it doesn't support all of the roles and features of the full product, but it does have a decent subset (DHCP, DNS, WINS, Active Directory, IIS, etc.). You can see the full list of supported roles by running "OCLIST.EXE" from within the OS.
It's also worth noting that the server and client virtual machines used for this demo are running on the beta version of Hyper-V, included in the 64-bit version of Windows Server 2008. It supports both x86 and x64 OSes, so I could have just as easily (and as quickly) deployed an x64 version of Windows Server 2008. (The first time I went to create a new 64-bit virtual machine, I couldn't find the option to do so -- that's when I realized that all the virtual machines are x64-based; I had just never installed an x64 OS in one.)
And no, I still don't like recording the audio (or worse, listening to it played back), so if you'd prefer just simple screen captures with no narration please let me know :-)
See http://blogs.technet.com/technetplussubscriptions/archive/2008/02/04/technet-plus-windows-server-2008-rtm-available.aspx for the details.
So why haven't you installed it yet? :-)
It seems like it's been a long time coming, but it's finally happened: Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 have been released to manufacturing. So are you ready for them? Let's talk a little about deploying them, FAQ-style:
See http://windowsvistablog.com/blogs/windowsvista/archive/2008/02/04/announcing-the-rtm-of-windows-vista-sp1.aspx for the official Windows Vista SP1 release announcement, and http://blogs.technet.com/windowsserver/archive/2008/02/04/windows-server-2008-rtm.aspx for the Windows Server 2008 announcement.