OT: Thoughts on automated RE-deployment?

Ray Van Dolson rvandolson at esri.com
Fri Oct 5 14:47:21 CDT 2007

Hello all, we're working with PE 1955s (blades) and have run into a
situation where the users of these blades often need to re-image them;
either with a flavor of Linux or a flavor of Windows.

Up until now we've been using Symantec's Ghost Console for this and the
requests have been for purely Windows so the user could simply connect
to the Ghost Server and instruct the already running machine to
re-image itself with whichever image they needed.  Very handy.

Throwing Linux into the mix however complicates things as there is no
Symantec Ghost Console client.

Another admin here has cobbled together some scripts that the user can
run by hand on their machine to modify either grub.conf or boot.ini,
reboot to Ghost and re-image the machine.  This works but is a bit
kludgy and requires a lot of setup time.

We'll be putting in place more of these types of setups so we want to
find an "elegant" solution if possible.

I know Dell has deployment tools but I am curious if anyone has any
experience tackling an automated _redeployment_ (driven by an end user)
scenario.  We're not afraid of doign some coding/configuring and our
users are savvy enough to not necessarily need a glitzy GUI.

I thought perhaps SystemImager might do the trick, but it doesn't
appear to play nice with Windows.

Any pointers?  If not, we'll probably look to streamline our home-grown
script-based solution.  I've also prodded Symantec about adding a Linux
client, and while they have expressed interest in doing so, I imagine
it won't be anytime soon.


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