OT: Thoughts on automated RE-deployment?

J. Epperson Dell at epperson.homelinux.net
Fri Oct 5 19:58:41 CDT 2007

On Fri, October 5, 2007 15:47, Ray Van Dolson wrote:
> 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.

Have a look at g4l and its "front" script capability.  Could be adapted to
your situation, but may not be better than your own scripting.  The
maintainer is a community college instructor, very active in maintaining
the project and responding to questions and help requests.

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