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BEST SOFTWARE DEPLOYMENT APPLICATION

Posted on 2010-11-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
What is the pros can cons of the following 3 different software deployment tools?

- Windows Deployment Service (WDS)
- Systems Management Service (SMS)
- System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)

How would multicast help and what do we need to use it?

A decision need to be made for a internal network with approximately 1500 to 1800 users on different sites with department specific software tools and applications. I need to put together a briefing package which describes how I would lower the total cost of ownership and better our current process which is mostly done by scripts. Batch files and msi files that have been pushed and usually have a high failure rate or admin's have to log in and install the software manually.
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Question by:Newbie0000
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MNH1966 earned 250 total points
ID: 34092985
WDS is not intended for software deployment.
SMS is end-of-life.
Which leaves SCCM. I'm actually in the middle of deploying SCCM in a greenfield environment.
It's a very flexible sollution that allows you to deploy software to users and/or computers based on a large number of possible criteria.
I think in your situation, you should take it one step further. The software you deploy should be packaged in a proper way so that you have the advantages of MSI's. You can deploy software using SCCM in any way you can imagine, but only MSI packages can benefit from things like autorepair.
You may also want to look at application virtualization (e.g. App-V) to lower you tco even more.. The combination with SCCM is excellent!
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by:Newbie0000
ID: 34094054
Thanks for the info.  Here is what I have right now, I have to come up with a better plan by tomorrow!:

- WDS as a RIS server for OS and drivers, will it support Win 7?
- WSUS for all windows updates (it only does updates)?
- S/W deployment is done through GPO using msi files
- Anything not a msi file gets scripted in the logon script
- Deployment is done by site, I think it should be done by group as we have specific s/w requirements for groups not sites
- We do have some VM to test deployment and are building VM servers
- There is currently no back out plan it something kills the network after a deployment.

The tools I have available to me are what I mentioned, WDS, WSUS and SCCM. I need to install the OS, drivers and software then keep the software deployment going and updates as well. I guess just one will not do it all, what would you suggest I do, I still need to RIS the pc's. What do you think a better solution would be with the 3 I have?

 I am looking up each one now to get more info but I need to present my info tomorrow.

Thanks again for the help.
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by:Newbie0000
ID: 34094108
Oh, what about multicasting?
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by:MNH1966
ID: 34095838
I'm pretty sure multicasting is only used for OS deployment. Haven't used it myself yet.
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by:mismoboy
mismoboy earned 250 total points
ID: 34108978
OK, m answers in *** below and SCCM all the way baby.  I got SCCM in my environment for 40,000 nodes.  If it is working great for us, your 1800 users is a cake walk.

- WDS as a RIS server for OS and drivers, will it support Win 7?
*** Why use WDS?  SCCM have MDT and Task Sequence built-in for OS deployments.  WDS is best for Server OS deployments.
- WSUS for all windows updates (it only does updates)?
*** Yes, but using WSUS with SCCM is a plus, SCCM will act like your in-house WSUS server getting all the updates directly for Microsoft without you having to do anything
- S/W deployment is done through GPO using msi files
*** GPO no longer, keep GPO for policies management, with SCCM you will deploy all MSI's and you can also use task sequence, also you can deploy EXE's too.
- Anything not a msi file gets scripted in the logon script
*** Why? SCCM can deploy VBS and EXE at will.
- Deployment is done by site, I think it should be done by group as we have specific s/w requirements for groups not sites
*** SCCM deploy by AD group-based and you can set that based on the SCCM Collection - all built-in and easy intergration with AD
- We do have some VM to test deployment and are building VM servers
*** VM will get added to SCCM like another other device, SCCM will not care, it will treat it like another system, VM will get updates and software like any other machine
- There is currently no back out plan it something kills the network after a deployment.
*** SCCM uses BITS, if the network dies during deployment, once the network is back, it will pick up where it left off.  You simple set the Download and Execute option in your Advertisement.

OTHER REASONS WHY SCCM KICKS ASS: (by real life experience too)
1.  As the previous person said, it can deploy App-V or vitual apps and have App-V intergration
2.  SCCM can do hardware and software inventory and produce web reports
3.  SQL reporting services can tie in with SCCM
4.  In low bandwidth sites, SCCM can have branch distribution points where a client machine acts as a host for other machine to get updates or software
5.  You can setup a PKI infrastructure and run SCCM in native-mode, you can have internet-based clients, that means with a connection to port 80, clients can get software and updates without VPN or connected to the domain
6.  Mobile devices management (this feature to include iPad soon)

There are other features but these six stands out the most.  Good Luck.

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by:mismoboy
ID: 34108984
Multicasting is for OS Deployment only --- Another reason why SCCM kicks ass is because of the OS Deployment with Task Sequence.  We are deploying an 8GB image of Windows 7 over the wire and it works great.
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