How Can I Deploy Office 2013 using WDS?

Posted on 2013-10-07
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2015-02-15
How can I deploy Office 2013 Standard (32-bit) using Windows Deployment Server? We have a server available with Windows Server 2008 as its OS. We have about 130 Windows 7 machines. Some are 64-bit, some are 32-bit. Most have Office 2007 (a small number have Office 2010) which needs to be removed. Some are workstations, but most are laptops. We want to get this thing going in the next week or so. Thanks in advance for any assistance.
Question by:Bassman20122
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by:Vasil Michev (MVP)
Vasil Michev (MVP) earned 500 total points
ID: 39553604
WDS is a different story, unless you have a capture image in mind.

Here's the deployment guide from MS:


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Cliff Galiher earned 1000 total points
ID: 39553688
WDS is used to deploy an entire Windows operating system. You don't use it to deploy individual software packages. So unless you were planning on reformatting and installing Windows on all 130 machines, both 32 and 64 bit, with all of the various drivers, all starting in the next week, I don't think you want WDS.

Don't get me wrong. WDS is a great tool. And may be worth your time for that many machines down the road if you are a big proponent of desktop standardization. Just not the right tool for THIS job.

Unfortunately Office 2013 doesn't deploy well with GPSI either. You are really looking at deploying through a script and then having the script run via GP (a rather kludgy workaround) or using higher end deployment tools that supports BITS and similar bandwidth friendly technologies.

Tools like SpecOps Deploy, System Center Configuration Manager, or Kace all come to mind. But all come with a price-tag of varying degrees based on their feature sets. For 100+ desktops, I think there is value in System Center 2012 for a variety of reasons, so that'd be my recommendation, but that is only a suggestion after all.


Author Comment

ID: 39555835
Thank you vasilcho and cgaliher. It seems pretty clear that WDS is out of the question. I looked at the price of some of the solutions cgaliher suggested and, wow, they are not cheap! At the risk of going off topic, could either of you recommend a less expensive, perhaps open source, tool that could be used?

Thank you
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by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 1000 total points
ID: 39556075
There really aren't any open source solutions. Distributing software to multiple machines just isn't a home or home-office task, and enterprise management tools cost money. Even in the open-source world, no significant web-hosting company runs Linux without a big (and expensive) support contract like Red Hat Enterprise.

As I said, you can do this for free if you want to get your hands dirty. That means writing a script that installs at startup or logon. But too many machines starting up at once or users logging on at the same time (not uncommon for professional 9to5 businesses like legal firms) and your network gets hammered. The office deployment pages already linked to outline those options.

For 20-50 PCs, I recommend SpecOps Deploy myself. The cost per desktop is relatively small.

For 50-200ish, System Center is not a bad option. The server pricing is high, but the desktop MLs aren't bad and at that size you usually will benefit from the other non-deployment options as well.

Above 200, SC is still a good choice, but if you have specialty needs like LOB, then additional 3rd-party options also become worth considering, like Kace.

The trick is to break out the cost per desktop when looking at the solution price. You are already spending hardware, OS, antivirus (hopefully) and an Office license (since you are deploying it), so your per desktop cost is already pushing $1k+. What is reasonable to manage that. 10%? 15%? When you start doing ROI calculations from that perspective, these solutions aren't as expensive as that initial pricetag may seem.

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by:James Haywood
James Haywood earned 500 total points
ID: 39558557
Look at MDT (Microsoft Deployment Toolkit). This is designed to allow full deployment of OS, Apps, Drivers etc but can be used just for a single application.


This article shows how to do what you want but using Office 2010. There may be some slight differences for 2013 but the basics are included.


MDT is also free!

Author Comment

ID: 39571309
Thanks cgaliher. You provided food for thought. I'll present these options to the client to see what they say. If history is a guide, however, they'll probably want us to investigate the solution suggested by hhaywood000 (thanks BTW). I'll let you know how things end up.

Peace everyone,

Author Comment

ID: 39598394
Just wanted to update people on what's happening so you don't think I've dropped the issue... As is typical, we're waiting for a response from the client. The non-official feedback is that they're leaning towards MDT.

Thanks for your patience.

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