tools to deploy base images to new windows based devices or VM

pma111 used Ask the Experts™
what are some of the more common tools/methods used when you have a large workforce and therefore a large number of end user devices, e.g. laptops/desktops, to help speed the build process of lets say new laptop devices? I assume there must be some sort of standard image that can be installed onto the HDD of new devices rather than manual process each time. can you give some info on desktop/laptop side? and what kind of settings/configurations are typically included in the golden build, specific to the OS/apps? I appreciate this is very vague but just wondered the process.

and is it also common to have a similar 'image' for server OS and apps, that can be quickly issued to a new VM? Again, what are the common tools/methods used and and what kind of settings/configurations are typically included in the golden build, specific to the OS/apps? Is it typically only the OS which is included int he build, or is it common to have a quick to deploy image with common server apps such as SQL, IIS etc?

we are looking at the CIS top 20 cyber security controls which recommends standardising many settings as part of the build process, so getting some background what tools deploy these 'images' (may not be the correct term) to new equipment would be most interesting.
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Distinguished Expert 2018
MDT alone or with SCCM is one of the most common methods out there. In recent years, I recommend "skinny" images and having apps like SQL automated go install during deployment, but not actually embedded in the image.
Mike TLeading Engineer

I second MDT as Cliff has said. It is free and fairly easy to use and can fully automate builds. It is very mature so lots of books, videos and even training out there. For Enterprise use (more than 50 machines I guess) you would look a SCCM which is a huge, complicated product but probably the best product MS has created.
For raw speed you need to do a "thick" image: get the OS and install all apps you want and then capture it.
The downside to this style is updates. If you have Java or Flash in your final image,  you need to rinse and repeat every single time they change. It gets old quickly. Modern places go "thin" so install just the OS and as few apps as possible, then install apps on top after. This relies on a good, fast network though.
Note you need to patch the OS 100% whichever style you go for to avoid inflicting path/reboot/patch pain on users.


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