Swimage Deployment Design

A core component in properly managing PCs is the deployment process.  The deployment process is the method and tools used to manage the PC, including operating systems installation, hardware driver updates, patch management, security management, application installation, and customization.  The means in which the deployment is accomplished is through a set of processes that are repeatable and consistent throughout the environment.  Control of the process should be managed centrally so that consistency can be maintained, as well as proper accounting and reporting of the health of the network achieved.  The overall success of the PC deployment is based on emphasizing the right factors to properly blend people, process, and technology together.

The following “Image Modules” diagram illustrates the modules that make up the final desktop build.  This diagram illustrates the components of the desktop as a layered build, similar to blocks in a building, with the operating system as the foundation and additional components layered on top of it to finally make up the entire desktop build, just after Group Policy gets applied.

Notice that the binary image is only a small component of the entire desktop build. It’s with this modular desktop build that a single image can be maintained in even the most heterogeneous environments. Additional efficiencies are accomplished in this manner because variables in testing and integration can be carefully controlled so that as issues are discovered, they can quickly be identified, resolved, and eliminated without affecting any of the other processes.

The objective is to automate the layering of all components in the desktop build process. Doing so creates an environment where not only are systems created using standard components for consistency, but the process is accelerated greatly. A process that has all components automated will result in zero-touch deployments. In order to accomplish this, however, attention must be given to the various components in the desktop build.

The application layers in the build are the components that typically are the most challenging. For this reason, a separate project focusing just on application management is under way as part of this desktop optimization initiative so that progress in achieving the ultimate zero-touch deployment can begin.

The following outlines the desired solution.

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