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Windows Deployment Services is a technology from Microsoft for network-based installation of Windows operating systems. It is the successor to Remote Installation Services.[1] WDS is intended to be used for remotely deploying Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, but also supports other operating systems because unlike its predecessor RIS, which was a method of automating the installation process, WDS uses disk imaging, in particular the Windows Imaging Format (WIM). WDS is included as a Server Role in all 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2008, and is included as an optionally installable component with Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2.

Overview

The Windows Deployment Service is the combined updated and redesigned versions of Remote Installation Service (RIS) and Automated Deployment Services (ADS). The deployment of Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP can be fully automated and customized through the use of unattended installation scripting files. Tasks that can be made automatic include naming the machine, having the machine join a domain, adding or removing programs and features, and installing server roles (in the case of Windows Server 2008). Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 are installed from a set of source files on the server, often copied from the product's installation media.

WDS expands upon simple scripted installation by giving the technician the ability to capture, store, and deploy image-based installation packages. A major new feature available in the Windows Server 2008 versions of WDS is that it supports IP Multicast deployments. Multicasting allows new clients to join an existing multicast deployment that has already started; the WDS server will wrap the multicast so that any client who joined the deployment after it started can receive data it is missing. WDS's multicast uses the standard internet protocol IGMP. WDS also supports x64-based computers with Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI).

WDS contains the ability to deploy other operating systems such as Windows PE, Windows XP, and Windows 2000, but the installation of these operating systems cannot be performed with source files or controlled with unattended scripts. The unsupported operating system to be deployed must first be installed and configured on a workstation; an image of the finished operating system configuration is then captured with the Windows Automated Installation Kit, and this captured image can be deployed through WDS. There are also intelligent, WDS-type yet wizard-based solutions emerging using WIM such as the SmartDeploy product

References

See also

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