Project 2009 Rollout

Follow Nathan as he blogs our 2009 Desktop rollout here. Track our progress as we unpack, assemble and configure 187 new Rollout2009HP 7800 Ultra Slim Desktops and install around the School. To help us, we have a team of Students working with our IT Staff to take the 28 pallets of gear that arrived on two trucks on Monday, and over the next week or so, and unpack the boxes, assemble the HP machines on their desktop stands, and position around the School.

A major part of our new rollout process is using Altiris to image our machines. Previously we’ve used Ghost for all our imaging but have been disappointed with post-sysprep functionality. Altiris, which has recently been acquired by Symantec, provides all the functionality that Ghost *should* have. As we become more familiar with Altiris and the different add-ons that we purchased, like SVS, I’ll post interesting snippets and How-To’s on things we’ve discovered.

So far the only issues we’ve had with the imaging process has been re-imaging older systems around the School. We have two labs of IBM clones with MSI motherboards that have been troublesome. We’ve had issues getting them to network boot, PXE, and also a strange issue with multicasting one of the labs. Altiris’ multicast works by selecting a master machine for the imaging session, and copying the image from the Altiris server to the master machine. Then from the Master the image is sent, multicast, to the the other machines in the session. The issue we had was that after session got to around 10% the Slave machines would freeze, however the Master machine kept on Imaging. The error message on the Altiris console seemed unrelated to the actual problem, something to do with a problem with the subst command!? As always, Rian solved the problem and improvised, adapted and overcome. He set the machines to start imaging 5 minutes apart, effectively running a unicast to each machine in the lab, and after an hour or 3 the lab was successfully imaged.

Will update as we go