Easy Installment Plan

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2003-02-03 Print this article Print

Easy Installment Plan

Although it takes a long time to prepare operating system deployments, installing the LANDesk 6.62 software takes almost no time at all. We installed the package on a MicronPC LLC Millennia with a 2.5GHz Pentium 4 processor and half a gigabyte of RAM running Windows 2000 Server with Service Pack 3, a requirement of the software. Plan on going to Microsofts Windows Update site and installing .Net Framework along with the latest service pack (in our case, SP2).

We had to take a journey in the Way-back Machine during the OSD installation because the product needs files from Windows NT Server 4.0 and Windows 98 to facilitate some disk imaging procedures.

We created an image of a Windows 98 and Windows 2000 Professional system, along with Red Hat Inc.s Red Hat Linux 8.0. Although it took a certain amount of trickery to get all these images to work, we were successful with a bit of help from LANDesk support staff and by—dare we say it—reading the documentation.

LANDesk will need to improve its imaging tool to match those in Symantec Corp.s Ghost Corporate Edition 7.5, the gold standard in disk imaging, and PowerQuest Corp.s PowerDeploy Suite, which benefits from PartitionMagic, PowerQuests benchmark IT tool. We had to use Microsofts Sysprep tool to get our images shipshape and had to do a significant amount of manual file tweaking, although it paid off when our images installed flawlessly after just a couple of trial runs.

Its important to note that, with one exception, we used machines that were nearly identical; and all our machines were in PXE, or Pre-boot Execution Environment, mode, so we could schedule deployment tasks and take a hands-off approach to image deployment.

IT managers who need to deploy images with multiple partitions must create the images first using Symantecs or PowerQuests product or a similar one. This is necessary because, as our tests showed, when an operating system image is put on a machine, LANDesk sizes it to take all available space, wiping out any other partitions that might have been on the machine.

Senior Analyst Cameron Sturdevant can be contacted at cameron_sturdevant@ziffdavis.com.

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant has been with the Labs since 1997, and before that paid his IT management dues at a software publishing firm working with several Fortune 100 companies. Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility, with a focus on Android in the enterprise. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his reviews and analysis are grounded in real-world concern. Cameron is a regular speaker at Ziff-Davis Enterprise online and face-to-face events. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at csturdevant@eweek.com.

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