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Automating server builds

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  • Automating server builds

    Today there is an enormous number of ways you can automate server deployments:
    - Unattended installs
    - RIS
    - ADS
    - Imaging solutions (Ghost, etc...)
    - Third party tools (i.e.: Rapid Deployment Pack from HP)
    And the list goes on and on...

    I am just wondering how others are handling automatic deployments of servers. How do you define buils' baselines ?
    Do you install bare naked OS and add other apps later or you have the basic apps included during the installation process?
    What do you consider as "a must" in every server build ?
    How do you configure your servers ? During the build or have some other post-install procedure ?
    How do you keep your build process up to date ? (patches, application updates, etc...)
    Guy Teverovsky
    "Smith & Wesson - the original point and click interface"

  • #2
    Dear Guy,

    Over here we're using Symantec Ghost to deploy image and software package. It works really well.

    First of all, I'd like to say that Ghost Console is very useful. Its license is much much cheaper
    than SMS. ( If you would like information about how ghost function I will post later on.)

    Sencondly, we deploy servers with the OS and some basic applications.( ofcourse from the image with all of the updates)

    "How do you configure your servers ? During the build or have some other post-install procedure ?"

    I'm not sure what you mean by this. Networking settings (IP address, domain joining?). Network settings we do it manually here.

    To keep up with the builds: we have one server to test all of the updates.If they're good then we'll deploy them through Ghost Console.

    I hope that can give your some information.


    • #3
      i install/configure the servers manually. i have a bad feeling about deploying servers through images. never done but it's just a feeling. only for HP and compaq servers am i using the smartstart CD.
      Technical Consultant

      MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
      "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

      "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
      "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"