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Trouble imaging servers for deployment

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  • Trouble imaging servers for deployment

    Hi,

    I'm having difficulty working out a good way of deploying some server images.

    Currently we're running a development system with several different Win 2008 servers (DC, SQL, IIS, etc). They are all heavily configured, with a number of 3rd party applications installed. We need to deploy these servers into a larger, resilient network which will have several instances of each server running in the same domain to provide redundancy. The hardware will be identical in every way.

    The main issue is SID and machine name duplication. I'm looking for a way to image and deploy these servers without them conflicting with each other. Sysprep seems to be the intended tool, but it breaks the config on most of our servers in one way or another. I don't trust newsid, as I've had it break a 2008 server very badly in the past.

    I've had a brief look at Acronis TrueImage, Symantec Ghostsuite etc, but none of them really seem to be what I'm looking for, and seem to mostly be aimed at client deployment rather than servers.

    Anyone have any advice or experiences that could help?

    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Trouble imaging servers for deployment

    We always deploy servers with the minumum required software and only add additional software after a new server has been deployed to avoid any conflicts or things going missing or not working.

    It can take an hour or two to create a mimimal server, so saving that time and you can spend the rest getting applications working and configured.

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    • #3
      Re: Trouble imaging servers for deployment

      Hi,

      Thanks for the input. I'm hearing similar answers from various places sadly. We're in a difficult position where building from a base image takes too long (and is difficult to verify), but there are not enough servers to justify spending the time to create an automated build script.

      No miracle solutions out there? A reliable way to change SID/machine name without trashing half the config?

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      • #4
        Re: Trouble imaging servers for deployment

        Especially for the DC role, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/l...45(WS.10).aspx
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        • #5
          Re: Trouble imaging servers for deployment

          Actually, the DC role is reasonably easy to rebuild from base image, as the configuration is automatically transferred when the new servers are promoted to DCs in the same domain as the master DC. Once deployed, each server can be imaged individually for backup without having to worry about SID issues.

          In absence of a nice and easy solution to what we want, I think we'll have to go down the route of building the extra servers from base image, and transferring the config manually. A couple of the builds will probably survive sysprep, but it will all be a bit messy I think. Certainly not a model deployment! Well, there's always next time...

          I have to wonder whether there's a gap in the market for a product to fill this role, or whether the new Windows architecture makes it impossible to accomplish a safe SID change without doing a full sysprep. We'd certainly be willing to pay for a supported version of newSID that was guaranteed compatible on 2008/Vista.

          Thanks for the replies.

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