5 steps to smarter systems imaging

Has your systems deployment method kept up with your diverse, ever-evolving IT environment? Once upon a time, you had no choice but to use software deployment tools to capture a particular hardware and software configuration at a specific moment in time, which was completely static and not very manageable. But today, traditional methods are more and more cumbersome, even though many organizations still use them.

Most of these imaging solutions are based on automated tools that lay an OS and subsequent applications onto awaiting hardware, eliminating manual, error-prone processes. These toolsets have been around a long time, but they’ve never been ideal — and even less so now.

The primary problem is that unchanging image. An image captured on one piece of hardware can be deployed only to similar hardware. Applications in an image can be updated only via a complicated process of deploying the image, updating the application and recapturing the image. Updates are similarly difficult to make consistent across different users. An image all by itself is useful only for the exact same use case for which it was captured.

A smarter approach to systems imaging is to automatically layer atop the core image a set of unique drivers, updates, applications, configurations and user personality — turning a basic systems image into a viable user experience. This method eliminates manual processes for building and maintaining gold master images for multiplatform OS imaging and deployments, saving oodles of time. These gold images are merely a starting point for systems deployment.

Get the layers right, and systems deployment becomes an infinitely malleable activity. All the building blocks to create any desktop — regardless of hardware or software composition — can be delivered at the moment the system gets deployed.

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