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t-zwck

multicast an Image in Windows Deployment Services (Windows Server 2008)

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What is multicasting ?

 

Multicasting is the ability to deploy an image to multiple clients without putting overhead on the network. When you create a multicast transmission, the image is sent over the network only once (when the server has completed the image file broadcast, it starts over from the beginning). Clients can join the broadcast at any time during the transfer, if they miss anything they can simply wait until the file or part of the image is transmitted again.

 

It's explained very nicely here and I quote

 

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What do I need to set it up ?

 

As mentioned already at the beginning of this guide, you'll need the Windows Server 2008 setup and configured for WDS and you'll need at least one install image on it that you want to transmit in the multicast (use WDS to create a Capture image, then capture an image, that image will be used as the Install image for multicasting later...).

 

In addition, you'll need the Boot.wim file from the Windows Server 2008 or Windows Vista with SP1 DVD. If you use the boot.wim file from the Windows Vista DVD (ie: the original release) then you will NOT be able to join a multicast transmission.

You'll also need router hardware capable of supporting multicasting, and you must confirm that Internet Group Membership Protocol (IGMP) snooping is enabled on all devices (If IGMP snooping is turned off, multicast packets are treated as broadcast packets, and will be sent to every device in the subnet.)

 

How can I create a multicast transmission ?

 

In the Windows Deployment Services mmc, right click on Multicast Transmissions in the left pane and choose Create Multicast Transmission

 

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When the wizard appears, give the transmission a friendly name and click on next

 

 

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Next you will get the option to select the image group and image from your predefined image groups (I had three predefined groups, WDS Vista SP1 captures, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1).

 

 

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To get Multicasting to work I had to use the WDS Vista SP1 captures install image (it was a sysprepped image as defined in this howto)

 

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You will now have to choose which type of multicast transmission you want, Auto-cast or Scheduled-cast.

 

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In this example, we will choose Auto-cast.

 

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Once done, you are shown a summary of your actions

 

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Now we will add a boot Image from our Windows 2008 Server DVD or Windows Vista Sp1 DVD.

 

In the WDS mmc, right click on Boot Images and choose Add boot image

 

 

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point the wizard to your boot.wim file in the Sources folder on your Windows Vista Service Pack 1 DVD (or Windows Server 2008 DVD).

 

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the default Image name and Image description are meaningless and we need to change them

 

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change them to suit the image type you chose earlier.

 

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review the summary and click finish to add the image

 

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clicking finish again will now list the new boot.wim image in your WDS boot images pane on the right hand side.

 

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At this point, you need to PXE boot your client computers to the server.

 

You will have two choices to make, the first is the boot image (as defined in boot images in WDS mmc) and the second is Install image (as defined in the install images in WDS mmc)

 

here is an outline of the PXE process:-

 

pressing F12 to pxe boot to the server, once connected you'll see the Windows Boot Manager menu

 

It listed three choices for me

 

Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 Ultimate - Multicast

Microsoft Windows Longhorn Setup (x86)

CAPTURE an image (WDS)

 

 

the choices are defined in the boot images section of WDS mmc.

 

I chose the first option

 

After Windows PE boots up, the Install Image needs to be selected, and as part of that process you'll see that you have to do as follows:-

 

choose local/keyboard layout

login to your domain

select the image (I selected the image called multicast-install-image which I created earlier by capturing a sysprepped Vista sp1 image in WDS)

you'll be asked where do you want to install windows, then

'waiting for server' will appear briefly (waiting for the Multicast transmission)

 

a regular PXE boot to a WDS server for a non multicast transmission would simply pull down the image one computer at a time, thereby adding to the load on the server and the network, with Multicast, the server broadcasts the image once and all clients have to 'join in' on that transmission, if they miss it (or part of it) then they have to wait until the transmission starts again (kind of like a round about)

 

 

finally you can verify the progress in the WDS MMC gui in the Multicast Transmission properties (refresh with F5)

 

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done !

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