Windows Server 2008 R2 Introduction of Windows Deployment Services

Windows Server 2008 introduced a new tool called Windows Deployment Services (WDS), which was effectively an updated version of the Remote Installation Services (RIS) that has been available for the past several years. Unlike RIS, which was focused on primarily scripted installations and client images, WDS in Windows Server 2008 R2 can distribute images of Windows 7 clients or Windows Server 2008 R2 servers in a significantly more flexible and modifiable deployment process.

Like with RIS, Windows Deployment Services allows a client system to initiate a Preboot Execution Environment (PXE), effectively “booting” to the WDS server to see a list of images that can be deployed on the system. Alternately, an organization can create a Windows PE boot disc and have an image initiated from a CD or DVD.

With Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7, the image can be created in Windows Imaging (WIM) format, which allows for the injection of patches, updates, or even new code to a WIM file without even booting the image file. This provides the organization with more than just static images that get pushed out like in RIS, but rather a tool that provides ongoing and manageable updates to image files.

WDS also supports the imaging of Windows 2003 servers and Windows XP client systems in the same manner that RIS did in terms of pushing out images or using an unattend script file to send images to systems.

Source of Information : Sams - Windows Server 2008 R2 Unleashed

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