One of the most underated changes in SCCM 2012 OS Deployment

In my opinion of course!
One of the most glaring oversights in OS Deployment in SCCM 2007 was the fact that doing a “Push” deployment of an Operating System where you wanted to downloads all code prior to executing the Task Sequence, resulted in the code not starting to download until the start of the Task Sequence advertisement.

You create an OS deployment for machine X and you want that machine to rebuild overnight. At let’s say at 2:00PM you create this deployment with an availability time of “immediate” but a forced execution time of for 10:00PM. Well unfortunately, the code doesn’t START downloading until 10:00PM when the mandatory advert kicks off.

If you are super connected with high bandwidth to all your clients (we all have that luxury don’t we??), this is a very moot point. However, my guess is that if you had that sort of bandwidth, you likely set it to “download as needed during the Task Sequence”. In my environment I unfortunately have many low bandwidth site that I would like to “prestage” the 8+ GB of data required to rebuild a machine by having it download throughout the day and be available and ready to go once 10:00 PM rolls around.
This boggled my mind why all standard package distributions will download immediately and lie in wait for the mandatory execution time, but the code for OSD waits until time of execution to start downloading. This (again in my opinion) seems like it would be the MOST likely candidate for download ahead of time given the massive amount of data that goes along with a typical OS Deployment process.

Never being satisfied, I tried a few scenarios basically trying to prestage the code and have OSD see it was already there and just start using but alas my efforts were thwarted. The end result for me was Push based deployment were all but abandoned as the sites I really needed it at were low bandwidth thus the code would take all night and most of the time into the morning to complete. As you may have guessed this was frustrating to the office user who strolls in, grabs some coffee and sits down to begin their day. Just about the time they get all their apps up and running, the message would finally pop letting them know their machine was about to be rebuilt. :-S

Fast forward to SCCM 2012. Task Sequence deployment now DOWNLOADS AT AVAILABILITY TIME!! Let me repeat that… Task Sequence deployment now DOWNLOADS AT AVAILABILITY TIME!! Yes, this means you can schedule the deployment well ahead of time and the code can be ready and waiting in the SCCM Client cache for the mandatory execution time.

Maybe I am the only person who continued to hound the folks at Microsoft about the lack of this functionality in CM 2007 (highly doubt it) as I have yet to hear anyone talk about this change in functionality. This is HUGE NEWS!!  I even asked specifically about this at MMS 2012 and no one pointed out that this is now native functionality?!

If you have run up against this limitation in SCCM 2007, sleep well knowing that 2012 has finally brought BACK the OS Push deployments! Now you just need to get your lab up and running and start testing away!


One thought on “One of the most underated changes in SCCM 2012 OS Deployment

  1. Good point. I agree excellent improvement.

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