Complete system deployment solution using disk-imaging technology

By: Acronis  06-Dec-2011
Keywords: Hard Disk

Be Everywhere at Once!

Whether you’re part of a school, private business or government agency, deploying new software or configurations across your network can be complex and tiring. But thanks to a comprehensive and user-friendly solution by Acronis, now you can deploy or reimage all your laptops, desktops and servers quickly and easily, while significantly driving down costs. Acronis Snap Deploy® 4 makes it possible!

Using Acronis' award-winning disk imaging technology, Acronis Snap Deploy 4 creates an exact disk image of a standard configuration you choose, including the Operating System, configuration files and all applications. It then deploys that image to multiple systems simultaneously, making it ideal for rapid bare-metal installations onto servers and PCs.

PXE

Boot new Machines from CD/PXE

New Laptop

New Laptop

New System

Upload Agent to PXE/Burn CD

IT Administrator

Master Image

Acronis Snap Deploy Server

Master Machine

Image Deployed

Adaptation to the Target Hardware using Acronis Universal Deploy

What’s New?

For starters, this latest version boasts a newly enhanced user interface that simplifies installation and configuration. It supports new hardware too. You’ll also benefit from flexible new deployment options, like the ability to configure unique settings per machine.

Key new features include:

  • Improved and simplified user interface and installation to save time and minimize risk of error
  • Unique settings per machine, such as name and IP configuration
  • Convenient "New Machines" list which displays the progress and status of each machine (machines can be added manually via MAC address or imported from a file)
  • Compatibility with Microsoft Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) master image for deployment
  • Choice between creating Linux or WinPE media for deployments
  • Ability to add drivers to WinPE media to ensure compatibility with new hardware
  • New Deployment License option allows one deployment operation to a PC or a server

Full support for Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 7

Top Features

High-Performance Dispatch
From a central administration point, you can deploy a master image – including Operating System and applications – to multiple PCs or servers across your network simultaneously, via multicast or unicast. It’s fast and easy.
Hardware Versatility
If you need to deploy your image to PCs with different hardware architectures, no problem. Acronis Universal Deploy® 4 ensures that your new systems boot up correctly even if they’re running on dissimilar hardware.
Flexible Deployment Options
Machine-Specific Configuration
You can assign individual settings to each PC or server to ensure they all receive an appropriately tailored configuration. The new list of machines allows monitoring of progress and status, as well as pre-configuration of new machines identified by their MAC address.
Post-Deployment Customization
Boot Up on Your Own Terms
To be ready for deployment, you can boot your machines from customizable media such as CD, DVD, flash drive, or from Acronis PXE Server with network boot. Acronis Snap Deploy 4 lets you choose between both Linux and WinPE bootable environments. And it allows you to add necessary drivers to WinPE media to ensure it works on your new hardware

Deployment Options

Acronis Snap Deploy® 4 offers you several deployment modes to suit every need, all managed from a remote centralized-management console.

  • Manual or automatic deployment can be started manually or performed automatically when a specified number of machines are ready.
  • User-initiated deployment lets users trigger image distribution to their own systems by themselves.
  • Standalone deployment lets you easily reconfigure systems that aren’t attached to your network.
  • Scheduled deployment distributes or redistributes the master image at a specific point in time. This is especially usefully when you want to reimage a machine during fixed maintenance hours, like every night or over the weekend.

For each deployment, you can benefit from various options:

  • Deployment templates. Deployment settings are saved, so you can reuse them for other tasks.
  • Multicast and unicast. Choose multicast to reduce network traffic and save time by deploying images to multiple machines simultaneously. Or unicast to reduce the load on your network and minimize compatibility issues with network equipment.
  • Wake-on-LAN (WoL) and WoL Proxy. These standards allow you to automatically power on machines remotely. WoL proxy is included to ensure that WoL works across network segment boundaries.
  • Compression and splitting. You can compress your master image to save disk space, or split it into multiple volumes to fit on CDs or DVDs.
  • Encryption. Components of Acronis Snap Deploy 4 communicate with each other via Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), the industry standard for high-end data security.
  • Password protection. You can protect your master image with a password to prevent unauthorized deployment. You can also set a password for booting into Acronis Snap Deploy 4 bootable environment to make sure users don’t accidentally access it on their own.
  • Disk resizing. Even if the disk on a target machine is larger or smaller compared to the master machine, Acronis Snap Deploy® 4 can resize it to occupy all of the target machine’s disk capacity to ensure efficient usage of the available disk space.
  • Network bandwidth throttling. Limits network utilization by specifying maximum throughput.
  • VHD format support. Both Acronis image file (.tib) and Microsoft Virtual Hard Disk (.vhd) can be used as a master image for deployment. Acronis Snap Deploy 4 even supports images created by Acronis® True Image, Acronis Backup & Recovery® 10 and Acronis Backup & Recovery® 11.
  • Command line and scripting. Acronis Snap Deploy 4 Command-Line Utility is included in a WinPE bootable media and can be used to perform imaging or deployment in the command-line mode or to execute scripts.

Configuration Management

With Acronis Snap Deploy® 4, you can count on effective configuration-management tools to perform post-deployment tasks that simplify deployment and ongoing maintenance of your Windows systems.

  • Perform changes to machine configuration. You can specify individual settings for every machine or use wildcard to generate names automatically.
    • Machine name
    • Domain or workgroup membership
    • TCP/IP properties
    • Add user accounts
    • Change security identifier (SID)
  • Shut down or restart the target machine
  • Transfer new files to the target machine
  • Run applications or scripts on the target machine

Operating Systems

Acronis Snap Deploy® 4 can be installed on:

  • Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008 / 2008 R2
  • Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 / 2003 R2
  • Microsoft® Windows® 7
  • Microsoft Windows Vista
  • Microsoft Windows XP

The following Operating Systems are supported for deployment:

  • Microsoft Windows 7
  • Microsoft Windows Vista
  • Microsoft Windows XP
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional *
  • Microsoft Windows 98/ME/NT *
  • Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server *
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 / 2003 R2
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 / 2008 R2
  • Linux *

Storage

Master images can be stored on one of the following devices:

  • Local folder (HDD)
  • Network share
  • Removable storage devices such as CD/DVD or flash drives

File systems

  • FAT16 / FAT32
  • NTFS
  • Ext2 / Ext3 / Ext4
  • RaiserFS
  • Raiser4

Additionally Acronis Snap Deploy 4 supports deployment of images with any file system in sector-by-sector mode.

* Acronis Snap Deploy 4 can deploy images with these Operating Systems but cannot change their configurations (such as machine name and IP settings) after deployment.

Different Hardware? Same Benefits!

Although standard-configuration images are easy to deploy to identical hardware, things are typically more complex when trying to deploy to different hardware. For example, the systems may fail to boot because the critical Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) and mass-storage device drivers are missing. And while Microsoft® SysPrep technology allows you to import plug-and-play drivers, such as sound, video, and network drivers, it doesn’t let you import the drivers required to boot the machine.

However, thanks to Acronis Universal Deploy®, deploying to different hardware is simple!

It offers you an efficient solution for hardware-independent system deployment by allowing you to install the crucial HAL and mass-storage device drivers into an image. With this feature, you can automatically or manually select the HAL and mass-storage device drivers to fit the target hardware. So the newly deployed systems with different hardware are deployed properly.

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Keywords: Hard Disk

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