K2000 vs. WDS, which would you use between the two?
I recently finished studying for the 70-680 exam, and thought it would be interesting to set up a WDS server. Our ESXI cluster has plenty of resources and we have the licenses so I didn't see any reason why not to. There were a few moments where I stumbled into success, but for the most part it wasn't that bad to set up WDS, MDT 2012, and the Windows AIK to work on Server 2008 R2 Standard. I've since deployed 12 production machines using this method. Start to finish it takes about 20 minutes to complete. I know that everyone says that the K2000 is a very powerful appliance that makes deployment a breeze, but how does it differ from pushing a custum sysprepped wim from WDS?
You cannot image a Mac with WDS.
I feel the big advantage for us is I can use student workers with very little training to deploy images from the k2000 vs wds. The scripting makes the tasks easier. I have 78 images and 80 percent of them share common tasks that I can change very quickly via Kace if needed. The other advantage here is Desktop support has control over the k2000 enviroment not the server team were if it were on a WDS server we have none.
Conceptually they are not that far apart. What I hear from most people though is that updating the drivers can be a bit cumbersome whereas the K2000 (if you are primarily a Dell shop) has the Driver Feed that makes driver deployment a lot easier.
Also building out the post-install tasks seems to be easier for most people. People that are not that familiar with imaging will have an easier time with the K2 opposed to a WDS server.
If the person is familiar with imaging they will probably find the K2 a little easier than WDS but it won't be a big jump.
I would prefer the K2. Integration K1 and K2. Post Install Tasks. If you ever had systems with real RAID CONTROLLERS (long time ago they were called 333 controllers because of: a real raid controller has at minimum: 1 channel, 32MB RAM and costs 300 bucks) and not the onboard stuff or similar you will love pre install tasks.
Well, I am not a real fan of Images, as images are fast but inflexible as you need to modify the image every couple of days if something has changed or you will need many steps after deploying them. If you have many different systems you may need many different images or work hard to get a master image.
Since NT4, when the unattended installation was working fine I preferred this way. So the scripted installs are my faves. With K2 it is also much easier to modify these SI if you need to do it.
But if you want the K1 takes over your steps after deploying the one or the other so you can decide.
Most important: if you can handle WDS easily there is no need to change. But you will miss many interesting things.
I thank everyone for the responses to this question. It has given me some insight to what all the rave is about with the K2000. There are a lot of ways to deploy an image. Up until a few days ago we were still using Ghost and had to maintain an image for each different hardware configuraiton. So the step to WDS was huge for us to only have 1 image to manage. I can now see how the K2000 with or without the K1000 integration is quite a powerful appliance in it's own right. It sounds better than WDS if you need the ability to make a mass change in a matter of minutes. It also seems to have the ability to get granular if need be. Thank you everyone for the great responses!