Video: Building and Maintaining Golden Images with Login AM
Hello, my name is Mike! Are you getting tired of keeping your images up to date? When we finished the design of our current infrastructure we were convinced we would only need one, maybe two, operating system images. But after a while I was maintaining several images. I had users with specific operating system requirements, others that needed a very specific version of internet explorer and there were even users that required additional hardening.
I was executing the same steps over and over to keep all my images up to date and I was installing the same software manually over and over again. So I decided to fully automate the process using Login AM. You want me to show you how I did it?
I now have about 8 separate images that I need to maintain. For Windows 7 I got a regular desktop for the finance and call center departments. For trading and human resources I created a more secure desktop. I got some heavy duty 64-bit Windows 7 desktops for engineering and R&D, but I’m also in the process of testing my software on Windows 8 and the creation of a finance desktop based on Citrix technology.
Each collection you see on my screen represents a group of computers with an identical set of software and configuration. I can use these collections if I want to create an operation system image. Let’s review the finance desktop’s configuration to see how it’s done.
I have my software assigned using the Login AM layers, but let’s go directly to the imaging section. I need to enable the imaging section. By enabling this plugin, I'm instructing Login AM to prepare the image for sealing when Login AM has finished deploying all applications and configuring the system.
Next I need to tell Login AM what command to use to seal the image. This really depends on how I choose to distribute and deploy the image once it is finished. In this case I am using Microsoft's Sysprep tool with the following command line arguments.
You might have already realized that since each collection can have its own configuration for the imaging section, it becomes ridiculously easy to create two or more identical images for different deployment systems. Quite a handy feature in hybrid environments or migration scenarios.
For instance, I duplicated the finance desktop and changed the seal command to support deployment using Citrix technology.
Finally, I need to provide the name of an imaging template machine. Let’s call it Financetemplate. All the computers in this collection will simply behave as a regular Login AM client. They receive updates and configuration changes like any other Login AM client.
But when the imaging template system is booted, in this case a computer called Financetemplate, Login AM will update its configuration, install software where needed and perform all the other tasks that are defined within Login AM for that collection. When Login AM has finished deploying the software and configuration, the system will be sealed automatically.
Remember when I talked about preparing to seal the image? Let me select the Monitoring agent package and select the imaging section on a package level.
Using the same action items you already know from the other plugins like a custom script and a registry import, I can now tell Login AM what to do when the system is being prepared for imaging. This monitoring package for instance clears its configuration from the registry before the system is sealed. Built once, used in every image!
So, now all I need to do is start my template PC and enjoy the show!
See you next time with Lunch and learn. Want to experience the same as me? Download Login AM and start automating today.