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Network Software Deployment

Last response: in Business Computing
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November 30, 2011 3:01:06 PM

So I'm still pretty green behind the ears in IT and my company wants for me to come up with a strategy of deploying software over our network like office 2010 as opposed to going to all of the computers and updating each one. Thanks Guru's!
December 8, 2011 1:50:03 PM

sscroggin said:
So I'm still pretty green behind the ears in IT and my company wants for me to come up with a strategy of deploying software over our network like office 2010 as opposed to going to all of the computers and updating each one. Thanks Guru's!


If you have 50 PCs or more, Get a KBOX www.kace.com They rock.
December 8, 2011 5:22:45 PM

You could use a login script to copy Office from a network share to the local computer and then install. You would want to use the OCT2010 tool to customize office.

You could use Group Policy to Publish or Assign Office 2010 to the computers via a security group or OU.

If you had a deployment tool like System Center Configuration Manager 2007 or SMS 2003, you could use that.

BigFix is another alternative product for network deployments.

Scripting can be your friend in most cases.

How many systems are in your environment?
All LAN or multiple remote sites?
What tools do you currently have available?

Related resources
December 9, 2011 12:26:32 PM

We have System Center Configuration Manager 2007 that I am supposed to learn but from my experience from using it on a couple of test boxes I'm not a fan. Will I always have to research what silent command to install is for every piece of software?

In my local enviroment we have about 125 PC's and then I have 2 other smaller remote sites that have between 25-50 PC's.

December 10, 2011 10:41:25 AM

Welcome to the world of Windows where software is packaged in different formats, using different installers at different revisions. The link below gives you a rough overview of what you're likely to get to deal with:

http://unattended.sourceforge.net/installers.php

It's really not that bad. Most recent software can be had in MSI format so you've got the basics for your install. You will however always need to do some research. The number of calls I've had when supporting software where the issue was down to some tech that believes they know it all and don't read the documentaiton I took the time to write for them. It also never ceased to amaze me how many people would deploy live without ever testing - you have greater faith in your abilities and our software than either your users or I credit you with!

If you're only installing something for a couple of users then an automated install is likely to take longer to setup than just remoting on and doing the work manually. If it's a major rollout for all users then automation is a no brainer. Just be sure to phase the deployment so any issues take out only part of the infrastructure, also be sure to have a plan on how you roll back the changes.

One of the best I've been involved with was a deployment to 100 users over 3 sites when we were looking at deploying Win95 as our new desktop - replacing Win 3.11 with Netware and DecNet. We got it down to booting off of 3 floppy discs.

1. Backup.
2. Install.
3. Configuration and corporate applications.

We did this work with 10 people over one saturday. One office hit problems on the Monday, they were rolled back in less than 2 hours for 10 machines, all of which was handled by the support team following the script we gave them.

Now, I started this with welcome to the world of Windows. If you don't like how Windows does things then just have a look at Linux, particually Debian based distributions like Ubuntu and see just what you can do with aptitude, then look and marvel at how it can keep all your system software at the current revision without you having to touch it.. As much as I like Windows once you've seen a proper installation system work you have to wonder how MS got this far without one.
December 15, 2011 11:30:10 AM

If you're deploying MSI packages, use Group Policy, you can automatically push all required software based on the organization unit you put the computer object in within Active Directory.
December 28, 2011 12:51:18 PM

sscroggin said:
We have System Center Configuration Manager 2007 that I am supposed to learn but from my experience from using it on a couple of test boxes I'm not a fan. Will I always have to research what silent command to install is for every piece of software?

In my local enviroment we have about 125 PC's and then I have 2 other smaller remote sites that have between 25-50 PC's.


How are you not a fan of SCCM!? I love it.

In your case you would use the OCT to create your MSP with customizations. Add the MSP to the Upgrades folder, run setup /qb or /silent and you're gold.

It doesn't get any easier than SCCM. Check out www.myitforum.com for help on deploying it, or www.appdeploy.com for reference and deployment materials.
December 28, 2011 12:52:37 PM

As far as a silent command, you have MSIExec and .exe basically. There isn't much to it really. You can download and use "Command Line Builder" if you really can't figure it out, though in all honesty this is generally very basic stuff.
April 10, 2012 8:02:37 PM

lysinger said:
If you have 50 PCs or more, Get a KBOX www.kace.com They rock.


+1 for Kace. They are compatible with Windows, Mac, & Linux, and also work with remote access.

I know this is several months later, but I figured I'd drop say hello. And here's a direct link to the Kace appliances main page if you wanted more info: http://www.kace.com/products/overview

Cheers! Happy deployment!
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