Windows Server 2008: Windows Deployment Services - Can I use DFS for my images?
I was in a Windows Deployment Services (WDS) session the other day at TechEd 2009 and someone in the audience asked a question “Can you use Distributed File System (DFS) to store WDS Images?”
Great question, the answer is yes and no.
YES – You can install images on another server (not a Windows Deployment Services server) using DFS and still install the images by using Windows Deployment Services.
NO - You CANNOT redirect the boot directory (that is, \\<server>\reminst\boot) using DFS. If you do, Windows Deployment Services will not start.
What are the Advantages of Storing the Image Files in DFS?
DFS provides two advantages:
Load balancing: Clients can be directed to computers other than the Windows Deployment Services server to download the image.
Simplified administration: When you use DFS replication technology, you can modify images on a single server and propagate changes to other distribution points.
To configure DFS namespaces for install images:
Install and configure Windows Deployment Services.
Install the DFS role service from the File Services server role in Server Manager. For more information about DFS, see Distributed File System (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=108012)
Create a file share on a secondary server. Grant permissions to the Windows Deployment Services server’s computer account. For example, if the server is called MyWDSServer, grant read/write permissions to MyWDSServer$ .
Create a new namespace in DFS Management. For example, \\fileserver\MyNamespace for a stand-alone namespace or \\corp.woodgrovebank.com\MyNamespace for a domain-based namespace.
Add a new folder to the namespace and create an image group on the Windows Deployment Services server as the target folder. For example, create \\MyServerOrDomain\MyNamespace\ImageGroup in DFS Namespaces, and specify \\MyWDSServer\RemoteInstall\images\DFSImageGroupName as a target folder for that folder.
Add images to the Windows Deployment Services server.
Verify that the content appears when you connect to \\MyServerOrDomain\MyNamespace\ImageGroup.
Repeat this procedure for additional image groups.