Windows Deployment Services - Microsoft's next generation out-of the box server and client purposing solution


Windows Deployment Services (WDS) is Microsoft's newest server and desktop purposing (building machines) solution. Essentially, WDS is Longhorn Server replacement to Remote Installation Services. WDS will leverage new deployment technology such as Imaging, IBS and WinPE. In addition, it will feature a remote boot capability for Pre-Install Environment (WinPE) and a Plug-in model for PXE Server extensibility and unify on single image format (WIM) for Windows Deployment. In terms of legacy support, you can continue to deploy RIS images from WDS Servers and we will offer migration path from current RIPREP format to WIM. As far as the management experience, WDS offers a robust yet simple management experience using MMC (UI) and command-line tools. It will be available as a download for WS2K3 SP1+ with Longhorn Client release.

Below are some other key features and support items:

  • Replaces the Client Installation Wizard (CIW aka OSChooser) as the boot environment
  • Compressed WIM image with RAMDISK boot support (~80MB)
  • Support for customized versions of LH WinPE
  • Boot support for 32 bit and 64 bit
  • Bare-metal deployment / machine re-provisioning
  • Native support for WIM images with migration path from RIS format
  • Able to deploy Longhorn, XP, Win2K3, and Win2000 images
  • WinPE based WDS Client - variation of Longhorn Setup - allows image selection and disk configuration via robust UI
  • WDS Client can run in fully unattended fashion
  • Integrated with Active Directory
  • Platform technology that provides extensibility
  • Scalable PXE Server built on new unified Microsoft PXE Server architecture
  • Uses "Provider" logic: plug-ins to augment core networking functionality
  • To-be published APIs
  • WDS PXE service can now handle more than 1600 requests per second, BINL 700 sustained
  • Communication protocol for image enumeration
  • Robust management of WDS server, images, and pre-staged devices
  • MMC UI and command-line toolset