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And you don’t even need a boot disc



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February 27, 2008 3:33 pm

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Ever tried deploying lots of computers at once? I remember distinctly the first time I had to do this in the mid-90s. Back then, all I had was my trusty DOS boot disc ( who remembers IPXODI, VLM etc.. ? ) and NetWare 3.12 servers storing a file copy of Windows 3.11.

The process was straight forward,
boot dos,
format c: /s
connect to a NetWare volume
xcopy all of the Windows 3.11 files .
reboot again

and all was ready to go. Really straight forward, if somewhat of a manual process.

The machines all used the same Microsoft VGA driver, no sound cards, standard network cards ( 3c509 – still got some in my loft at home if anyone is interested ), no special hard disc requirements just standard IDE. So no hardware driver issues.

Boy did times a change.

Now you have to deploy an operating system that needs the exact drivers to communicate with the underlying hardware or it’s BSOD time.

What if you had to deploy to over a 1,000 computers of various specifications?

Let’s vary the requirements for each computer.
Then do this on a regular basis.

This is exactly the challenge faced in our SuperLab at the Novell Provo campus.

Read how they did it with help from one of our technology partners ENGL

http://www.engl.co.uk/company/success/novell/novellslab.htm

And they didn’t even need a DOS boot disc.

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