Microsoft Deployment Toolkit is one of Microsoft’s solution accelerators. These products are available for free and are supported by Microsoft. The various solution accelerators cover a number of different aspects to managing Microsoft technologies.
The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit is the tool that I am most familiar with. Paired with Windows Deployment Services on a Windows Server 2008R2 box, MDT is used to configure images initial deployments and reimaging of machines across the network starting with PXE boot. The Deployment Workbench tool of MDT allows you to custom configure your deployment in a number of ways – from what drivers are included for a model to setting the time zone and pre-populating a product key.
Now Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 is available for download and I can’t wait to get everything setup on this version. From the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit Team Blog, some of the new features include:
Support for Configuration Manager 2012: MDT 2012 provides support for Configuration Manager 2012 RC2 releases. MDT 2012 fully leverages the capabilities provided by Configuration Manager 2012 for OS deployment. Users now also have the ability to migrate MDT 2012 task sequences from Configuration Manager 2007 to Configuration Manager 2012.
Ease Lite Touch installation: The Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolkit (DaRT) is now integrated with Lite Touch Installation, providing remote control and diagnostics. New monitoring capabilities are available to check on the status of currently running deployments. LTI now has an improved deployment wizard user experience. Enhanced partitioning support ensures that deployments work regardless of the current structure.
Support for Windows 8: MDT 2012 provides support for deploying Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Windows Server “8” Beta in a lab environment.
You can download the 32-bit and 64-bit versions (based on your server OS, both versions can deploy either platform) of Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 from Microsoft’s Download Center. There, you will also find release notes, documentation, and a what’s new guide.
At the price of free, MDT is definitely worth checking out for all IT that deal with imaging PCs. If you already use MDT, check out the update. I’m looking forward to the potential of the User-Driven Installation options and the integration of Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolkit to see monitor currently running deployments.