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MDT 2010 Update 1 – Part 1 of 3 – What is User Driven Installation?

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This post is part of a document I wrote about User Driven Installation. The document is split up into 3 blog posts.

Microsoft recently released the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 Update 1, a free tool to make it easier for organizations to deploy Windows 7 and Office 2010 in their corporate environment. In addition to the usual Lite Touch Installation (LTI) and, with System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), Zero Touch Installation (ZTI), MDT 2010 Update 1 now also includes User Driven Installation (UDI) deployment method.


What is User-Driven Installation?

The concept of users having control of operating system and application installation has been around in LTI in MDT and its predecessor Business Desktop Deployment or BDD. From a business standpoint this is beneficial as it minimizes IT interaction with the workstations, thereby lowering deployment costs.

The challenge of using LTI as the deployment method in larger organizations is the lack of control it gives to the IT organization. Once the core components of LTI had been set up, all the user has to know is to press F12 during boot-up and enter the password required for MDT, then the user can virtually reinstall Windows 7 and Office 2010 on his machine unlimited number of times. In fact, the user can bring any machine and reinstall Microsoft software on them and they may not even be company property and the admins may not even know about it. That said, MDT alone provides so much flexibility to the user, that it may do so at the expense of security and control to the IT organization.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have ZTI, which comes as a feature of MDT and Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) working together. ZTI gives full automation of the Windows 7 deployment, without leaving anything configurable to the user. This may be a highly efficient solution, but in a real-world scenario, organizations may not be willing to go for a big-bang, fully automated Windows 7 deployment approach. Somehow users need to be involved in the deployment process without impacting the IT organization’s control. This is where User Driven Installation of MDT 2010 Update 1 comes in handy.

Figure 1: User Driven Installation (UDI) combines the best of LTI and ZTI


In the context of MDT 2010 Update 1, User Driven Installation (UDI) is a deployment method that combines the best of both LTI and ZTI. With UDI, deployment is initiated on the client machine, and the user is given the opportunity which apps are to be installed on the machine, similar to LTI. But the administrator can still control which physical machine can be deployed with Windows 7, similar to ZTI. The administrator would also know via SCCM the status on whether or not the Windows 7 deployment was successful on each machine.

With UDI you get the mechanism of Windows 7 deployment performed by the users in LTI, and the security and control provided by ZTI.


Written by jpaloma

December 26, 2010 at 11:21 AM

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  1. […] MDT 2010 Update 1 – Part 1 of 3 – What is User Driven Installation? […]

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