In an effort to manage a portion of the network I began working on replacing the current methodology for computer imaging. Imaging computers with Ghost in our network environment is very dangerous; the current switch configuration is not compatible with multicasting and not performing sysprep leaves the computers in an unmanageable state.

Remote Installation Services provides a method by which computers can be imaged over the network. The process involves pre-staging a computer with the required software and running sysprep. This operation removes the SID from the computer and allows the computer to be unique. With unique computers you are able to manage the computers over the network.

RIS requires some infrastructure to be in place in order for it to function. The most important component is DHCP; under the current DHCP server (ANSR) the necessary technology was not available. In order to make RIS function a separate DHCP server was configured. This server was configured to only assign addresses to computers who have had their MAC addresses prestaged.

A clustered file server was installed with 6tb of SAN-based storage, as well as a dedicated backup server with 6tb of SATA storage. These were installed to replace the failed NAS-based storage array that had been in service for several years. It was evident almost immediately that the backup software, Legato, was not compatible with a cluster.