I recieved the following e-mail from Microsoft Connect this evening :
We are pleased to announce the RC1 release and new name for the fourth generation deployment Solution Accelerator, Microsoft Deployment. The current generation of automated deployment tools from Microsoft is increasingly unified; the same tools, utilities and products in many cases offer support and functionality for desktop and server deployment tasks. Following the trend of unified tools, the Business Desktop Deployment team has incorporated new functionality and guidance to support automated server deployment in addition to desktop deployment capabilities. This expanded feature set, with its guidance and ability to automate installation of Windows client and server operating systems – as well as applications – has effectively outgrown the current name, Business Desktop Deployment. Previous Beta releases have been using the code name “Deployment 4″ to refer to Microsoft Deployment before the name was finalized.
Microsoft Deployment is the next version of Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) 2007. It unifies the tools and processes required for desktop and server deployment into a common deployment console and collection of guidance. Microsoft Deployment adds integration with current Microsoft deployment technologies – System Center Configuration Manager 2007, Windows Deployment Services, and the Windows Automated Installation Kit – to create a single path for image creation and automated installation. Microsoft Deployment adds integration with recently released Microsoft deployment technologies to create a single path for image creation and deployment, including:
- System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Operating System Deployment
- Windows Automated Installation Kit
- Windows Deployment Services with new multicast technology
- Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.0
- User State Migration Tool 3.0.1
- 2007 Office system
- Windows Server 2008 Server Manager for automated server role definition
Enhanced Program on Microsoft Connect
This release candidate also offers an enhanced Microsoft Connect portal including technical frequently asked questions, deployment tips and tricks, a recommended 10-step program for new users to quickly get acquainted with deployment accelerators, customer-ready Solution Accelerator informational materials, and deployment-related conference presentations.
Microsoft Deployment combines the guidance and toolset from previous releases of Business Desktop Deployment and Beta releases of Windows Server Deployment. This release continues to support Zero Touch Installation (ZTI) of desktop operating systems using Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 with the Operating System Deployment Feature Pack and adds new deployment and task sequencing capabilities for desktops and servers using System Center Configuration Manager 2007. Microsoft Deployment also continues to provide Lite Touch Installation (LTI) support without infrastructure requirements and adds capabilities for Windows Server 2003 and pre-release versions of Windows Server 2008.
New Features in Microsoft Deployment
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 support, with the following features:
- Full support for Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 deployments with Microsoft Deployment and Configuration Manager 2007.
- Complete integration into the Configuration Manager 2007 admin console and task sequencing capabilities.
- Quick start Configuration Manager 2007 operating system deployments using one wizard to create needed task sequences and packages.
- Extension of the Configuration Manager 2007 task sequencing capabilities with new actions.
- Feature parity with BDD 2007 and SMS 2003, including dynamic package installation, automatic determination of state store location, computer backup, and database settings.
- Installation support for computers unknown to the Configuration Manager 2007 database
- Added support for offline patching
- Support for offline and online language pack installation
- Deployment monitoring:
- Updated Management Pack for System Center Operations Manager 2007
Lite Touch Installation (LTI) support for Windows Server 2008:
- Support for deploying Windows Server 2008 Beta 3 and potentially RC1 (to be verified after RC1 release), including support for Server Core installation options.
- Automated server role definition using Server Manager
Lite Touch Installation (LTI) enhancements:
- Enhanced disk and network interface cards (NICs) configuration options, including support for static TCP/IP configuration.
- Design changes to ease the migration from LTI to Configuration Manager 2007.
- Support for multiple task sequence templates. New sample templates include:
- Client template: Windows Vista, Windows XP
- Server template: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008
- Replace scenario template
- Ability to invoke web service calls
- Support for web service calls from rules
- Web services can be invoked as part of the rules processing performed by Microsoft Deployment, using new rules that can be defined in CustomSettings.ini.
- Support for BDD 2007 upgrade or side-by-side installation with Microsoft Deployment.
Lite Touch Installation (LTI) multicast support:
- Deployment Workbench supports multicast transmission of operating system images when performing LTI deployments from Windows Server 2008 servers that are running Windows Deployment Services.
Microsoft Deployment RC1 is available as a download in the Microsoft Deployment Connection Program on Microsoft Connect.
Download Microsoft Deployment through the Microsoft Connect pages.