Multicast support with WDS on Longhorn Server


Lets face it, Microsofts new deployment tools rock. But today it got even better… Microsoft now have multicast support checked into the build tree for Longhorn Server.  It will be tightly integrated into the Longhorn Server Windows Deployment Services (WDS) role.

Microsoft will release the bits on a very limited basis this month to some customers via an IDS build, with much broader availability as they’ll drop Beta 3 from airplanes.  For those of you with subscriptions to TechNet Plus Online, you’ll get the goodies early. 

Want more details?

  • New MGMT tasks in the WDS MMC and WDSUTIL
  • New WDS Client UI page indicating multicast transmission
  • Real-time multicast client view + ability to remove clients from a transmission via WDS MGMT tools
  • Real-time transmission progress / monitoring via WDS MGMT tools
  • Installation logging and reporting via Crimson to the application logs (read: this is how you can get installation metrics / tracking!)
  • Ability to install a “stand-alone” WDS multicast server complete with MGMT tools (command-line via WDSUTIL) and CMD-line client

Imagine “always on” multicast where clients can request an image at any point in time and trigger a new multicast deployment or join mid-transmission to an existing deployment and still receive all the data. The WDS Team built a brand-new multicast protocol to handle both scenarios that has congestion control and flow control, making it more “TCP-like” and able to play well on production networks without saturating links and interfering with existing traffic.

Extensibility points were strongly considered in the architectural solution and were built into the client, server, and MGMT toolset’s. Also, the ability to perform ImageX multicast deployments without requiring full-blown WDS or Active Directory are enabled. Complete with a CMD-line multicast client app that can run within Longhorn Server Windows PE, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, and Windows Server 2003 SP2 and easy set-up or configuration on the WDS Server.

Deployment drool !!!

About Author

My name is Ronni Pedersen and I'm currently working as a Cloud Architect at APENTO in Denmark. My primary focus is Enterprise Client Management solutions, based on technologies like AzureAD, Intune, EMS and System Center Configuration Manager. I'm is also a Microsoft Certified Trainer and Microsoft MVP in Enterprise Mobility.

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