Microsoft last week made available its set of IT deployment tools and practices called Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2008. The solution is designed to help IT personnel install Microsoft operating systems and solutions across servers. It helps IT automate desktop installations within an organization.
MDT is the successor to Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) 2007. MDT has similar functionality to BDD, but it also enables imaging.
"We changed the name from BDD because you can now build images and deploy desktops and servers (including Windows Server 2008) with the same toolkit and we thought MDT better reflected that functionality," stated Microsoft’s official MDT Team Blog concerning the name shift.
For those used to the BDD tool (Microsoft counts more than 350,000 users of BDD, according to its MDT Team Blog), Microsoft has also provided a BDD update that supports imaging.
MDT has been improved over BDD through the inclusion of wizard-driven user interface, plus the addition of quick-start guides, according to a Microsoft Windows Vista news site. It includes "full support for Windows Server 2008," plus some scripts and automation features.
Users can automate installations using MDT’s "Zero Touch" installation, which depends on having Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 or Systems Management Server 2003 with the Operating System Deployment Feature Pack installed. Alternatively, a "Lite Touch" installation method can be used.
MDT can install the following Microsoft products, according to the company’s MDT download page:
- "Windows Vista Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate (32 and 64 bit) RTM and SP1
- Office Professional, Professional Plus, Enterprise, and Ultimate 2007
- Windows Server 2008
- Windows Server 2003 R2 (32 and 64 bit)
- Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 (32 and 64 bit) or Windows XP Tablet PC Edition "
Additional information on MDT 2008 and download links are available here.