I forgot one bit in my posts at our internal conference. Windows Deployment Services!
Ever thought "why do I have to do these unattended builds when imaging is so much quicker and easier? Why can I just boot WinPE and bring down an image?". Given that Vista will use imaging as its deployment method, today's RIS aint gonna cut the mustard in future anyway. Longhorn Server will use a new version of RIS called Windows Deployment Services and it will be a platform for any PXE booted imaging tool. But first some history...At present we have a few deployment tools. SMS can do upgrades, Automated Deployment Services 1.1can do bare metal server provisioning and RIS does unattended installs.
Today's RIS uses PXE. The boot image for the PXE boot is fixed and you cant change it. Some vendors have some hacks for it to allow you to use RIS's PXE but essentially you end up in their imaging tool. As an architecture for deployment it kind of sucks a bit...
WDS changes this idea.
First you should know that ADS 1.1 is the end of the line for that tool. Part of the team that made it goes to SMS and the other part to WDS....anyhow...
WDS now becomes a platform for PXE and is pluggable, that is, you can add in other PXE boot loaders. That means you can use existing RIS or the new WDS PXE image that will allow Windows Vista's WinPE image to load and deploy but also for SMS v4 to directly plug in and deploy bare metal iamges straight from SMS.
I think thats really cool! Best news is that Windows Deployment Services will be retrofitted for Windows Server 2003 in the Windows Vista timeframe! How else will you deploy Windows Vista given that Longhorn Server wont be released for awhile after the Windows Vista release....:)