Exercise Overview:

Using Nomad for an OSD Refresh

In this lab, you will see how Nomad integrates with the ConfigMgr OS Deployment process to enable workstations to be refreshed in remote locations that do not have a local server. In the next lab, you will extend this to support bare-metal builds using PXELite.

The key tasks involved in this process are:

  • Preparing the boot image to allow content to be sourced from a local peer. This task was completed in the previous lab
  • Preparing the deployment Task Sequence to use Nomad
  • Deploying the modified task sequence to target clients

Preparing a Task Sequence to use Nomad

In this exercise, you will use the copy of an existing Task Sequence created in the previous lab and make the modifications necessary to integrate Nomad to ensure that content is obtained from a local peer whenever available or downloaded from the Distribution Point in a bandwidth controlled manner using Nomad. Additionally, we will be adding the actions necessary to store the captured User State on a local peer and retrieve the User State after the new operating system is in place.

Set Nomad as the Download Program

To support an Alternate Content Provider in a Task Sequence, Microsoft introduced the SMSTSDownloadProgram task sequence environment variable. The SMSTSDownloadProgram task sequence environment variable contains the path to the download program's executable file. In the case of Nomad, this file will be SMSTSNomad.exe and the Nomad 6.0 OSD Tools introduced a custom task sequence action that we will use in this task to set the SMSTSDownloadProgram variable to SMSTSNomad.exe. 

1ETRNCM

  1. Right-click the Nomad Windows 10 Ent task sequence from Software Library > Operating Systems > Task Sequences and select Edit
  2. Select the Capture Files and Settings group at the top of the Task Sequence
  3. From the Add drop down select 1E Nomad and select Set Nomad as Download Program
  4. Right-click the Set Nomad as Download Program task and select Move Up. The Set Nomad as Download Program task should now appear above the Capture Files and Settings group
  5. Click Apply to save the change

Install and Configure Nomad in Windows PE


This custom task sequence action is used specifically to install and configure Nomad in WinPE in order to support the use of pre-staged content.

  1. Select the Restart in Windows PE step in the Install Operating System group
  2. Click Add > 1E Nomad and select Install and Configure Nomad in Windows PE
  3. Change the SpecialNetShare value to 8240 (0x2030)
  4. Set the Compatibility Flags value to 538443786 (0x2018000A)
  5. Set the P2PEnabled value to 73 (0x49)

  6. These settings match those on the Nomad clients installed in the environment. If there is a mismatch in certain settings between clients, Nomad possibly might not work as expected.
  7. Click Apply
  8. Select the Install and Configure Nomad in Windows PE step, click Add > 1E Nomad and select the Save Nomad Cache task
  9. The Operation value will be Move and the Wipe CCM Cache option will be selected
  10. Click Apply to save the task sequence

Install the 1E Client in the New Operating System

Once the ConfigMgr client is installed in the new operating system, we need to install the 1E Client so it can register as the ACP and retrieve the content for all the other packages, applications and software updates to be installed in the new operating system.

  1. In the Nomad Windows 10 Ent Task Sequence Editor select the Setup Windows and Configuration Manager task and from the Add drop-down select 1E Nomad > Install 1E Client
  2. A reboot is required after the Install 1E Client task to ensure the system path is properly updated so the Nomad tools (e.g. NBCacheActions) can be located by the operating system.
  3. With the Install 1E Client step selected, click Add > General > Restart Computer
  4. Choose The currently installed default operating system in the Specify what to run after restart: section. Ensure the Notify the user before restarting check box is checked. Change the Notification message to The 1E Client has been installed, change the Message display time-out (seconds) to 10 and click Apply
  5. In a production task sequence, this restart would generally be done without a notification, but there are several restarts that happen as the operating system is being installed and it makes it easier to keep track of what is initiating the restart.

Restore the Nomad Cache

Once Nomad is installed, we want to restore the content that was used during the machine build into the Nomad cache of the newly built OS.

  1. Select the Restart Computer task and from the Add drop down select 1E Nomad > Restore Nomad Cache
  2. In the Properties tab, ensure Link is the operation and select Activate All Content then click Apply to save the task sequence
  3. This task will restore the Nomad cache from the persisted _SMSTaskSequence folder to the newly installed Nomad cache. The option to Link the content (i.e. create a link from the folder in _SMSTaskSequence to the Nomad Cache folder) is optimal in this scenario; copying would take a long time and moving it may prevent subsequent tasks (such as MDT tasks) from completing properly.

Working with Dynamic Packages

In this exercise, we will be adding a package to be installed using a variable. We will be manually setting the variable in the lab exercise to demonstrate the behavior, but any means of populating the variable will yield the same result – Nomad will be invoked by the task sequence engine by means of SMSTSNomad.exe being specified as the default task sequence download program.

Add the dynamic package to the Task Sequence

In this task, you will add an Install Package task to the Nomad Windows 10 Ent task sequence that will use a variable name to define the Package and Program to be executed at runtime. For the purpose of this exercise, you will also define this variable directly within the task sequence, simply to demonstrate how dynamic packages can be handled using Nomad.

1ETRNCM

  1. Select the Restore Nomad Cache task in the Setup Operating System group
  2. Click Add and select Software > Install Package
  3. In the Properties tab, enter Install Dynamic Packages as the name
  4. Select Install software packages according to dynamic variable list and enter a Base variable name of NOMADOSD. Select If installation of a software package fails, continue installing other packages in the list and click Apply
  5. Select the Restore Nomad Cache task again, click Add and select General > Set Task Sequence Variable
  6. In the Properties tab, name the task Set NOMADOSD001. Enter NOMADOSD001 as the Task Sequence Variable and set the Value to PS10001B:Install Skype
  7. In this step you are defining the first (and only, in this case) dynamic package through the NOMADOSD001 Task Sequence variable before the Install Dynamic Packages task executes. The value of this variable is in the format <PackageID>:<Program Name>. The Skype Package should have a Package ID of PS10001B. Confirm this is the case. In a production environment, variables associated with dynamic packages are usually set by scripts or other processes that determine what applications are required at runtime.
  8. Click on the Options tab on the task, and check the Continue on error box

  1. Click Apply. The task sequence should now look as image on the right. Confirm this and click OK to save the updated Task Sequence

Packages that are deployed in a task sequence using a dynamic variable will not be listed on the references tab of a task sequence. For that reason, we must initiate a separate pre-cache job for any packages deployed using a dynamic variable. In the Nomad Windows 10 Ent task sequence, the Skype package is installed using a dynamic variable.
  1. Return to the CM console and select Packages from the Application Management folder in the Software Library node of the ConfigMgr console
  2. Click on the Skype for Windows 7 package (regardless of the name of this package, it is not only for Windows 7. It is named to identify it in a lab exercise for another 1E Product)
  3. Right-click on the Skype for Windows 7 package, select Properties and go to the Nomad tab
  4. Enable Nomad for the Skype package and click OK
  5. Right-click on the Skype for Windows 7 package and select Pre-cache content using Nomad to launch the Nomad Pre-caching wizard
  6. On the Targeting page, select the Nomad OSD Pre-cache collection and click Next
  7. Click Apply on the Summary page
  8. When the job completes, click Finish on the Completion page

1ETRNAP

  1. Open a command prompt and change to the C:\Program Files (x86)\1E\ActiveEfficiency\Service directory
  2. Run the following command to force ActiveEfficiency to sync from ConfigMgr:
  3. ServiceHost.exe -NomadSyncAll

1ETRNW101 and 1ETRNW102

Now that a package has been added to the task sequence that uses a dynamic variable, we need to precache the content for that package.

This is a small package, so it will be pre-cached quickly. The previous pre-cache job however, may not be complete at this point. It's OK to initiate the check for pre-cache jobs even while Nomad is busy downloading content – it will just add that to the list of content it needs.
  1. Run the following command:
  2. NomadBranch.exe –precache

Preparing to use Peer Backup Assistant

In an OS refresh or replace scenario, you will typically need to migrate user data and settings using the User State Migration Tool (USMT). In refresh scenarios, USMT will typically achieve this by saving the user state locally in the preserved _SMSTaskSequence folder and restoring it after the new OS has been installed. However, there are many scenarios, such as a replace scenario, where the user's current PC is being replaced with a new one, and it is not possible to store the saved user state on the local hard drive. In these scenarios, a ConfigMgr State Migration Point would normally be required.

Nomad includes the Peer Backup Assistant functionality, which allows a local peer to be used to temporarily store the user state from the computer being built. This removes the need for a User State Migration Point, keeping the user data local.
In this exercise, you will enable the Nomad clients as Peer Backup Assistant hosts, allowing them to store user state data that USMT has collected from their peers. You will also configure the Task Sequence to include the necessary steps to capture and restore the user state using USMT and the selected Nomad peer as the store location.

Enable Peer Backup Assistant

The Peer Backup Assistant functionality needs to be enabled on Nomad clients to enable them to become potential hosts for storing user state from other computers on the subnet. In this exercise, you will learn how to enable the Peer Backup Assistant on existing Nomad clients. 

1ETRNCM

  1. On 1ETRNCM we earlier copied the ConfigurationItems folder to C:\Temp
  2. In the Configuration Manager console, open the Assets and Compliance workspace
  3. Under the compliance settings folder, right-click the Configuration Items node and select Import Configuration Data to start the Import Configuration Data Wizard
  4. On the Select Files page, click Add… and select C:\Temp\ConfigurationItems\EnableNomadPBA_CI.cab and click Open. You will be warned that the published of this file cannot be verified – click Yes to accept the risk and return to the Select Files page of the Import Configuration Data Wizard
  5. Click Next, review the settings on the Summary page then click Next
  6. When the wizard completes, click Close
  7. From the Assets and Compliance workspace select the Configuration Baselines node, right-click the 1E Client Configuration baseline you created earlier and select Properties
  8. From the 1E Client Configuration Properties dialog box, select the Evaluation Conditions tab, then click Add and select Configuration Items
  9. In the Add Configuration Items dialog box select the Enable Nomad PBA Configuration Item and click Add to add this to the 1E Client Configuration baseline. Click OK to return to the 1E Client Configuration Properties dialog box, then click OK to save the changes
  10. From the Assets and Compliance workspace select the Device Collections node
  11. Right-click the Lab Workstations Collection and select Client Notification > Download Computer Policy to ensure all clients get the updated configuration baseline

All Workstations
  1. Use the process you learned previously to manually re-evaluate the 1E Client Configuration on each of the workstations. Ensure that revision 5 of this baseline has been evaluated and is compliant on all workstations
The Enable Nomad PBA Configuration Item configures the following registry values under the HKLM\Software\1e\NomadBranch key in the registry:
\NMDS\MaximumMegaByte=5120: The MaximumMegaByte setting defines the maximum space which can be allocated by the peer machine for PBA. This is the amount of disk space you want to allow Nomad to use for PBA functionality.
\NMDS\MaxAllocRequest=5120: The MaxAllocRequest is the maximum space that any single machine can use during a PBA task. In a production environment, multiple machines might be offloading user state data onto a single machine, so this setting needs to be defined based on the maximum data expected from any single machine. In our lab, we will only be executing a single task sequence using PBA, so we have configured the setting to the same value as MaximumMegaByte.
SSPBAEnabled=1: The SSPBAEnabled setting enables PBA to work in conjunction with Single Site Download.

Configure the Task Sequence to Capture User State

In this task, you will add tasks in the Nomad Windows 10 Ent task sequence that redirect the store location to a local peer selected at runtime and then capture the user state.

1ETRNCM

  1. From the ConfigMgr console, right-click the Nomad Windows 10 Ent Task Sequence and select Edit
  2. Delete the Request User State Storage and Release User State Storage tasks in the Capture User Files and Settings task group and click Apply
  3. Repeat the above Step on the Restore User Files and Settings task group at the bottom of the TS

  4. These are the steps that locate a State Migration Point which we no longer will be using, thus we are deleting these steps. We will add some Nomad steps to redirect the User Data to PBA peers.


  5. Select the Capture User Files and Settings task group, click Add and select 1E Nomad PBA> Peer Backup Assistant: Provision Nomad PBA Data Store
  6. In the Properties tab, validate the Cache space (MB) is set to 100 and click Apply
  7. In this step, we are setting an arbitrary estimated capacity requirement (100MB) for storing user data. If the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) has been integrated into the ConfigMgr environment, using ZTIUserState.wsf will estimate how much space is required to store the user state from the current computer and write this to the USMTESTIMATE Task Sequence variable, in which case you can enter %USMTESTIMATE% in this field.
  8. With the Capture User Files and Settings task selected, click Add and select 1E Nomad PBA> Peer Backup Assistant: Finalize Nomad PBA Data Store
  9. This step releases the connection to the state store share on the remote computer and results in the saved user state content being preserved for 7 days (configurable using the PostCompleteTimeoutHours value in the NomadBranch\NMDS registry key on the store host). Note that unless this task is executed, the content is only available for 3 hours (configurable using the PreCompleteTimeoutHours value in the NomadBranch\NMDS registry key on the store host).


  10. Check the Enable High Availability box
  11. In the Properties tab, set the following properties and click Apply
  12. Minimum number of additional backups: 1 
    Maximum number of additional backups: 2
    Synchronous backups for which to wait: 1 


    This enables PBA to distribute user state migration data to multiple machines, ensuring that the data will be available during the restore phase. This, in conjunction with the SSPBAEnabled setting configured on the client, will enable PBA to look for multiple suitable peers across multiple subnets defined as a single site.

  1. The Capture Files and Settings group in the task sequence should now resemble the following:

The order of the tasks in the task sequence is very important. If your tasks are not in the order defined above, move the respective tasks up or down to ensure the appropriate order.

Configure the Task Sequence to Restore User State

In this task, you will add the State Restore steps that complement the State Capture steps configured in the previous task to restore the user state from the local peer when the new OS has been installed.

1ETRNCM

  1. Right-click the Restore User Files and Settings task group and select Move down so the group is no longer indented within the Setup Operating System group. Click Apply. The task sequence should look like the figure below:


  1. With the Restore User Files and Settings task group selected, click Add and select 1E Nomad PBA > Peer Backup Assistant: Locate Existing Nomad PBA Data Store
  2. This task will get Nomad to locate the user state store location for the computer being built (defined by the COMPUTERNAME Task Sequence variable) and set the OSDStateStore variable to this path in the Task Sequence environment.
  3. With the Restore User Files and Settings task selected, click Add and select 1E Nomad PBA > Peer Backup Assistant: Release Nomad PBA Data Store. Click Apply
  4. This step will delete the user state from the peer client and release the disk space for other clients to use for storing state during a migration.

  1. The Restore User Files and Settings group should now resemble the following:

  1. Click OK to save and close the Nomad Windows 10 Ent task sequence

Performing an OS refresh using Nomad

Now that all the preparation has been completed, the Nomad Windows 10 Ent deployment task sequence can now be used to refresh a Windows 7 client, migrating it to Windows 10 Enterprise.

Deploy the Nomad Windows 10 Ent task sequence

1ETRNCM

  1. In the ConfigMgr console, open the Assets and Compliance workspace and select the Device Collections node. Create a Collection named Nomad Windows 10 Refresh with Lab Workstations as the Limiting Collection and add 1ETRNW72 to the Collection
  2. Open the Software Library workspace, expand the Operating Systems node and select the Task Sequences node. Right-click the Nomad Windows 10 Ent task sequence and select Deploy to start the Deploy Software Wizard
  3. On the General page, click Browse
  4. You will be presented with a warning. Click OK
  5. Note that the All Systems, All Desktop and Server Clients and All Mobile Devices are not available to be selected.
  6. Select Nomad Windows 10 Refresh as the target Collection and click OK. Click Next to continue
  7. On the Deployment Settings page ensure the Purpose is set to Available and click Next
  8. On the Scheduling page select the check box next to Schedule when this deployment will become available and keep the default setting click Next
  9. On the User Experience page click Next
  10. On the Alerts page click Next

  11. On the Distribution Points page, select the following option
    Download content locally when needed by running task sequence (default)
    and click Next

  12. Be sure to Download content locally when needed by running task sequence is selected or the TS will likely fail due to lack of disk space!
  13. On the Summary page, review the details and click Next
  14. Close the wizard when it completes

Monitor the OS refresh

There will be a lot of activity to monitor as the OS Deployment begins – we are capturing the User State and offloading it to peers. We are pulling the boot image from peers after that. There will be a lot of jumping from log file to log file and machine to machine. The capture state step takes long enough that you can monitor it easily if you keep up with it. If not, the log snippets included in the sections below will help complete the picture if you miss some of the live log activity.

1ETRNW102
  1. Open the NomadBranch.log from C:\Windows\CCM\Logs on 1ETRNW102 to observe behavior related to obtaining content and storing User State data (the machine name will depend on which becomes the state store)

1ETRNW72

  1. Log on to 1ETRNW72 as 1ETRN\User
  2. Open the Configuration Manager Control panel applet from the desktop shortcut, go to the Actions tab, and select Machine Policy Retrieval & Evaluation Cycle and Click Run Now. Close the applet
  3. Start Wordpad and create a new document, then save it as an Office Open XML document on the Desktop. Create multiple docs if you are so inclined
  4. Open the Configuration Manager applet from the desktop, select the Cache tab, and click Configure Settings, Click delete files, and at the pop up select Delete persisted cache content. Click Yes. Click OK. This is only necessary in the lab environment, our machines have small hard drives and the cache should be cleared prior to running this task sequence
  5. Open Software Center from the desktop, and navigate to the Operating Systems node
  6. Select Nomad Windows 10 Ent and click Install
  7. Use F5 to refresh until it appears as it might take a few minutes for the policy to come down
  8. A dialog box will be displayed asking that you confirm the installation of a new operating system. Click INSTALL
  9. Note the time here, because from this point, it will take approximately one hour for the OSD refresh to complete.

  1. Open C:\Windows\CCM\Logs\smstslog\smsts.log and identify the point where SMSTSNomad.exe is defined as the SMSTSDownloadProgram

  1. In the smsts.log, observe the Provision Nomad PBA Data Store task as it executes. Note that this task runs NomadPackageLocator –NMDS_POLL, passing it the computer name and estimated storage requirement as parameters

  1. Switch back to NomadBranch.log, observe the NMDS process starting and a peer responding

1ETRNW102

  1. Identify the point where 1ETRNW72 requested an NMDS store location and 1ETRNW102 responds


  1. Browse to C:\ProgramData\1E\NomadBranch\NMDS on the machine the state store is on and note a 1ETRNW72 folder has been created. This contains the USMT folder, which in turn contains the .MIG file that USMT is generating from 1ETRNW72
  2. If SMB was the protocol being used, a share would be created on the peer machine, named NomadNMDS000x$, with x being an incremental number. If multiple machines are serviced by the same PBA host, that number will increment with each additional peer. Since we're using HTTPS, there is no share created, as the web server is used to transfer the USMT data.

1ETRNW72

  1. Return to 1ETRNW72 and observe smsts.log as the Capture User State step completes and the Finalize Nomad PBA Data Store step is executed

  1. Observe the corresponding activity in NomadBranch.log

When a PBA data store is provisioned on a remote computer, it is only available for 3 hours (defined by the PreCompleteTimeoutHours value in HKLM\Software\1E\NomadBranch\NMDS). If the remote computer does not receive an NMDS_COMPLETE message within this time, it will assume the state capture task has failed and will clear down the share and delete the data. The Close Nomad PBA Data Store task broadcasts the NMDS_COMPLETE message and the remote computer will then 'commit' the data for 7 days (defined in the PostCompleteTimeoutHours value).

  1. Continue to observe NomadBranch.logas the Nomad PBA Data Store High Availability is executed in the task sequence and it requests the specified number of backups from the machine the state store was created on

Note that this task sequence step will not complete (and therefore the task sequence will not continue) until the number of synchronous backups defined in the task properties have been completed.

1ETRNW102

  1. Return to NomadBranch.log on 1ETRNW102 and observe as they receives this high-availability request and tries to locate an additional store on the local subnet. Nomad then queries ActiveEfficiency for other devices on adjacent subnets in the same site and is returned three options

  1. Nomad then forwards an NMDS_POLL on the 10.0.2.0 subnet to the first device on the returned list and receives a total of three offers, which are then confirmed and finally an acknowledgement is sent back to one of the 3 machines on the other subnet


  2. The 1E Client on the first machine to capture the user data then starts to send a copy of the user state data to one of these confirmed clients, sending status every 10 seconds so the originating client (1ETRNW72) can wait until the required number of copies has been successfully completed



1ETRNW72
  1. After the Capture Files and Settings group has completed, the computer must restart in Windows PE to continue. This requires the Win PE boot image. In the smsts.log file from X:\SMSTSLog\smsts.log, search for "Using download program". The lines following show how SMSTSNomad.exe is invoked as the download program to obtain the Win PE boot image

  1. Click F8 to start a cmd prompt, and type in cmtrace. Navigate to X:\SMSTSLog\smsts.log

You can see that there is a delay between the execution of the command line and the Process completed line. This is where Nomad is used to pull the boot image from a local peer where the OSD content had been precached in the previous exercise. Once this is complete, the boot image will be staged and the computer will be restarted in Windows PE

  1. When the Install Nomad in Windows PE step is executed, NomadPackageLocator executes the following command line based on the values entered


This information will be in the NomadPackageLocator.log file. The log file will be moved into the reserved folder (C:_SMSTaskSequence\LogFiles) by the Save Nomad Cache step and will be easier to observe there.
You can hit F8 to open a command prompt and type in cmtrace.exe to launch cmtrace.exe to view log files while the machine is in WinPE. When the command prompt opens, type in cmtrace to open trace, and then navigate to C:_SMSTaskSequence folder to view logs. If you don't find it there, the process has moved on too far, and the files have been moved to x:\SMSTSLog.

  1. When the Save Nomad Cache is executed, it not only locates and moves the current Nomad cache folder into the reserved folder along with the log files, but also sets the cache path so any subsequent Nomad downloads are also cached in the reserved folder, C:_SMSTaskSequence\NomadBranch. This activity is recorded in the NBCacheActions.log file. The current cache folder is enumerated. You can see the software updates, applications and packages in the log snippet below

  1. The cache files and log files are moved to the preserved folder and the cache location is reset

Note that the log files get renamed as they get moved.
From this point forward, any content required by the task sequence will invoke SMSTSNomad.exe and obtain the content from a local peer or via Nomad from a distribution point if the content has not been precached ahead of time.

Observe Nomad on a peer machines that has the content precached

We will now review Nomad activity on a peer machine that we precached the content on.

1ETRNW102

  1. Log on to 1ETRNW102 as 1ETRN\administrator and start Computer Manager (right-click Computer in the Start menu and select Manage)
  2. Expand the System Tools > Shared Folders > Sessions node. Monitor the user sessions as 1ETRNW72 connects to the Nomad Share (NomadSHR$) each time it requires content
  3. If the Apply Operating System task is running, it is possible the 1E Client has finished downloading the WIM file and is running a hash check, in which case there will be no open sessions.

  1. Select the Open Files node to see the specific files that are being downloaded (use F5 to refresh the display periodically) Open the NomadBranch.log file, and notice the content request and subsequent election

1ETRNW72

You may notice that the Task Sequence will seem to pause for a while when it reaches the point shown below. At this point, the new operating system's WIM file has been downloaded and because it is a large file, the hash checking takes several minutes. This is normal and the task sequence will pick up once it is finished.


This is a good time for a coffee/tea break for 10 minutes while the image is downloaded and applied.
  1. Observe the task sequence as it progresses through the OS rebuild to the Restore Files and Settings group

1ETRNW102

  1. On 1ETRNW102, return to NomadBranch.log and observe as 1ETRNW72 executes the Locate Existing Nomad PBA Data Store (this is the first step in the Restore Files and Settings group in the task sequence) and the machine responds with an NMDS_Confirm message

  1. Once the user data has been restored observe NomadBranch.log as 1ETRNW72 executes the Release Nomad PBA Data Store step (sending an NMDS_delete) and confirm 1ETRNW102 performs the NMDS_delete

1ETRNW72

  1. Note on 1ETRNW102 that the content is deleted

This step sends an NMDS_Delete message, which is received by 1ETRNW102 and causes it to delete the share, user and folder associated with the peer backup of 1ETRNW72. Note that this step will only remove the content from one device. The content on the other two devices will be removed by their own 1E Client after 7 days. If this task is run multiple times in the TS, it will delete other copies of the user data from other machines.

1ETRNW72

  1. When the Task Sequence has completed and 1ETRNW72 boots into Windows 10, log on as 1ETRN\User and verify that the document or documents created on the desktop while in Windows 7 are back on the desktop in Windows 10
  2. There will be a little delay as Windows 10 tells you that there are lots of great features to get excited about and gets everything ready for you.
  3. You can review NBCacheActions.log and smsts-yyyymmdd-hhmmss.log to observe the task sequence activity from the Setup Windows and Configuration Manager client task

Lab Summary

In this lab, you have been introduced to how Nomad is used to obtain content while a task sequence is executing. The task sequence variable, SMSTSDownloadProgram, is set to SMSTSNomad.exe, which defines it as the default download program for the task sequence. 

The Save Nomad Cache step not only saves the Nomad cache in WinPE to use the reserved folder location, but also gets the content of the offline Nomad cache (in the current OS) and sets that location as the new default cache path and renames and moves the logs into that location as well.
You have also learned how the Nomad Peer Backup Assistant can be configured within a task sequence to enable user state to be stored temporarily on a local peer. The process involves

  • enabling the peers for Peer Backup Assistant by modifying values in the NMDS registry key
  • using the Peer Backup Assistant custom Task Sequence steps to provision a data store on a local peer and setting the OSDStateStorePath variable to that store location
  • running the Capture User State task, which copies the user state to the selected peer
  • completing the capture to release the connection to the data store and retain the content for 7 days
  • Using High Availability and SSD to offload the USMT data to multiple machines across a defined site

Once the new operating system has been installed, the user state is restored from the same location and finally, the content is deleted from the peer data store to free up space for other peers.

Next Page
Ex 7 - Nomad 7.0 - Using Nomad for OSD 'Bare Metal'