The Windows Servicing Suite is a suite of 1E products integrated with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager to provide a zero-touch migration of devices to Windows 10 and to provide ongoing management of those devices enabling self-service software deployment, Windows 10 servicing and business-as-usual OS deployment with minimum infrastructure.

Features

The Windows Servicing Suite includes the following features:

Peer-to-peer content distribution

Deploying and servicing Windows 10 involves distribution of huge amounts of content (3+ GB) to each device in your environment. The Peer-to-peer content distribution feature powered by Nomad ensures this content can reach even your most remote locations without the need for Distribution Points everywhere and without saturating your WAN links. When requested content is not available on a local peer, Nomad will elect the most suitable peer to get it from the Distribution Point, then use its constantly-learning bandwidth management algorithm to make optimum use of available bandwidth while backing off as soon as other traffic needs the bandwidth. The content is shared with peers as it is being downloaded, so if the elected master goes offline, another peer (the one that has the most of the content) will be elected to resume the download. It includes the following features:

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Pre-cache content to Collections of devices ahead of a deployment to ensure the content required to complete the Windows deployment is available locally, reducing the deployment time as nothing needs to be downloaded over the WAN.

Share content across subnets within a site using Nomad's Single Site Download feature. Using 1E ActiveEfficiency to map your subnets to locations (we provide a script to import your existing AD site definitions), so content is only transferred across the WAN once to each location rather than once to each subnet.

Allow multiple sources per subnet using Nomad's FanOut feature. By default, when content is requested, Nomad will elect a single master per subnet and all peers in the subnet get the content from that one elected master. FanOut enables additional peers within the subnet that already have enough of the required content (i.e. more than the client that is requesting it) in their cache to serve other peers. This can increase deployment speeds significantly as many more clients can simultaneously download content from multiple peers within a subnet.

Nomad Dashboard provides summary information on the version and health of Nomad clients in your environment, which content has been 'Nomad enabled', overall WAN bandwidth usage over time and summary statistics on the latest deployments. The dashboard can be viewed from the Configuration Manager console or from a browser.

Peer-based PXE turns workstations into PXE servers with 1E PXE Everywhere, enabling bare-metal builds in locations that don't have Distribution Points without sending out engineers with USB drives.

Peer-based user state storage allows the User State Migration Tool (USMT) to store data on peers, so you don't have to implement State Migration Points everywhere or transfer huge amounts of user data across the WAN. Simply replace the standard Request User State Storage and Release User State Storage steps in a Task Sequence with the 1E Peer Backup Assistant equivalent steps and you're done.

BIOS to UEFI

For devices still running firmware in BIOS emulation mode, make the switch to UEFI with just a couple of steps in the Task Sequence to reconfigure the firmware (on Dell, HP and Lenovo systems) and convert the disk to GPT. Works with BIOS admin passwords and allows you to reset them at the same time too.

Wake-on-LAN

Schedule deployments out of hours when they will be least disruptive to users, with the confidence that the target devices will be on at the time using 1E's WakeUp technology. No need to open up your routers to forward network broadcasts - 1E WakeUp selects workstations in each subnet to do the broadcasts (and ensures that a device is always on to wake up others) keeping your network safe while ensuring devices can be woken up ready for scheduled deployments. By integrating WakeUp with Nomad, devices can be woken up if they have content that is needed by other local peers.

Self-service

Users can request applications, hardware, access to secured resources, Windows upgrades or rebuilds from a familiar app store portal delivered by 1E Shopping. Let users decide when is most convenient for them to upgrade their PC, taking the pain out of scheduling for IT admins and avoiding user disruption. Delegate software and OS deployment tasks to team leaders or local admin staff without giving them access to the Configuration Manager console. Windows Servicing Suite 3.0 further enhances the self-service experience with the Windows Servicing Assistant (WSA). This feature guides the user through preparing and completing OS upgrades, machine replacements and OS reinstall (computer refresh), ensuring everything is ready to complete the deployment and starting it when the user is ready, whether the user is in the office or working remotely connected via VPN.

Application Migration

When deploying a new OS, why install old, non-standard or unnecessary applications? Using inventory collected by Configuration Manager and normalized using the 1E Catalog, 1E Application Migration enables administrators to define rules to retain, upgrade or replace applications during an OS deployment. Rules can include usage criteria, so if an application was installed but not being used, you can choose not to reinstall it or replace it with a cheaper / free alternative. Automation is delivered with a 1E Task Sequence step that sets Task Sequence variables used by the standard Install Package and Install Application Task Sequence steps to install the required software during OS deployment.

Understanding OS deployment scenarios

The Windows Servicing Suite can be used to automate the deployment of (and upgrade to) Windows 10 in the following scenarios. For a full description of these scenarios refer to https://technet.microsoft.com/itpro/windows/deploy/windows-10-deployment-scenarios.

Computer refresh (aka Wipe-and-load or OS refresh)

In a computer refresh scenario, the old operating system is completely wiped and a new operating system image is deployed. In some cases the disk may be repartitioned and reformatted before the new OS image is installed (a "destructive" wipe and load as all data on the disk is completely lost). If there is no need to repartition the disk, Configuration Manager can simply delete the content of the disk, enabling some content to be persisted on the disk (in the temporary _SMSTaskSequence folder) while the OS Deployment Task Sequence completes (a "non-destructive" wipe and load as it is possible to preserve some content and data on the disk). In either case, it is necessary to capture the user data and settings before applying the new OS image and to install applications that the user needs and restore their user data once the new OS image has been installed.

The 1E Windows Servicing Suite supports the following features in the computer refresh scenario:

    • Self-service - users can request an OS refresh through the 1E Shopping portal and be guided through the process with the Windows Servicing Assistant
    • Peer-to-peer content distribution with bandwidth management - deploy confidently without Distribution Points everywhere
    • Automated firmware configuration to switch from BIOS to UEFI on Dell, Lenovo and HP devices
    • Peer-based storage and restore of user state data - no more State Migration Points
    • Automated, usage-based migration of applications - reinstall the applications that the user was previously using, install a later version if required or replace one application with another.

Computer replace (aka Hardware refresh)

In a computer replace scenario, the user's device is replaced with a new device, either with the Windows 10 image already installed or as a 'bare-metal' device that needs to have the image deployed. In this scenario it is necessary to capture the user settings from the user's old device, then install the applications they had before and restore their data onto the new device.

The 1E Windows Servicing Suite supports the following features in the computer refresh scenario

On the old computer

    • Self-service – users can request the backup of data from their old computer through the 1E Shopping portal and be guided through the process with the Windows Servicing Assistant
    • Peer-based storage of user state – no State Migration Point needed

On the new computer, if it is provided with the Windows 10 image, 1E agents and Configuration Manager already installed

    • Self-service – if the new computer is provided fully built, users can initiate the restore of data backed up from their old computer through the 1E Shopping portal and be guided through the process with the Windows Servicing Assistant
    • Peer-based restore of user state  – no State Migration Point needed
    • Automated, usage-based migration of applications – reinstall the applications that the user was previously using, install a later version if required or replace one application with another.

If the new computer is provided as bare-metal:

    • Peer-based PXE – start the build process by booting from the network without USB drives or PXE Service Points
    • Peer-to-peer content distribution with bandwidth management – deploy confidently without Distribution Points everywhere
    • Automated firmware configuration to switch from BIOS to UEFI on Dell, Lenovo and HP devices
    • Peer-based storage and restore of user state data – no more State Migration Points
    • Automated, usage-based migration of applications – reinstall the applications that the user was previously using, install a later version if required or replace one application with another.

In-place upgrade

An in-place upgrade is installed on a device as an Operating System update. As such, user data and applications remain intact on the disk.

The 1E Windows Servicing Suite supports the following features in the in-place upgrade scenario:

    • Self-service – users can request the upgrade through the 1E Shopping portal and be guided through the process with the Windows Servicing Assistant
    • Peer-to-peer content distribution with bandwidth management – deploy confidently without Distribution Points everywhere
    • Automated firmware configuration to switch from BIOS to UEFI on Dell, Lenovo and HP devices
    • Automated upgrade or replacement of applications – in an In-place Upgrade, applications remain installed. The 1E Application Migration feature allows rule-based upgrade or replacement of applications during the upgrade.

New computer (aka Bare-metal)

The new computer scenario will typically be used when preparing a device for a new user (e.g. a new joiner to the organization) where now previous data or applications need to be migrated.

The 1E Windows Servicing Suite supports the following features in the In-place Upgrade scenario:

    • Peer-based PXE - start the build process by booting from the network without USB drives or PXE Service Points
    • Peer-to-peer content distribution with bandwidth management - deploy confidently without Distribution Points everywhere
    • Automated firmware configuration to switch from BIOS to UEFI on Dell, Lenovo and HP devices