Windows Deployment Services (WDS)

Windows Deployment Services is a server role that gives administrators the ability to deploy Windows operating systems remotely. 

WDS can be used for network-based installations to set up new computers so administrators do not have to directly install each operating system (OS).

If an administrators is thinking of using WDS, Microsoft recommends having a good understanding of common networking components and deployment technologies, including Active Directory Domain Services, DNS and DHCP. Microsoft also recommends that it may be helpful for administrators to have a good understanding of the Preboot Execution Environment PXE.

If a Windows Deployment Services server is running Windows Server 2012 R2, WDS can be managed with PowerShell cmdlets. These cmdlets can help with specific tasks such as cloning disk images, adding driver packages and disabling or enabling install and boot images.

See also: Ghost

This was last updated in March 2014

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