Configuration Manager and the MDT Database (1 of 5)
This is the first of a five part series on utilizing the MDT integration into Configuration Manager to improve your Operating System Deployment functionality. These processes will make your OSD setup much more dynamic. The series will be:
- Assumptions and creating the MDT database
- Dynamic OSD using the MDT Database
- Application Replacement…this post is the reason I started the series. This will discuss configuring the application replacement functionality (also referred to as package mapping)…one of the more powerful components of OSD once it is working correctly! In a nutshell, it is a process for dynamically replacing applications during a computer refresh or replace scenario. For example, if a computer has Visio installed and I re-image it…ensure that Visio is re-installed. Or…if Acrobat 6, 7, 8 or 9 is installed…replace it with Acrobat X. VERY nice! This post will detail the necessary modifications that must be made to the RetrievePackages stored procedure in order for this to work for both a Refresh and Replace scenario.
- Application Replacement #2. Populating the PackageMapping table.
- OSD and the MDT Database…connecting all the dots from the previous four posts. Setting up a task sequence to use the MDT database.
While the end goal of this series is to show you how to use the MDT database to perform dynamic application replacement in your Configuration Manager task sequence, there is a lot that must be put into place before we get there. First let’s deal with a few assumptions that I am making.
- Configuration Manager 2007 is installed and functional
- OSD is functioning at a basic level…image is imported and can be deployed via a standard deployment task sequence
- MDT 2010 Update 1 is installed on the site server
- “Configure Configuration Manager Integration” has been run on the site server
- An MDT Task sequence has been created and the wizard has built packages for:
- MDT Toolkit
- Custom Settings
- A boot image has been created using the “Create Microsoft Deployment Boot Image” wizard. During the wizard, ADO support must be added to the boot image. ADO support is required to be able to query a database from Windows PE. Any necessary Mass Storage and Wired NIC drivers should also be added to the boot image.
Creating the MDT Database:
- Log on to the server where MDT is installed with an account that has rights to create a database on the SQL server.
- Open the Deployment Workbench
- Right click “Deployment Shares” and choose to create a New Deployment Share
- Walk through the rest of the wizard. Take note of the share name (the default share name is “DeploymentShare$”) as we will refer to that later. There is no need to populate the deployment share like you would need to do if just using MDT. Uncheck all of the checkboxes in the wizard (image capture, admin password, and product key).
- Expand Deployment Shares | MDT Deployment Share | Advanced Configuration | Database
- Right click Database, select New Database. Follow the New DB Wizard
- Enter the SQL server that will host the DB. Choose “Named Pipes” for the Network Library. I have seen others who have commented that TCP/IP can be problematic. These were mostly old posts, so it may not be an issue any more. Whichever is used, be sure it is enabled on the SQL server.
- Choose to create a new database. Give it a name that makes sense. (e.g. MDTdb)
- On the SQL Share screen, choose any share that exists on the SQL server. This is only used for establishing that the credentials can work. It can be any share. In a single server scenario where the MDT Deployment share is on the server, you can use DeploymentShare$ that was created when you created the Deployment Share in step #3 above. If a special share is created just for this purpose, then a file should be created in the share to indicate its purpose to protect against accidental deletion because someone thinks it is not being used.
- Continue through the wizard to finish. The new DB connection will appear in the Deployment Workbench.
This post walked through the background requirements and the initial creation of the MDT database…the necessary pre-reqs for the Application Replacement / Package Mapping functionality to work. The next post in the series will show you how to populate the MDT database to set the stage for customizing your OSD deployments.