OSD and the MDT Database (5 of 5)
This is the last 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 #1…this post is the reason I started the series. Modifying the RetrievePackages stored procedure.
- 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.
So, up to this point in this series we have put most of the pieces in place that are necessary to allow both Dynamic operating system deployments that are driven by the MDT database as well as perform Application Replacement during both Computer Refresh and Computer Replace scenarios. Now we need to tie all of this together and make it work together.
The two remaining pieces of the puzzle are:
- Create the CustomSettings.ini File
- Set up the Task Sequence to Process the Database Settings
Create the CustomSettings.ini File
The information in the customsettings.ini file provides the “rules” that the computer needs for connecting to the database during the deployment.
1. In the MDT Workbench, select “Database” and then select “Configure Database Rules”
2. Walk through the wizard. After the wizard completes, the new customsettings.ini file will be saved in the \\server\DeploymentShare$\Control folder.
3. Copy the customsettings.ini file to the Settings package created in the MDT task sequence wizard earlier.
4. Edit the customsettings.ini file to add the following section into it. Merge these settings into the file. The SQLServer and SQLShare settings should match the SQL share created previously. If the MDT database is on a SQL instance other than default, then Instance=InstanceName must also be specified in the DynamicPackages section of customsettings.ini. Also the NetLib must be set correctly.
Priority= RetrievePackages, DynamicPackages, Default
5. This file should be copied to the Custom Settings package that is referenced by the Configuration Manager Deployment Task Sequence. The package will need to be updated on the DPs.
Set up the Task Sequence to Process the Database Settings
In order for the Configuration Manager Task Sequence to properly process the settings from the MDT database, a number of configurations must be performed.
- The Boot Image assigned to the Task Sequence must have ADO support. This is most easily accomplished by using a boot image created with the “Create Boot Image using Microsoft Deployment” wizard. As this is one of the assumptions from the first post in the series, I’m not going to detail how to do this.
- The task sequence must contain three key steps in order for database processing to occur..
- Use Toolkit Package – this is required before any MDT task.
- Gather – the first time Gather runs it should be set to process the customsettings.ini file created earlier.
- Install Software task must be created to install multiple packages based on a base variable name of “PACKAGES”. Be sure to select the “if application fails…” checkbox.
With all of this in place, your Task Sequence should do the following:
- Process the Dynamic settings set in the MDT database at deployment time. This will give automated configuration based on Make/Model, Location, etc.
- Query the Configuration Manager database and dynamically replace applications that were previously installed.