A previous webcast we hosted, “Quit Ghosting and Improve your IT Health in Three Easy Steps,” highlights the major pain points that most IT administrators suffer when using Symantec Ghost. They include hardware specific images, proprietary file format, and drivers.
A previous webcast we hosted, “Quit Ghosting and Improve your IT Health in Three Easy Steps,” highlights the major pain points that most IT administrators suffer when using Symantec Ghost.
- Hardware specific images
- Proprietary file format
- Drivers: per machine or mass storage and network
- Bake in or DeployAnywhere
- Find & download everything you need
Our guest speaker in this webcast was Chris Wall, an Applications Administrator from Parsons, Behele & Latimer. Prior to purchasing SmartDeploy, Chris and his team struggled with Ghost, and he shared some of his frustrations with us (edited for readability):
“I have to agree with their pain points. The many different images that have to be created with Ghost. I just started this Application Administrator position back in January, and I had a big job and shoes to fill to learn Ghost and all the tricks that you had to do to get it to work with Windows 7.
Here in this firm we have about 260 seats, and across all the HP computers that we have, we usually have four different models in the firm at any certain point in time. And for each of those, as they mentioned, you may want to have that second image so you can load all your programs that you need before running Sysprep. And we even had a third image on top of that, we’d run Sysprep and then capture the image before reboot. So, for each machine type we had three images to maintain. It got to the point where we had to have a lot of space to keep all these images for each of the machine types. The biggest thing we started noticing that we really didn’t like was the all the automated stuff that Ghost used to do, like with Ghost Walker where it would give it [the computer] a new unique identifier and join it to the domain as well as rename the computer all just before it would reboot.
A lot of that we had to end up to start doing manually before we finished with our annual computer refresh. When I took over the position I started doing the ghost images and getting them all prepared. But I also, at the same time, because I was told by my boss to take it under my wing and make it my own, started perusing finding different software options. And in that search I found Acronis Snap Deploy, which in my little bit of time I spent with it, was a little bit more time consuming and difficult to set up. Whereas when I came across SmartDeploy, in the matter of getting it and once we had it purchased it was 30 minutes to 45 minutes to set up and I had it up and running and I had an image mostly created within an hour or two. From that one image we can image everything because it’s hardware independent with SmartDeploy’s Platform Packs that contain all the drivers needed for most business computer models out there. So it was really easy to use and great to get back to that automated functionality that we had, of [the computer] joining the domain, giving it that new unique identifier and changing the computer name to whatever we wanted to change it to. It’s been a great product to use and I’m glad we found it.”