SCCM MDT integration enables an administrator to take advantage of advanced OSD Deployment scenarios and unlocks features like extra OSD variables, user driven installations (named LIte Touch) and more.
Once you integrate SCCM and MDT you can take advantage of both deployment methodologies taking advantage of MDT deployment capabilities while leveraging ConfigMgr features.
SCCM MDT Integration Requisites
The first step to integrate SCCM with MDT is of course downloading latest version of Windows Deployment Toolkit which at the time of this writing is MDT Update 1 which you can download here
MDT installation is trivial so you can accept all defaults till the package is installed on the ConfigMgr server.
SCCM MDT Integration Configuration
Once Windows Deployment Toolkit is installed on the ConfigMgr server go to the Start page and search or Integration so to launch the SCCM MDT integration utility where all necessary configuration parameters and options should already be selected
Once you click on the Next button the utility will copy integration binaries to the ConfigMgr console, the operation will take little time and will be confirmed by a success message
Once necessary binaries are in place open the ConfigMgr console and navigate to [Software Library] / [Operating Systems] / [Task Sequences] right-click the node and select Create MDT Task Sequence or click the button in the Ribbon interface
[su_note note_color=”#ffff96″ text_color=”#000000″ radius=”5″]Note: As the MDT integration happens at the console level you will need to install the deployment toolkit on every machine where the ConfigMgr console is installed. [/su_note]
Being able to select the MDT Task Sequence tells us the integration went smoothly but the process does not make any change to the ConfigMgr content so we still need to take some steps to create necessary MDT recourses.
In the window that will appear from the Create MDT Task Sequence select Client Task Sequence
in the following Window assign a new to the new task sequence
As you will see in the following page the number of options which are presented to us is far way superior to what is shown when using standard ConfigMgr OSD task sequence.
Specify parameters for Domain Join, Windows Registration Settings and local administrator password
In the Capture Settings I have chosen the option This Task sequence will never be used to capture an image as the task sequence will be used to deploy stock Windows image
In the Boot Image page select the option to create a new boot image and specify the UNC path where boot.wim file is located
In the General Settings page specify a name and version for the boot image and in the Options page specify Platform type (x86 or x64) and the scratch partition size which I have set to 128MB for this example
in the Components page you can specify any additional component that should be made part of the WinPE image that will be used to boot the client via network for example you can enable PowerShell support so to be able to use PowerShell scripts in your WinPE environment
In the Customization page you can, among other things, add extra files to the boot image or specify a custom background bitmap file for this article just select Enable command support (F8) which is handy in troubleshooting the Task Sequence
To take full advantage of SCCM MDT Integration you will need to either specify an MDT Package or create a new one during the task sequence creation wizard
In the OS Image page you can either create a new OS image, for example if you’re deploying a thick custom Windows image, or use an existing one like I did
In the Deployment Method page you can select if you want to perform a User Driven (Lite Touch) or Zero Touch installation which is basically a completely automated installation , for this article I will be using Zero Touch Installation option
In the Client Package window either specify an existing ConfigMgr installation package or create a new one
You have the same options for the USMT Package that will be used in all those cases where ConfigMgr needs to save existing user’s profile in a refresh or computer replace deployment scenarios
In the Settings Package page specify the UNC path where the MDT Settings package will be store (or use an existing one in case it has already been created for another task sequence)
As the Task Sequence will be used to deploy a fresh Windows installation no Sysprep settings can be specified
You can review all settings in the Summary page and if no change needs to be done click Next to start the Task Sequence creation
The whole process will take approximately 5/10 minutes, depending on the environment, and while it is a slightly complicated process the good news is that you need to go through it only once as most of the components created with the task sequence can be recused.
Once task sequence creation is over right-click on the newly created sequence and select Edit from the contextual menu
I think the difference is obvious anyhow on the right of the picture you can see the standard SCCM Task Sequence and on the left side the MDT one which is huge.
SCCM MDT In Action
Once the task sequence has been created all that you need to do is distribute content for the packages that have been created to your Distribution Points, make the MDT boot image available on PXE enabled DP and finally advertise the task sequence to the desired collection so that clients will be able to install Windows using MDT.
As you can see in the picture below the image deployment looks much more detailed than the one that is by default made available through standard SCCM OSD Task Sequence
While covering all capabilities of MDT deployments is not possible in a single article I think you got a good idea of advantages of integrating MDT with SCCM.
In subsequent posts I will describe in greater detail various MDT functions and how they can be used to make even complex OS Deployment issues easy to solve with built-in functions or through script extensions.