Using DFS for Software Installation
Subject:   The Next Level
Date:   2005-04-05 22:22:26
From:   jonblock
We have been using this trick for perhaps a year, but for a different reason. We have a dozen offices connected over a Wide Area Network, with servers in each office. Using DFS and replication (which was mentioned but dismissed in the article), all of our machines see the same software installation directories, but are actually installing the software from a local repository. The same installations over the WAN might take weeks, if they didn't time out first.

Add in Remote Installation Services and some configuration management effort up front, and we routinely deploy systems with a clean OS install and current software installations in a matter of hours, regardless of office location. That may seem long compared to disk-imaging techniques, but we have the equivalent of dozens of up-to-date configurations always available, even when one of our hundreds of deployed software packages are upgraded. The extra hour or two per machine is worth it, in our opinion, particularly because most of that time is unattended operation.