I have seen a number of questions on how to setup preferred servers and use OS Provisioning to deploy machines regionally rather than just locally. We use preferred servers configured for replication and PXE Rep across our remote footprint. At these locations we don't want the build device to come back to
the core server because it is connected to a T1 and the people at the site need the bandwidth for business purposes during the day.
This is what we do.
1) I have a script that configrues a Windows 7 (x32 or x64) or 2008 R2 server to become a preferred server and to use IIS to deliver patch, SD and other data to
requestors. This is ran on target devices that we plan to use as either a "Replication Anchor" and / or a PXE rep / OS Provisioning host.
2) Once the target server has been configured as a replicator we begin the process of replicating all of the files from the OSD, SoftwareDist and LDLogon\Patch
folders on the primary replicator.
3) Once replication has completed and the remote replicatin server is regularly updating we activate the IP address(es) that it will support as a preferred server.
It is now capable of delivering files to peers.
4) those servers that our remote tech staff uses is now configured as a PXE reprresentative. In fact those machines that are going to serve in this capacity are
configured, tested and sent out from our central location so that when they arrive at their destiation we have a reasonable expectation that they will indeed work
5) We load all of the IMAGE files (*.TBI) we use into the \OSD Share on the target PXE rep (LDPS)
6) We load all of the files and installs that are executed by the OS Provisioning process into folders in the \OSD share under \Support\<whatever>. The files here
(to include the WSAgent folder which has our provisioning and production agents in it) are sent as payloads to an install folder on the target build PC during the
early stages of the OS provisioning.
7) We run all of the applications locally from the device being deployed using Executable tasks in the OSP template(s). This is where you save time by not fooling
with SD transactions and downloading the agent over a slow line from the core server. The agents in the WSAgent folder are actually "Self-Contained Agent files"
they run there on the target machine. At the end of the process we will initiate an LDISCN32 and a number of Vulscans (by executing a prepared custom group built
and updated with all of the pathes that the given IMAGE file will require before it is delivered onsite.
8) Replication takes place nightly for all SD and Patch data and whenever we alter the build we replicate the OSD folder with all of its provisioning information.
In this way all build servers mimick the development server and ease te management of OS provisioning templates.
9) The HII drivers can also be deployed to the LDPS PXE rep and further minimize WAN traffic which also speeds up the OS provisioning process remotely