Today we’ll continue or blog series about our work with the automation of our Managed Client services. If you missed Part 1 it can be found here.
It’s time to talk about the Image Factory. So what is an Image factory you might ask? Our Image Factory automates the creation of a reference image on a schedule. Making sure the latest updates and components is installed.
Maintaining up to date reference images for a large number of customers have previously been very time consuming – for many reasons. Partly because almost every IT-environment are different from each other and that the customer infrastructure often doesn’t have the necessary resources available. Some customers also have chosen to make many adjustments to their images such as settings or applications. We’ve also found that the process of updating a reference image have been manual and differs between customers.
In our previous blog post we lined up the overall goals that our solution needs to support. We want it to be “Multi-Tenant” and that the reference images must be generated automatically. To solve this, we need an overall image that updates itself. We then want to distribute the newly created image through Desired State.
The foundation of our Image Factory is based on PowerShell together with scheduled tasks. We have two servers in order to make this work. A virtual machine running MDT 2013 (Update 2) and a host server with the Hyper-V role installed (Windows Server 2012 R2). It is on the Hyper-V host that the reference machines (VM’s) are provisioned via the scripts. A VM is provisioned, starts and installs OS, updates and components, then run a capture. Finally, it removes the virtual machines. Sounds simple right?
To get a clear picture of what we wanted out of the scripts, we started with developing a process for how we intend to manage the creation of the reference images.
This is what our process look like:
Managed Client – Automation
We plan to publish the Image Factory scripts on our Github soon, but for you who want to start looking at our Desired State module for MDT – it’s available at the Powershell Gallery and on Github. Enjoy!
IT Architect and Senior Consultant at Addlevel. An Infrastructure Expert and DevOps Engineer with engagements ranging from automation, loganalytics, security design and architecture.