What Is Image Deployment?
Purchasing hundreds or even thousands of PCs and devices is an investment—and an important one. After all, your business PCs enable employees to work productively. Protecting that investment requires a PC life-cycle management strategy that takes enterprise OS configuration into account.
Different devices have different usages. As such, your business may want to configure the OS, applications, and other parts of the system a certain way for each type of device and use case. System and OS image deployment offers IT an efficient way to rapidly set up and manage a fleet of computers with profiles for each type of device and user. These profiles, or images, are then standardized company wide.
The main benefit of standardizing images is time savings. It can take a long time—and substantial IT expertise—to test and validate an image to ensure all applications are working. When IT teams can roll out a standardized image, they save the time it would take to revalidate each image. This simplifies IT housekeeping duties while enhancing the user experience by providing the software and tools each employee requires.
Another benefit is enhanced productivity. Imaging means devices are ready to go quickly, leading to less downtime. Additionally, IT can install only the software necessary for a specific user.
Image deployment typically involves the following steps:
- Customize and validate the OS, applications, drivers, and settings on a single computer. This process can take approximately 90 days. Once complete, IT can save far more time in the long run by not having to revalidate these items for each PC.
- Once the system or OS image is validated, the correct images can be deployed to the corresponding computers and devices. This dramatically streamlines the process of OS deployment.
By keeping images consistent across its entire fleet, IT can rapidly add new applications and complete updates while mitigating the risk of incidents. This is because a consistent OS can help make sure that each machine runs software as it is intended and that security measures are in place.
System and OS image deployment offers IT an efficient way to rapidly set up and manage a fleet of computers with profiles for each type of device and user.
Benefits of Image Deployment
Imaging helps IT teams shift their focus from basic management chores to more strategic activities that require greater attention.
- Enjoy rapid computer setup. New computers can be up and running using the same configuration contained in the image. This prevents IT from having to install various software and applications on each new machine that's placed into service.
- Save time and effort. Rolling out a single image to thousands of machines at once, instead of deploying images one at a time, saves time and ensures important settings and applications are in place. Administrators can set up a device quickly and redirect their time to higher-value tasks.
- Achieve PC standardization. By establishing that an organization's computers are standardized according to the device and user profile, management and maintenance tasks can be less challenging.
- Receive 24/7 global support. When all devices are configured to the latest OS, IT can access updates and additional support from Microsoft and other OS vendors. Businesses that do not migrate to the current OS of any vendor risk losing that support. They can also take a hit in terms of software functionality, which can hinder user experience, security, efficiency, and productivity.3
Intel vPro® Platform
The Intel vPro® platform is a built-for-business PC platform that offers a range of hardware-based features. It delivers the latest PC platform technologies in one integrated and validated solution, giving IT and end users the stability and reliability of a true business-class device.
The Intel vPro® platform helps simplify PC life-cycle management by enabling predictable transitions. The Intel® Stable IT Platform Program (Intel® SIPP), a part of the Intel vPro® platform, features an extensive validation program that aims for no hardware changes throughout the buying cycle, for at least 15 months or until the next generational release. Fewer updates mean fewer hassles and interruptions for users, resulting in a more seamless overall experience, especially when it comes to deploying and maintaining images.
Intel works with device manufacturers to ensure companies can buy the same PC SKUs, globally, for 12+ months with accompanying product support. Furthermore, Intel vPro® platform architects work closely with device manufacturers to rigorously test a comprehensive list of business-class Intel® components. Components include processors, graphics, chipsets, and networking. This reduces the overall burden on IT.
In addition, Intel validates multiple versions of Windows 10 on any given generation of the platform. This enables businesses to better manage Windows 10 upgrades and take advantage of extended support from Microsoft for any given OS release.
Remote Management to Support Image Deployment
Part of the Intel vPro® platform, Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT) offers powerful remote management capabilities. IT administrators can deploy images or updates to devices remotely, saving time and reducing the costs related to truck rolls and downtime.4 Intel® Active Management Technology also simplifies OS migration, allowing admins to turn on and update systems remotely. This eases the path to a company-wide Windows 10 migration.
With Intel® Active Management Technology, users returning to their computers will find that updates have taken place overnight, which avoids interference with their productivity during work hours. Likewise, refreshing drivers across the fleet can be done during off-hours. This helps ensure a consistent, company-wide user experience while allowing updated software to run smoothly and perform at its full potential.