Going from device-to-device tweaking installation settings takes time, but fortunately, there is a more efficient option; OS imaging and deployment software. Image deployment software can capture OS images and deploy them to multiple computers remotely.
Here is our list of the 10 best OS imaging and deployment software:
- ManageEngine OS Deployer (FREE TRIAL) This service works offline as well as online and protects devices by managing OS configuration images. Start a 30-day free trial.
- SmartDeploy Creates a single image for Windows devices and stores on the cloud or to attached media.
- Acronis Snap Deploy 5 A high-volume disk imaging and OS deployment system that covers servers, PCs, and mobile devices.
- KACE Systems Deployment Appliance A configuration imaging and deployment system that includes automated driver and patch installation.
- Symantec Ghost Solution Suite An OS configuration management system that operates through a web browser and manages Windows, Linux, and Mac endpoints.
- AOMEI Image Deploy A free image deployment system for Windows.
- Ivanti A comprehensive imaging and software distribution system that includes remote deployment capabilities.
- smartImager An image deployment platform for Windows endpoints that includes process automation.
- Paragon Deployment Manager An OS deployment system for bare-metal and virtual appliance installations.
- Deploy Studio A free image deployment package for Mac OS X.
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The best OS imaging and OS deployment software
ManageEngine OS Deployer is a deployment platform that can create and deploy default OS images online or offline. Images can be customized and deployed across multiple computers with authentication passcodes.
This comprehensive software is very easy to use because ManageEngine OS Deployer automatically configures hardware settings during deployment. You can also push OSs to remote computers through the console so that you don’t have to manage each device individually.
There are three versions of ManageEngine OS Deployer: Free Edition, Professional, and Enterprise. The Free Edition supports up to four workstations and one server. The Professional version is suitable for LAN computers with online/offline imaging, SID handling, hardware-independent deployment, and more.
The Enterprise version is suitable for WAN computers and includes remote office deployment. You can download the 30-day free trial.
SmartDeploy is a desktop management solution with computer imaging and app deployment capabilities. The user can create one Windows golden image and deploy it to a PC made by any manufacturer or model). Single image management is much more efficient than trying to deploy lots of OS images separately. SmartDeploy can simultaneously deploy to 25 devices or more.
Deployments can be managed from one centralized console. To increase the speed of configuration there are also pre-built driver packages for over 1200 different hardware models.
The application deployment capabilities of SmartDeploy enable you to install applications on a golden virtual machine before capture. You can also deploy or update applications through the Application Layer rather than the Windows OS Layer. These applications can be accessed through the cloud or through more traditional means like DVDs and USB drives.
There are three pricing options available for SmartDeploy: Basic, Essential, and Premium. The Basic version costs $23.30 (£17.94) per machine and includes one support ticket per month and a 12 hour response time.
The Essential version costs $27.50 (£21.18) per machine and includes five support tickets per month and an eight hour response time. The Premium version starts at $30.80 (£23.72) for 10 tickets per month and a four hour response time.
Acronis Snap Deploy 5 is a piece of OS deployment and disk imaging software designed for high volume deployments. You can deploy a single OS image to a large number of Windows PCs, tablets, servers, or Linux through one central console. The platform creates images of OSs, files, and applications.
To increase the efficiency of deploying new software, Acronis Snap Deploy 5 allows the user to create custom configurations for bare-metal machines remotely. Then these machines can be booted from an Acronis PXE Server, CD, DVD, or flash drive. One of the main advantages of Acronis Snap Deploy 5 is that you don’t need to boot every system manually because the software will do it for you.
There are a number of pricing options for Acronis Snap Deploy 5. There is a per-machine pricing package and a per-deployment package. Acronis Snap Deploy 5 starts at a price of $9.99 (£7.69). You can download the free trial.
KACE Systems Deployment Appliance is an OS imaging and software deployment designed to distribute configuration files to devices. KACE Systems Deployment Appliance has deployment scheduling so you can regularly update your infrastructure through a web-based console.
The user experience is made simple through the GUI and the task engine, which allow you to control deployment tasks and reboots in real-time. There are also automated features that automate manual tasks like installing applications and deploying scripts. In addition, you can recover remote systems.
Automation is one of the biggest strengths of KACE Systems Deployment Appliance. For example, the platform automatically downloads the latest drivers by computer model. If you ever run into trouble then you can access the expertise of the IT Ninja Community and the KACE training library to find how to get the most out of the program.
KACE Systems Deployment Appliance is a solution suitable for those who want to manage OS deployments at scale. If you want to view a quote for KACE Systems Deployment Appliance you will have to contact the company directly. You can download the 30-day free trial version.
Symantec Ghost Solution Suite is a software imaging and deployment platform that can deploy software and custom configurations to bare-metal devices. Symantec Ghost Solution Suite supports a range of OSs including Windows, Mac, and Linux. The software can be loaded in any web browser by multiple users at once. The widespread accessibility of the program makes it ideal for remote environments.
To help new users become familiar with the program, Symantec Ghost Solution Suite provides Guided Wizards, that show how to complete certain tasks. For example, you can look up how to schedule jobs on computers, move computers between groups, and other manual tasks you might not know how to do.
Symantec Ghost Solution Suite is also very fast. The tool supports iPXE, which speeds up pre-boot automation and reduces downtime during deployment. Symantec Ghost Solution Suite can be purchased from a partner or the company website. There is also a free trial version.
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AOMEI Image Deploy is a free image deployment tool that allows you to provision bare-metal devices. The tool has a prompt that takes you through the process of deploying OS to connected computers. The user can view a list of IP addresses and restoring percentages. These features provide an overview that makes remote management much easier.
The software also has dissimilar hardware support. That means that you can deploy OSs to the target computers with different types of hardware. Dissimilar hardware support makes AOMEI Image Deploy a good fit in environments with computers from lots of different vendors.
AOMEI Image Deploy is available on Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. There are two basic paid versions available to purchase: AOMEI Backupper Professional and AOMEI Backupper Workstation.
AOMEI Backupper Professional costs $49.95 (£38.47) per license. AOMEI Backupper Workstation costs $59.95 (£46.17) per license and includes additional features like centralized backup management. You can download the 30-day free trial version.
Ivanti is an automated OS imaging platform with zero-touch imaging and migration capabilities. The software is easy to configure with a range of wizards to help set up OSs and drivers. To provision a new service, all you need to do is click on the type of service you want to deploy.
Deployment options include Application, OS installation, eScript Package, Software Set, Driver Installation, APPX Package, Configuration Package, Distribution of Files, Virtual Application, and more.
Through the Ivanti DSM Packaging Workbench, you can use a scripting language to edit scripts. There are around 170 different commands you can use to manage installations. Packages can also be monitored throughout deployment through the Software Package Lifecycle dashboard, which shows the status of packages.
If there is a problem during deployment, Ivanti supports remote administration so the user can control devices and systems remotely. Remote administration increases productivity because a user doesn’t need to be on-site to fix issues in deployment.
Ivanti is ideal for geographically dispersed teams who want a simple OS deployment platform to work from. To view the pricing information for Ivanti you will have to request a custom quote form the company. You can download the free trial version.
smartImager is an image deployment software solution that supports any version of Windows. smartImager uses a dynamic scripting engine so that you don’t need to create scripts to deploy Operating System images. It also automates driver deployment and picks the best driver for a given platform, speeding up the wider deployment process.
Automatic driver capturing and indexing allows you to work with new hardware almost immediately without installing any add-ons. The user interface makes it easy to keep on top of deployment progress through the dashboard. The dashboard displays real-time metrics and reporting features that enable you to manage deployments.
The software is also available for your phone or tablet so that you can remotely manage your network no matter where you are located. smartImager is thus highly recommended to enterprises that want a low-maintenance and accessible image deployment solution.
For image deployment up to 500 computers, smartImager costs $4,495 (£3,461) per year. However, if you need something different then you can request a custom quote from the company directly. There is also a 60-day free trial.
Paragon Deployment Manager is an OS deployment platform that can install systems on bare-metal and virtual writable devices. Paragon Deployment Manager is easy to install and use with a Wix-Based installer that takes you through the process of configuring your administration environment. Once you’re up and running you can manage all your deployments from one pane of glass.
When it comes to deploying software, you can deploy to dissimilar hardware and groups of devices. There is also the ability to schedule future deployments. To maximize efficiency you can also back up changes to master images.
To view the price of the Paragon Deployment Manager you will have to contact the company directly. You can contact Paragon by filling out the form here.
DeployStudio is a freeware image deployment platform for Mac OS. Users can deploy to Mac computers and monitor deployments in real-time. Deploy Studio can be used through a hard drive and remotely, making it suitable for networks of all shapes and sizes.
Workflows drive the bulk of the user experience. Workflow tasks can be created for setting a hostname, creating a new user, creating additional network locations, and inputting a site license number.
There is also the ability to complete more general administrative tasks such as running scripts, partitioning disks, installing packages, copying files, and restarting systems after completing a workflow. These features give the user complete control over OS deployments without the need for any technical knowledge.
If you’re looking for a low-cost OS deployment solution for Mac devices then DeployStudio is a good option. You can download the program for free.
Choosing OS imaging and deployment software
No matter how well you maintain your hardware, all devices are bound to fail at one point or another. Having a disk image to back up your systems will ensure you can return to normal operations even if a computer is compromised. While you can back up and deploy OSs manually it is more efficient to use an OS imaging and deployment platform.
Products like ManageEngine OS Deployer, SmartDeploy, and Acronis Snap Deploy all help you to remotely administer OSs. These software platforms will mesh with most data backup and recovery plan whether you’re using more traditional hardware or advanced virtual services.
OS Image Deployment Software FAQs
How can I speed up offline servicing?
You can speed up offline servicing for WIM with SCCM by removing indexes from the WIM. The system compares processing to a series of indexes, each written for a specific scenario. You won’t need all of those indexes for your specific deployment. View the indexes with the command
dism /get-imageinfo /imagefile:E:\<path to wim>\Install.wim
Remove unnecessary indexes one by one with the command
dism /delete-image /imagefile:E:\<path to wim>\Install.wim /index:1
-- the above example would remove index 1, change the index number in the command according to your selection.
The index number resequences with the removal of each index. Requery after each index removal to see the new number of the next index you want to remove. Fewer indexes listed in the WIM will shorten the offline servicing time.
Is an ISO image bootable?
Yes. Create a bootable DVD/USB with the image on it by using the Windows USB/DVD Download Tool to copy over the ISO image from your hard drive to the storage medium.
Will OS image deployment software work in a data center environment?
Yes. A data center environment is only different in one way – volume. Data centers can be tasks with setting up a very large number of devices in a batch. Process automation is essential in this scenario.