For organizations planning to install CloudReady on fewer than 100 machines, creating multiple USB installers typically results in faster deployment times and is recommended.
These instructions assume that you have already deployed Microsoft Windows Deployment Services (WDS) infrastructure at your site.
Be aware that CloudReady comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit variants. Deploying a 64-bit image to a device with 32-bit processor architecture will result in a device that cannot boot and will need re-imaging.
- CloudReady_WDS_Tools.zip, which contains tools you will need for WDS deployment of CloudReady.
- A custom CloudReady image for your organization, designed for WDS deployment. The standard installation files available on my.neverware.com will NOT function for mass deployment. Please contact support to have one created for you at no charge. The process will generally take 3 business days or less.
- A server running Windows Deployment Services.
Process - 1 of 4 - Customize settings for your network
1. Create a shared network folder on your network and extract the contents of CloudReady_WDS_Tools.zip into it.
2. From the downloads section of my.neverware.com, download the appropriate image for your WDS deployment. 32 and 64 bit deployable images are available in both UEFI and Legacy-boot variants. Please note, deployable images are not present by default - contact our support team to have them created for you. Unzip the large (more than 10GB) .bin file into the same shared network folder.
3. Edit the startnet.cmd file and replace the following placeholders:
USERNAME: The username of a domain user that has read permissions to the network share containing the CloudReady files. For example: administrator
PASSWORD: The password of a domain user that has read permissions to the network share containing the CloudReady files. For example: p@ssword
DOMAINNAME: Your Windows domain name. For example: neverware.com
\\SERVERNAME\SHARENAME: The network path of the share containing the CloudReady files. For example: \\wdsserver\deployment\CloudReady
FILENAME.BIN: The name of the large .bin file. For example: cloudready_deployable_64bit_uefi.bin
4. Save the startnet.cmd file.
Process - 2 of 4 - Edit the Boot Image
1. Connect via RDP or another remote access method to the desktop of the server hosting the CloudReady network share. The following commands cannot be executed on a remote network share.
2. Open an administrative command prompt
3. Via the command prompt, navigate to the folder containing the CloudReady files. For example: e:\sharedfiles\cloudready
4. In the command prompt, execute the following command, substituting the actual local path of the folder containing the cloudready files:
imagex /mountrw [your path to cloudready.wim file] 1 [your path to tmp folder]
For example: imagex /mountrw e:\sharedfiles\cloudready\cloudready.wim 1 e:\sharedfiles\cloudready\tmp
5. Allow for the cloudready.wim file to be mounted. The contents of the cloudready.wim file will be present in the "tmp" subfolder inside the folder containing your CloudCeady files.
6. Using windows file explorer, copy the startnet.cmd file you modified into the windows\system32 folder inside of temp, overwriting the previous file.
7. Close any open explorer windows or files accessing the tmp subfolder. The unmount process in the next step is very particular that no files are in use.
8. In the command prompt, execute the following command, substituting the actual local path of the folder containing the cloudready files
imagex /unmount /commit [local path to tmp folder]
For example: imagex /unmount /commit e:\sharedfiles\cloudready\tmp
9. Allow for the image to become unmounted. The process of editing the boot image is now complete!
Process - 3 of 4 - Enable Boot Image for WDS
- Open Windows Deployment Services.
- Expand the server that currently hosts your PXE images.
- Select boot images.
- Right click "Boot Images" and select “Add Boot Image”
- Browse to the location of the cloudready.wim file that you previously modified. It is located at [path]\cloudready_boot\cloudready.wim
- Click Next
- Change the image name to “CloudReady”
- Click Next
- Click Next
- Click Finish
Process - 4 of 4 - Deploy CloudReady on a Client Machine
- PXE boot a client machine.
- Select the “CloudReady” boot image from the menu. Deployment will proceed automatically.
- After deployment the computer will reboot with CloudReady installed.
To facilitate large-scale deployments, CloudReady can be deployed using Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). Neverware provides guidance, custom SCCM-deployable disk images, and an easily importable SCCM task sequence to customers upon request. To discuss deploying CloudReady in your organization using SCCM, please contact our sales team.
Other tools that facilitate whole/raw disk imaging and PXE-based network deployment of those images to disks may be usable as deployment methods for CloudReady. Altiris, Symantec Ghost, FOG, and others are examples.
Although Neverware is unable to officially support these alternative deployment methods, they may work.
For all instances of mass-deployment, it is critical that you follow these general guidelines:
- The image you deploy should not be a CloudReady Installer image (~6 GB size) - those images are meant only for USB installation.
You can capture an image from a device after installing to it via USB, or use deployment images provided by Neverware.
- If you capture an image for deployment, make sure to capture the image immediately after USB install completes, but before that device has been powered on for the first time. Capturing an image that has already been turned on once will lead to problems with both Neverware and Google licensing and management.
- Make sure you account for disk capacity and boot mode (legacy vs uefi) - you may need to deploy a different image to different devices based on these variations.