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Mar 2014

Bad Advice: Putting too much stuff into you image.


This week I got a question. I’m paraphrasing it for clarity, but here’s the general gist:

“Hey Jeremy… I got some advice to make things “go faster” by putting as much stuff into my image as possible. What do you think of this advice?”

In short: Good intentions, bad advice.

Here’s my the short and sweet answer: The “more fatter” you make your image, you do save in initial “possible waits” for client machines. That is, if you pre-load all your software, settings, stop services, and so on… then, you’re “mostly done” when that user sits down on Day 1.

But IMHO, it’s not about Day 1. Day 1 will come and go.

It’s Day 2+ you need to be concerned about.

Let’s talk about Day 1:
On day one that user will get his first burst of GPOs, which will “do stuff” to the machine, and if you’re using some software deployment tool (SCCM, GPOs, whatever.) then the software will apply too.

Again: This is still DAY 1.

So, said another way: On Day 1, Mr. User will suffer (a little.)

But then by Day 2 (heck, really even just after the “burst” on Day 1)…
The storm is over.

And, at that point you’ve got the ability to FLEXIBLY MANAGE that machine, instead of hardcoding that machine with un-managable applications, setttings, locked services and so on.

So my general advice (which might not be applicable for ALL cases) is:

– Get the OS.
– Get as many patches as you can.
– Avoid installing software if you’ve got a managed way to deploy and monitor installations.
….and THAT’s your image.

Then drive all flexible changes you can to the desktop and OS using Group Policy (GP, GPPrefs and PolicyPak settings) along with deploying software via your software deployment tool.

Again: This is general advice which won’t work for every org or case. It’s just my opinion after zillions of admins have explained how they want to go from “totally (or poorly) unmanaged” to “totally managed.”

This is the first step in a journey.

We have less than THREE weeks to go for the Public Class in VA/DC. April 7 – 11th. If you’re on the journey from unmanaged to managed.. take that NEXT step and see you in class. Sign up:

Thanks and see ya there !

Jeremy Moskowitz (Group Policy Community)    (PolicyPak Software)

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