What`s New in Ghost Solution Suite 3.0

What`s New in Ghost Solution Suite 3.0
What’s New in Ghost Solution Suite 3.0
What’s New in Ghost Solution
Suite 3.0
This document highlights some of the most impactful new features of Ghost Solution Suite 3.0
For more comprehensive information, please view the Ghost Solution Suite product page or refer to the
release notes
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What’s New in Ghost Solution Suite 3.0
Table of Contents
Introduction
General Enhancements and Improvements
1
2
New OS and Hardware Support
Updated SQL Database Support
2
2
What’s New for GSS 2.5 Administrators
3
Powerful New Console
Manage More Systems More Efficiently
Organize Jobs in Customizable Folder Structure
Assign, Repeat, or Cancel Jobs Simply and Effectively
Tailor Access to Jobs or Computers with Console User Account Permissions
PXE Server Integration
Configure PXE from the GSS Console
Offer Custom Boot Images Through the Network Boot Menu
Easily Provision New Systems Using Initial Deployment Jobs
What’s New for Deployment Solution 6.9 Administrators
Integrated No-Cost Database
Integrated Ghost Recovery Kit
Integrated GhostCast Server
Organize Managed Systems More Flexibly With Dynamic Machine Groups
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What’s New in Ghost Solution Suite 3.0
Introduction
Ghost Solution Suite 3.0 is a long awaited major release that incorporates the best elements of
Deployment Solution (DS) 6.9 and Ghost Solution Suite (GSS) 2.5. This powerful new integrated offering
extends the capabilities for operating system deployment, configuration, PC "personality" migration,
and software deployment across multiple hardware platforms and OS types, and scales easily from small
business to large enterprise environments. With the latest Ghost binaries at its core, the release of GSS
3.0 signals a renewed commitment by Symantec to our loyal deployment and imaging customers around
the world.
The purpose of this document is to introduce some of the new features provided in Ghost Solution Suite
3.0, including those of particular interest to GSS 2.5 or DS 6.9 administrators.
Specifically, this document highlights the following topics:
General Enhancements and Improvements
o
New OS and Hardware Support, and Updated SQL Database Support
What’s New for GSS 2.5 Administrators
o
Powerful New Console
Manage More Systems More Efficiently
Organize Jobs in Customizable Folder Structure
Assign, Repeat, or Cancel Jobs Simply and Effectively
Tailor Access to Jobs or Computers with Console User Account Permissions
o
PXE Server Integration
Configure PXE from the GSS Console
Offer Custom Boot Images Through the Network Boot Menu
Easily Provision New Systems Using Initial Deployment Jobs
What’s New for DS 6.9 Administrators
o
Integrated No-Cost Database
o
Ghost Recovery Kit
o
GhostCast Server
o
Dynamic Machine Groups
Page 1
What’s New in Ghost Solution Suite 3.0
General Enhancements and Improvements
Ghost Solution Suite 3.0 has made a number of technological fixes and improvements based on
numerous customer requests, including adding support for new operating systems and hardware.
Some of the new general enhancements include:
New OS and Hardware Support
Support for Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1, Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite
Updated hardware support (UEFI 32-bit and 64-bit)
Support for WinPE 5.1 pre-boot operating systems
Includes LinuxPE pre-boot environments (x86 and x64) – [Note: it is the same version as shipped
with Deployment Solution 6.9 SP6]
Updated SQL Database Support
Support for Microsoft SQL Server 2014 and SQL 2014 Express
Page 2
What’s New in Ghost Solution Suite 3.0
What’s New for GSS 2.5 Administrators
Administrators familiar with Ghost Solution Suite 2.5 will be interested in the many features and
enhancements brought to GSS from Deployment Solution’s powerful console and integrated PXE server
management. Both topics are presented in greater detail, below.
Powerful New Console
The new Ghost Solution Suite console comes from Deployment Solution 6.9, and is a high performing
32-bit console with robust features that support real-time management of thousands of clients and
provide numerous ways to organize both the client computers and the jobs to manage them.
The new console provides the following features:
Manage more systems more efficiently
Organize jobs in customizable folder structure
Assign, repeat, or cancel jobs simply and effectively
Tailor access to jobs or computers with console user account permissions
Manage More Systems More Efficiently
The previous GSS console reached its max efficiency at one hundred computers, making management of
larger environments difficult. In contrast, the new console allows the management of thousands of
computers in real time.
Organize Jobs in Customizable Folder Structure
The new console provides flexible management of jobs,
which are used to perform any GSS management or
deployment activity, such as capturing an image, running a
script, or installing an operating system. Jobs can be sorted
by function, as in the sample jobs shown below, or into
custom folders and subfolders, making them easier to locate
and utilize.
Page 3
What’s New in Ghost Solution Suite 3.0
Assign, Repeat, or Cancel Jobs Simply and Effectively
The new console simplifies assignment of jobs to computers by providing a drag-and-drop interface
within the GUI. An administrator can simply drag a computer to a job or drag a job to a computer in
order to assign that job to that client system. Similarly, an entire computer group can be assigned the
same job by dragging and dropping the group to the job or vice versa.
After a drag-and-drop operation has been performed, a pop-up scheduling window allows the
administrator to verify the assignment before proceeding, allowing easy cancellation if anything was
selected incorrectly.
When scheduling a job, an administrator can:
Cancel a previously scheduled job by
selecting the radio button ‘Do not schedule’
Run the job immediately
Run the job at a particular date and time
Additional options that an administrator may
select include:
Repeat this job at a customizable interval
that can be specified in minutes, hours,
days, or weeks
Allow user deferral for a set number of minutes, hours, days, or weeks
Perform the job in batches (of a specified number of client systems) at customizable intervals
set in minutes
Allowing user deferral can prevent user disruption and potential data loss in the event of a logged on
user performing activities when a machine is scheduled to perform maintenance. Even allowing a few
minutes for users to finish an activity or save their work can have a positive effect.
Assigning a job to be performed in batches can prevent a large job from overwhelming the network,
especially in situations where multicast is not used.
Page 4
What’s New in Ghost Solution Suite 3.0
Tailor Access to Jobs or Computers with Console User Account Permissions
Console users and groups can be created in the GSS console or imported from Active Directory.
Ghost Solutions Suite 3.0 provides a security
system based on associating job and computer
objects with console user and group permissions,
letting IT personnel be assigned to different
security groups to manage operations on specific
computer groups or job folders. Each security group can perform only a defined scope of deployment
operations on each computer group or job
folder.
For example, a full administrator can set up a
Technicians group that has only basic access
and
permissions
limiting
deployment
operations. This prohibits members of the
group from re-imaging the Server computer
group or even seeing them displayed in the
console.
Page 5
What’s New in Ghost Solution Suite 3.0
PXE Server Integration
The new console includes an integrated PXE server configuration tool, centralizing the management of
all local and remote PXE servers to supply network boot images as needed across the environment.
The PXE Server configuration utility offers the following features:
Configure PXE from the GSS console
Offer custom boot images through the network boot menu
Easily provision new systems using initial deployment jobs
Configure PXE from the GSS Console
Everything necessary to configure local and remote PXE servers is available in the PXE Configuration
utility, which is accessed directly through the console. The Shared Configuration is used by all PXE
servers in the environment and is sufficient for most environments.
If needed, a custom configuration can be applied to a specific PXE server if there is a need for special
settings such as response delay or DHCP server discovery.
Page 6
What’s New in Ghost Solution Suite 3.0
Offer Custom Boot Images Through the Network Boot Menu
GSS 3.0 allows administrators to create many varieties of boot images to offer computers through the
network boot menu.
Boot images can be created for custom or generic computer hardware
configurations and architectures, and they can be displayed in any order in the boot menu.
Administrators have granular
control over precisely what is
contained by each boot image
file, including specifying the
pre-boot operating system
(such as WinPE 5.1 x64 or
LinuxPE
x86),
selecting
specific network and storage
drivers, and optionally adding
administrative tools or other
files.
Once the boot image files are created, they are shared to all PXE servers in the environment.
Administrators can pre-select a boot image for
client computers to use automatically in a
deployment
job,
or
technicians
can
boot
machines to the network and select a boot image
manually from the menu.
Page 7
What’s New in Ghost Solution Suite 3.0
Easily Provision New Systems Using Initial Deployment Jobs
PXE Server can be used to offer Initial
Deployment jobs to any computer that boots
to the network and is unknown to the GSS
console (no matching record in the database).
This greatly simplifies the initial deployment
process, whether an organization purchases
bare hardware with no OS or administrators
need to customize vendor-supplied OS installs
on new devices such as Dell desktops or
Lenovo laptops.
Whatever the starting
configuration, the end result is a standard image, with a corporate logo, domain account, security
settings, and required software installed.
Initial Deployment works through a combination of PXE and the deployment console. When a machine
boots to the network, if the MAC address is known to the console, PXE checks to see whether a job has
been assigned to this system. If so, the client computer runs that job. However, if the MAC address is
unknown, and PXE is configured to respond to unknown computers, the Initial Deployment menu is
offered. Initial Deployment can be configured to automatically run a standard image deployment job by
default on any new computer after a designated period of time, or can be configured to wait for human
input.
If desired, the menu can contain a wide selection of configurations and jobs, so that a technician can
make choices where appropriate. For example, one configuration might add a computer to the domain,
while another might configure computers in a test workgroup. Different jobs could be created to
distribute Windows 7 or erase the hard disk.
Any job that can be created in the console can
be offered to new computers through the Initial
Deployment menu.
Page 8
What’s New in Ghost Solution Suite 3.0
What’s New for Deployment Solution 6.9 Administrators
Administrators familiar with Deployment Solution 6.9 will be interested in the enhancements brought to
GSS 3.0 from the integration of existing DS 6.9 capabilities with popular features from GSS 2.5 such as an
integrated no-cost database, Ghost Recovery Kit, GhostCast Server, Dynamic Machine Groups, and the
DeployAnywhere utility for hardware-independent imaging. These features are presented in greater
detail, below.
Integrated No-Cost Database
The no-cost database SQL Server 2014 Express is now included and can be installed easily as part of the
GSS installation. SQL Server 2014 Express is excellent for smaller business environments as it does not
require the purchase of a separate SQL license, nor require separate hardware to host the database.
This light database can be installed easily through the Ghost installation wizard using one of the
following two methods:
During a Simple Install, say ‘Yes’ at the prompt, and SQL Express will install.
During a Custom Install, if SQL Server
is not detected on the local machine,
there will be a checkbox option to
install SQL Server Express.
Page 9
What’s New in Ghost Solution Suite 3.0
Integrated Ghost Recovery Kit
GSS 3.0 also includes the Ghost Recovery Kit, which allows VARs and system integrators to provide a
recovery option to end users and customers.
Using the Recover Kit you can create a recovery system that lets an end user quickly and simply recover
a system or individual files. The recovery system can be accessed from either the hard disk or from
CD/DVD.
Integrated GhostCast Server
The GhostCast Server feature allows administrators to more efficiently deploy images over a network.
Multicast can be a great way to reduce network traffic and speed up the imaging process. With regular
multicast, multicast session management relies heavily on the Ghost executable itself, giving
administrators poor visibility into which machines are in a session and making troubleshooting difficult.
In contrast, the integrated GhostCast Server gives an administrator very granular control of the multicast
process. The GhostCast Server control interface is accessed directly from within the console. Each
session is configured explicitly by name. Computers are assigned an imaging job that will use that
multicast session, and they reboot and connect to the GhostCast Server.
The administrator sees the list of clients that have connected to the multicast session in a waiting state.
Once all the computers are present, the administrator clicks ‘Send’ to begin the imaging process for all connected clients.
Page 10
What’s New in Ghost Solution Suite 3.0
Organize Managed Systems More Flexibly With Dynamic Machine Groups
Dynamic groups allow flexible management of computers based on a wide range of filter criteria such as
device manufacturer, amount of installed RAM, or department. A single computer can appear in
multiple dynamic machine groups, which was not possible
in DS 6.x.
Dynamic machine groups are formed by applying filters
based on computer attributes to a static group. To manage
computers, administrators commonly want to group them
by operating system type or function, such as “All Windows Servers”, “All Mac Clients”, or “All SQL Servers”. Any criterion that is available through inventory or user
supplied information can be used as a filter.
Filters can be based upon one or more criteria; combining
criteria is a very useful way to create a custom dynamic
group such as “Windows Servers with at least 4 GB RAM”.
These groups help ensure that jobs only get assigned to the
machines that are applicable. For example, in a migration
job, an administrator would want to avoid targeting machines with insufficient memory to support the
new operating system. Utilizing a dynamic
machine group that includes the old OS plus
the RAM requirement as filter criteria would
ensure a more successful migration.
Page 11
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