Ghost vs RIS/WDS/Software Install Policy

Today I installed Ghost Console on my PC for the first time in years, and it brought back a lot of memories. We bought a suite of new PCs back three years ago, and got Ghost licenses with them all, which entitled me to receive the Ghost Solution Suite 1.0 CDs and manuals. At that time I installed and used the Console extensively and had the client installed on all the PCs. A year later another 34 PCs came along with 50 licenses and GSS 1.1, then 2.0. In those days we had only two Linux Samba servers, and that was one of the main reasons I used Ghost a lot. But then at the start of 2006 we got our first Windows server. That didn’t immediately change things, and I still used Ghost a lot. But at the end of that year we made that server into a DC, replaced one of the Linux servers with a dedicated mail/firewall/filtering solution, and turned the other Linux server into the second Windows DC. Then after that I got into GPOs, RIS and stuff like that and didn’t bother much with Ghost or the console.

Fast forward to 2008 and dust off that old Ghost console again… why? Well, Ghost still has the capabilities I need and I have the existing experience to build on. With the console I can remotely image and load machines, which I can’t do at the moment with WS. True, Ghost costs money over and above WS, but Windows doesn’t actually provide the useful functionality that Symantec have wrapped into the console. So I expect to get back into the Console in full force pretty soon.


Ten PCs waiting to begin a multicast session. They were all locally booted off the RIS server via PXE and loaded the UNDI boot image to start up Ghost, then loaded this sysprepped image in about two hours. 29 of the 30 PCs in the suite have now been reimaged in the past few days with no user reported problems.