October 2013, and we've just experienced one of the best technology release cycle’s from Microsoft in a while, a whole bunch of products iterated at the same time in the form of System Center 2012 R2, Windows 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1. We also have a minor product release, in comparison to the heavy-weights just released including Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr/SCCM), Operations Manager (OpMgr/SCOM), Data Protection Manager (DPM) and Service Manager (SM) from the System Center family, but no less useful, in the form of MDT 2013.
Essentially the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) allows you to integrate into ConfigMgr to enhance the existing Operating System delivery mechanisms, or it can be setup as a stand-alone product to provide an end-to-end solution for deploying Operating Systems such as Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 and lower editions of both Desktop and Server OS’s at a lesser scale or intensity than would be expected via an Enterprise product such as ConfigMgr.
Here I cut no new ground, just the grass so to speak, by shotting the installation process and making a few observations along the way and wrapping up with links to the download.
To note, in the following steps I did not perform an in-place upgrade from MDT 2013 Update 1 to MDT 2013, the installer did not handle it, instead I uninstalled Update 1 and left the Console Integration to deal with after installation of MDT 2013.
So here we go. Fire up the MDT installer, choosing X86 if you are installing onto an X86 based OS (Console Integration only), or choose X64 (Site Integration + Console Integration), and it’s quick dash through a simple installation wizard with the Welcome screen appearing, denoting the version as 6.2.5019.0:
Accept the license agreement and Select Next:
Unless you have a need to change the default path and the components to be installed, Select Next:
I like to accept the CEIP, especially in labs so go ahead and Select Yes and then Next:
Ready to go, Select Install
That’s it, the first part done, if you are using ConfigMgr 2012 R2 let’s integrate MDT 2013 into the product.
Assuming you are using Windows 2012, find (using Search) Configure ConfigMgr Integration and launch it
MDT 2013 will upgrade over MDT 2012 Update 1, so if the extensions where already installed you can quickly remove them by using the Configure ConfigMgr Integration wizard as shown below:
Simply select Remove the MDT extensions for Configuration Manager and re-run the Configure ConfigMgr Integration wizard again.
Select Install the MDT extensions for Configuration Manager which allows us to install the Console extensions and\or setup the site for MDT 2013, we need to do both so make sure they are selected and finally Select Next:
You can see that the extensions have been configured and that MDT 2013 has been integrated into the Site server.
Opening the Console and visiting the Software Library, now right click off of the Task Sequence Node to see the option to create MDT 2013 Task Sequence:
Or create a normal Task Sequence and check out the section in the drop down called MDT:
The MDT Run PowerShell Script step is semi-redundant now, in the sense that R2 has that feature out of the box, but executing an Orchestrator Runbook is very handy as are the rest of the steps available and the flexibility MDT offers.
The relationship between MDT and ConfigMgr has gone beyond separate installations, with the ConfigMgr Product Group absorbing the MDT team this year, we now see an MDT step built in called Check Readiness which is a like-for-like of the MDT Validate step, this is an indicator of more MDT and ConfigMgr integration to come, see below:
ConfigMgr Check Readiness:
One and the same.
From here, to configure MDT further or to get an idea of what it can do with ConfigMgr, open the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2013 Quick Start Guide for Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, which is in the MDT 2013 Documentation, or check out the other Guides for standing up MDT 2013 without ConfigMgr.
It’s definitely worth reading through the Release Notes and the What’s New in MDT 2013 Guide which can be downloaded along with MDT 2013 from the link below:
Download MDT 2013
Included in the download options are MDT 2013 X64, MDT 2013 X86, Release notes, MDT 2013 Documentation and the Whats New in MDT 2013 Guide.