ASK MDT Guy: Mass Imaging Surface Pro 2 Tablets

Question: Is it possible to clone multiple devices at the same time in MDT 2012? I have about 50 surface Pro 2 tablets that I would like to clone from a master image that I will make in MDT. After creating my necessary deployment share drives, how many surfaces can I apply the clone to at once using 1 PC?

Answer: This is a good question, I wish there was a real simple answer to this, but I can tell you what I know, and try to keep it as simple as possible.

A great deal of this depends on what kind of server you’re copying the files from and the network you’re running on. A small single disk server running on megabit will start to choke when you attempt to deploy to more than about half a dozen boxes at the same time, however, if you’re running a decent raid server using WDS multicasting on gigabit network, you could easily do a few dozen at a time before you’d see any real slowdown, and even then, with multicasting, you should have little trouble. What can also cause bottle necks is the update process, so if you’re going to keep office out of the image, take into consideration that you’ll want to let it update during deploy if you don’t have a WSUS server.

With that being said, if you’re pulling the image from 1 PC, don’t expect to do more than half a dozen at a time before the whole system starts to choke. Get WDS and Multicast working from a real server if you plan on cooking 50 some tablets at once.

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