Acronis Snap Deploy 5: Mass Deployment Quickly Simple and Reliable

    In today's realities there are many expensive things, such as an apartment, information, hobbies, and so on. But still the most expensive is time. Time is running out quickly, and so I want to do everything in time. Almost daily, system administrators spend enormous man-hours on the deployment of operating systems for any needs in any quantities.

    We offer to use a program that allows you to not only deploy dozens of machines on the network at the same time, but also apply personal parameters to each deployed machine. A simple tool Acronis Snap Deploy can handle dozens and hundreds of machines on the same network, giving all the options for deploying both Windows and Linux operating systems.

    Apply personal settings not only to all machines at once, but also to each machine individually. These are network settings, adding new users, installing specific drivers in post deployment operations, including so-called Bare Metal hardware, and much more.

    For example, 5 new employees arrived on the first working day, or it is required in the computer science class to restore machines that are “battered” by students, or it is required to quickly “transfer” new office equipment to the entire office. In the end result, get from one to hundreds of PCs with a configured OS and the necessary tools for work. Many use quite specific software for everyday duties. Deployment is carried out "on one" machine. The algorithm is simple, as if you were setting up a new PC at home: you took a “box”; checked performance (configured BIOS / UEFI); rolled the OS (it’s even more difficult to install the OS from scratch); added to the domain; installed the necessary drivers; installed the necessary programs (configured them). Of course, someone automates the process as best they can, someone sets up individually,

    Below are presented in more detail the main features and features of the product.

    The Management Console (MC) is the main management console for all Snap Deploy components through a connection to the Deploy Server.
    Deploy Server (DS) - a component that provides centralized management and control of operations.
    PXE Server (PXE) - provides the ability to download Agents directly from the network if there is a DHCP Server within the network.
    Acronis Agent (Agent) - provides the ability to remotely control the machine on the network via DS.
    Bootable Media builder (BMB) - A tool for creating boot images based on Linux.
    PE Builder (PEB) is a tool for creating boot images based on Windows PE.
    Wake On LAN Server (WOL)- wakes up the machine from the off state through the network.
    License Server (LS) - for managing storage and license verification.

    Management console

    The flexibility of the interface allows you to install program components on different PCs on the network. The console connects to the components by authorizing the local user on whose behalf the Agent component was installed.

    The main page contains buttons for basic operations to create an image and expand the image. In fact, nothing more is needed, is it ?!

    Tab navigation is done through the left horizontal menu. The context menu allows you to perform the necessary actions to launch additional tools or actions.


    A list of machines ready for deployment operations is presented. Here you can create personal settings for an individual machine, group and filter machines for more convenient management. The machine information is also shown in detail.

    Machines are automatically added to the list if they were uploaded to the Agent with the Deploy Server address. You can also add clients to work manually, knowing the MAC addresses of network interfaces.

    Task deployment

    This page will display the tasks created by the deployment and the list of machines for which this task will be executed. Monitoring progress and logging is done right there.

    PXE server

    Management, loading of components on PXE, control are carried out through this page. If desired, you can disable PXE Server.

    Master image

    So, first of all, you need to create a Master image - this is an archive containing a fully configured OS for the needs of everyone. In addition, Sysprep Windows may lie inside the archive. The operation can be done using the wizard to create master images. TIB archives are compatible, i.e. you can use the archive already created by any other Acronis programs as the Image Wizard, which greatly simplifies the task. In the new version of ASD, Linux can also act as a deployable OS, but with minor restrictions.

    Educational class

    Having a Master image on hand, you can begin to deploy the image to hundreds of machines at a time. Making Task Deployments for specific machines is quite simple. Just select the machines you need from the list and click Expand Image in the context menu. Next, choose what to deploy, how to deploy, and most importantly, when to deploy. For the needs of networks serving educational classes, where you need to deploy after every business day, or even after each lesson, you can schedule deployment at the right time with the right frequency.

    New Iron (Bare Metal)

    If you need to install on the “new hardware” as soon as possible, then it’s easier to use the Universal Deploy tool. Now this feature is provided absolutely free! It is enough to specify the necessary drivers for each machine when creating a task on deploy and during the deployment of the driver will be installed automatically without any additional actions.

    Deploying a system locally by a simple user

    For instance. An employee came to work, the computer does not boot. The admin has not yet come to work to help or is busy with a more important matter. What to do in this case, so as not to waste precious time? The answer is simple. Acronis Snap Deploy has an operating mode in which users on the network themselves initiate Deployment. Just put your PXE Server in User-initiated mode, configure the necessary Deployment Templates, and the user will be able to start the deployment of his system without access to the Deploy server.

    Deploy Options

    It is not always enough just to deploy the OS with the right drivers, you want to configure the network on each machine, and add the necessary users, and even start performing some other operations. Suppose there are idle capacities in the form of hundreds of computers on the same network. I would like to help science and the largest computing servers in proving theorems, calculating the constant Pi, or in solving other extremely complex equations. It’s easier to deploy an OS with a network configured. In the settings, we indicate which files will be transferred to each machine after the deployment, and we specify to launch the application with the necessary parameters immediately after the deployment. This is important for automatically starting a task without outside help. Science needs help!

    How it works

    It is important to understand that any network operates on data transfer protocols. Multicast protocol allows you to quickly and synchronously transfer all the necessary information to all network participants. To do this, you just need to allow the protocol for the network segment in which Deploy will be implemented (routers and routers, it is a pity that by default this protocol is turned off). The Unicast protocol is used for “point” deployment without loading the entire network. In order not to interfere with the work of all other network participants, you just need to select the desired data transfer protocol in the deployment task settings, if you want to choose the maximum broadcast speed.


    ASD supports almost all families of Windows and Linux systems as a deployable OS. The new version supports both BIOS and UEFI bootloaders. More information can be found on the Acronis website on the ASD page .

    Cold calculation

    The time taken to deploy 100 machines by one Administrator (a). Assume the time of deployment of one machine on its own is 30 minutes (t):

    T1 = 100t / a
    T1 = (100 * 30) / 1 = 3000 [min] ~ 2, 08 [days] ~ 6, 25 [working days from the calculation of 8 -th hour of a working day]

    Using ASD,
    T2 = 100 / a + t + c
    , where c is the time spent installing and configuring ASD, as well as creating a Master Image with all the settings. C takes ~ 60 minutes.
    We get:
    T2 = (100/1) + 30 + 90 = 220 [min] ~ 3, 66 [hours] ~ 0, 45 [working days from the calculation of an 8-hour working day]
    Result: ASD saves the Administrator 5, 8 workers days.

    The calculations are approximate, the constants tc and a can be different for each case, but even taking into account the differences, a significant time gain is obvious.

    If you want to deploy the entire training class from a PC, then in the case of piecewise recovery, it takes the same time each time, that is, we multiply by the coefficient of the number of deployments. Having ASD on hand, it is enough to restart all the machines in the class in the Agent, and start the already created Task of deployment again. At the same time, it is not required to create a Master image each time and configure ASD itself.

    Those. if we consider that x is the number of repeated deployments, we have:
    T1 (x) = (100t / a) x
    T2 (x) = (100 / a) + t + c + bx
    , where b is the time taken to reboot all the network machines in Acronis Agent. The differences in the progressions of T1 and T2 are obvious.

    Based on the calculations, ASD certainly wins in terms of deployment speed in front of similar methods and tools. There is nothing more to say.

    More detailed information about the product can be obtained in the user manual , and in the comments we will be happy to answer any of your questions.

    Acronis Safe & Sound music band presents a new super hit - Acronis Snap Deploy!
    Has your girlfriend ever asked for help fixing her comp? Then you understand what it is about! Watch our new awesome video and good luck with your soul mates!

    Pavel Kovalchuk

    Also popular now: