Wednesday, 1 August 2018

ConfigMgr - PXE without WDS

ConfigMgr Current Branch 1806 will shortly be released. One of the most eagerly awaited features (my favourite) is that we can now enable PXE on our DPs without Windows Deployment Services (WDS). This is an enormous step forward as it will save customers money. I have customers with many PXE-enabled DPs throughout the world. That's a lot of server licensing. Previously a server OS was required simply for WDS. Now we can use a desktop operating system for the DP and enable it to use a lightweight PXE responder. That will save customers a lot of money. Let's have a look at that.

This is the traditional server DP with WDS.

Remember the RemoteInstall folder.

Now we have a new checkbox when creating a DP - Enable a PXE responder without WDS

We're told that selecting this option will disable WDS on existing DPs. Also we can see that the new service does not support multicast. I can live with that.

Understandably Multicast options are now greyed out in the wizard.

This is what the folder structure looks like on a PXE-enabled Windows 7 DP, no RemoteInstall folder. Wow.

This is the new lightweight ConfigMgr PXE Responder Service. Who needs WDS?

We can see the path to the executable file sccmpxe.exe.

This is where the SCCM PXE files are located.

I can PXE boot as normal. See the way we're told that SCCM PXE now provides this service (not WDS).

This is a really cool feature and will save many customers a lot of money on server licensing. It's a good enough reason alone to upgrade to ConfigMgr Current Branch 1806. 

I hope this was useful. Until next time....