What are the differences between Lite-Touch and Zero-Touch installation?


Windows Deployment Services  (WDS) is a server technology from Microsoft for performing network-based installation of Windows Operating Systems (OS). Furthermore, WDS is a server role that you can deploy on Windows Server. Kindly refer to the following guides for more information on WDS and MDT. Windows Deployment Services: How to setup and install WDS role, how to configure DHCP Server option 60, 66, and 67 for WDS, how to remove Windows Deployment Services role via the GUI and PowerShell, how to add boot and install images to WDS and configure Multicast transmission via the GUI and WDSUTIL, and how to deploy images to computers or virtual machines using WDS.

MDT is a unified collection of tools, processes, and guidance for automating desktop and server deployment. You can use it to create reference images or as a complete deployment solution. See this guide for the differences between MDT and WDS?

Types of deployment: The main difference between Lite-Touch and Zero-Touch Deployment is that Lite Touch Deployment requires some user interaction while Zero Touch Deployment does not require any user interaction. Please refer to the following guides on how to deploy a VM via PXE boot. How to set up a VM via PXE boot on a Generation 1 VM, and how to set up a VM via PXE boot on a Generation 2 VM – Hyper-V.

Lite Touch Installation (LTI): LTI is a high-volume deployment strategy for small to midsized organizations that combine the use of MDT with WDS that allows Administrators to deploy PC via network-based installation. Lite Touch Deployment requires some user interaction and can be installed from a network share or media using an optical disc or USB flash drive etc. MDT is required for this deployment.

Zero Touch Installation (ZTI): ZTD is a fully automated deployment. Therefore, in this installation, no user interaction is required.  However, it requires a continuous network connection to the distribution point. Microsoft Endpoint Manager Configuration Manager, previously called SCCM is required for this deployment.

MDT has two main parts: The first is Lite Touch, which is a stand-alone deployment solution; the second is Zero Touch, which is an extension to System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager. Lite Touch and Zero Touch are marketing names for the two solutions that MDT supports, and the naming has nothing to do with automation. You can fully automate the stand-alone MDT solution (Lite Touch), and you can configure the solution integration with Configuration Manager to prompt for information. Here is a detailed article on the unified collection of tools are applied”ADK, MDT, and WDS: How to deploy Windows using MDT, and WDS“.

I hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.

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