Windows Server

What are the differences between MDT and WDS?


Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT): MDT was formerly known as Business Desktop Deployment) is a free tool for automating Windows and Windows Server operating system deployment, leveraging the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 10. 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. 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.

It is worth noting that "MDT and WDS" help install Windows OS. To do this, MDT uses a series of steps in a task sequence that perform the installation. See the following link on how MDT task sequence look like. MDT uses two ways to connect to the server over the network, USB key, or the PXE. Pre-execution Environment (PXE) requires the use of a Windows Server configured with the Windows Deployment Services (WDS) role. 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.

MDT works alongside WDS by providing the PXE server capabilities on the network and handles the connection to the MDT Share using a pre-generated MDT boot file. If you want your clients to use OS images from WDS, you will need to import these boot images in WDS. WDS can also help capture images of your reference device and deploy these images with driver support to various devices within your environment using PXE. While MDT is more of a design tool MDT is creating boot images with various step-by-step deployment sequences.

Windows Deployment Services  (WDS) is a server technology from Microsoft for performing network-based installation of Windows Operating Systems (OS). WDS is the revised version of Remote Installation Services (RIS) and it enables the deployment of Windows operating systems. You can use WDS to set up new clients via a network-based installation. Here is an article on the differences between High-Touch, Lite-Touch, and Zero-Touch installation? Also, see the following guide below for how to set up a VM via PXE boot. MDT accidental OS deletion: Mistakenly deleted your Operating Systems over Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, and MDT Driver injection: How to import drivers in exe format into Microsoft Deployment Toolkit.

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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