Q. What's the Microsoft Solution Accelerator for Business Desktop Deployment (BDD)?

A. Microsoft has been experimenting with zero-touch deployment technologies, and early in 2004 I attended a 3-day training session about the company's upcoming zero-touch technology. The technology is a set of scripts that uses existing solutions such as Sysprep, Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS), Microsoft SQL Server, User State Migration Tool (USMT), and a third-party disk-imaging tool to enable OS deployment and refresh operations without requiring any user input. Microsoft has now released this technology, with some modifications, as BDD. The technology now uses the SMS OS Deployment Feature Pack instead of the third-party imaging tool. It also includes the zero-touch provisioning component to deploy software to clients in a self-service manner (Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004 is required for zero-touch provisioning). You can download BDD at this Web site. The technology takes the SMS OS Deployment Feature Pack to the next level of hands-off deployment. The download includes an entire Help center, which documents the configuration steps. Some features that were included in the early zero-touch installation technology are now part of the SMS OS Deployment Feature Pack (e.g., the USMT integration).

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