Task Sequences and advertisements

Have been working a fair amount lately with task sequences.  Task sequences are traditionally thought of as a part of OSD – which is certainly true – but task sequences can also be deployed as advertisements – similar to standard software distribution.  There are tons of possibilities that open up when using task sequences through advertisements – too many to list here – a few of interest include

-Controlling specific order of software distribution
-Providing a mechanism to handle required reboots during distributions
-Developing diagnostic task sequences – to analyze/fix problems/collect logging info/respond to DCM ‘out of compliance findings/etc.

 One particularly interesting option is the ability to reboot a system from the running OS into windows PE – a process that is done all the time for OSD deployments but hasn’t been used much for non-OSD purposes.  All sorts of possibilities for diagnostic/maintenance task sequences are available if we reboot to PE.  It would be possible to build task sequences to run scandisk and fix errors, change or update system files (would need to be very careful), etc. 

If you haven’t taken a look at the power of task sequences outside of OSD, it definately is worth a few minutes to consider the possibilities!

Comments (3)

  1. Jeff says:

    I am exploring this idea right now but I have a concern with all of the status messages that get reported back for each step of the TS. If I have a TS with say, 20 steps/action in it and I push this to our 75K+ user base in a somewhat controlled manner, I fear that the messages may take a while to process or possibly cause an issue. Do you know if there is a way to temporarilty disable the messages from the client inside the task sequence? The idea being that I only send up the messages I want.


  2. steverac says:

    I've never seen a concern with status message load as a result of executing a task squence.  In an environment with any size you generally don't want to execute an adverisement, regardless of type, against massive numbers of machines at once.