Target Mode Imaging - Best Practice

ben_hertenstein
Contributor

This came up at JNUC lunch today.

During my JumpStart session we did a target mode imaging that took 5 minutes start to stop including login to the account. When I do the TMI it takes 20-25 minutes. Wonder what I was doing differently from when I was taught at JumpStart. It was just the base image that we are doing from a MacBook Air 11-inch with 10.9.2

Questions that came up...

Do we use the JAMF server itself to image from?
Do we duplicate the image to another machine to image from?
Do we not want to download via WiFi?

Current setup is a MacBook air 11inch, with thunderbolt cable to another 11 inch to image. Run admin from one device and it pulls from WiFi then images the attached.

Any insight is appreciated.
#newb

2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Karlhehr
New Contributor II

1)Duplicate the CASPER share to the computer you are imaging from
2) SSD to SSD is the best way to make it SUPER fast

We do this and it is very fast.

View solution in original post

rderewianko
Valued Contributor II

Further to Karl's point for those new to casper:
You can duplicate your DP through Casper admin, just create a folder on the machine you'll be imaging from and drag it to the left under DP'S it'll add it as a local deploy point. Then Replicate to that!

The some other tricks
If you use JDS is create your machine as a JDS and let it auto replicate to that point. Just don't use it to point to clients ;)
Tell Imaging where that folder is (on a mac its: /Library/JDS/shares/CasperShare/)

Further, if you keep the same folder structure (/packages) you could just copy over the packages you use on your image. (This is more labor intensive as if you update your imaging run you'll need to manaully update this as well)

View solution in original post

16 REPLIES 16

Karlhehr
New Contributor II

1)Duplicate the CASPER share to the computer you are imaging from
2) SSD to SSD is the best way to make it SUPER fast

We do this and it is very fast.

rderewianko
Valued Contributor II

Further to Karl's point for those new to casper:
You can duplicate your DP through Casper admin, just create a folder on the machine you'll be imaging from and drag it to the left under DP'S it'll add it as a local deploy point. Then Replicate to that!

The some other tricks
If you use JDS is create your machine as a JDS and let it auto replicate to that point. Just don't use it to point to clients ;)
Tell Imaging where that folder is (on a mac its: /Library/JDS/shares/CasperShare/)

Further, if you keep the same folder structure (/packages) you could just copy over the packages you use on your image. (This is more labor intensive as if you update your imaging run you'll need to manaully update this as well)

ben_hertenstein
Contributor

Thanks for the insight. That was our guess, but our table hadn't really tried TMI besides me.

I'll let ya know how it goes, although I assume it will work quick like I remember from JumpStart.

Chris_Hafner
Valued Contributor II

Regarding the initial comparison between your jumpstart and your current timing. Was your image initially compiled? Adding a policy or modifying it after will cause Casper imaging to go back to installing each package individually.

ben_hertenstein
Contributor

The JumpStart used just the base image with no packages. I was trying to use that same image. Looking on the JDS that image is not compiled. I am currently replicating my DP which is taking some time. I am hoping it finishes today :) so the HelpDesk kids can get a look at the difference in speed.

ben_hertenstein
Contributor

Time has been cut down to 10 minutes to erase and image. Other issues came up, but I think that is because the machine we are testing on wiping was already at Yosemite and its being imaged with Mavericks. Oh well. I did get what I wanted, which was a much faster image time.

adamcodega
Valued Contributor

I use target disk mode in my environment as well. I image from my distribution point server at my desk to the laptop. I choose erase disk and I write a never booted image I created with AutoDMG. This also means I'm not including iWork or iLife so it's even smaller, about six minutes. I'm imaging Airs and Retinas. Casper Imaging creates the local user for me.

mrowell
Contributor

I do the same as @adamcodega. i.e target disk mode machine from IT machine using normal server distribution point with AutoDMG created images.

I don't image often enough to make it worth the effort to keep up a netboot server up to date for new hardware and the JSS updates.

I lay down the thinest image (just OS). I can then manually add anything I want from Casper Imaging or just let our usual policies configure the machine as first boot.

Simple. Fast. Reliable. The only ongoing work I need to do is creating new AutoDMG images for dot release (which are easy).

Works great (unless you target the host machine-which actually continues to work ok for a bit).

adamcodega
Valued Contributor

Here's a nice walkthrough on getting started with AutoDMG.

Speaking of point releases, big caveat is that you need to create the never booted image on a system that is the same version of the OS X image you are creating. (You need to be on Yosemite to create a Yosemite image but you even need to be on Mavericks 10.9.5 to create a 10.9.5 image)

I think sleeker never booted images is a place to start if you're not ready for net or thin imaging or it's not suitable in your environment.

ben_hertenstein
Contributor

Update:
Got my reimage time down to 2 1/2 minutes for our MB Airs. Much better for a work flow.

tech_services
New Contributor

I am new to JAMF and Casper, this is my first time using TMI. @ben.hertenstein. Would you mind sharing your workflow so I can also lower my re-image time. I have about 1500 MacBook Pro's to get through before school starts.

Chris_Hafner
Valued Contributor II

Welcome to JAMFNation!

The others on this thread can give you pointers on TMI. I'm jumping in to say: With that number of computers you should really look into NetBoot imaging, or thin imaging depending on your circumstance. Over our network, we could get 1500 units done in a weekend assuming you had space to drop a 48 port network switch somewhere, enough bandwidth and a NetBoot server. BTW, I'd use prestage imaging if I had to wipe them all flat.

tech_services
New Contributor

Hi @Chris_Hafner,

I have a NetBoot server, but for some reason I am only able to get 4 devices on there at a time. Any ideas where I should look for the bottleneck? I am using a Mac Mini. Maria

Chris_Hafner
Valued Contributor II

I/O (somewhere)! OK, there's been a lot of discussion around JAMFNation regarding netboot and distribution via Mac Mini. It can be a great machine, particularly if it's running on an SSD. That said, 4 is really low even with issues. Generally, if you can netboot I see people max out at around 10 before hitting a wall. Do you know how to check your NetInstall logs and read them? Also, how is your environment configured, meaning:

• What's your network like?
• NetBoot = Mac Mini (What kind, and SSD or HDD), Which OS?
• How did you create your .nbi (Personally, I like using AutoCasperNBI) and what version of OS X is it.
• DHCP = What's running DHCP and do you know if it's properly advertising your netboot server.
• Distribution Point(s) = Where is it from a network standpoint in relation to the netboot server? (This is more important after you get a number of things net booting)
• Are you trying to NetBoot in a central location or all over the place at intervals/random? -Where is the NetBoto server in relation to this/these areas (from a network standpoint)

kirk_magill
New Contributor

Using a Mac Air with the DP on the local drive, Thunderbolt cable to another Mac Air.

The imaging process seems to start out alright but the compiled config runs in about 5 seconds (which would be really awesome). But the image fails and nothing actually copies.

I tried recreating the distro point on the imaging machine using the instructions above by rderewianko,
but it still fails.

Ideas? What am I missing?

kirk_magill
New Contributor

Self help - It helps if the compiled configuration on the server is not corrupt! Checked the file sizes and it was not correct. Deleted and recreated the base image and recompiled the config, re-created the DP. All is well again.