Introduction to RIS
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RIS allows you to install the Windows operating system onto a remote bare-metal machine. Because RIS installation requires systems that can boot from the network and establish network communications with the RIS server, the client machine should have hardware that supports the Preboot Execution Environment (PXE). For computers that don t have PXE support in their system firmware, Windows Server 2003 has a remote installation boot floppy (RIBF) disk that supports a small number of network adapters.
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Part 2: Windows Server 2003 Installation
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Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Inside Out
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Services and Protocols Used by RIS
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RIS comprises three services running on the RIS server: the Remote Installation service, the Trivial File Transfer Protocol Daemon (TFTPD) service, and the Single Instance Store service. In addition, RIS relies on several other services and protocols. All RIS operations are based on the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) protocol suite and related services, such as the Domain Name System (DNS) and DHCP, and require the Active Directory directory service for authentication and account management. Following are the services required on the RIS server:
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Remote Installation service (BINLSVC)
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This service manages client requests for RIS, checks computer account configuration and the deployment method, and verifies logon credentials. Startup and shutdown of the Remote Installation service is controlled in the Services console. Configuration is performed by using RIS wizards and settings on the RIS server s computer object in Active Directory, while security is controlled by using Group Policy and NTFS file system permissions.
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The Remote Installation service was called the Boot Information Negotiation Layer (BINL) in earlier versions of the Windows operating system. TFTPD
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The Trivial File Transfer Protocol, or TFTP (and the TFTPD service), copies the Client Installation Wizard and other software required to start the installation of an operating system image from the RIS server to the target computer. The Single Instance Store (SIS) service works with RIS to minimize the space used to store multiple operating system images on a single RIS image partition. SIS maintains a single copy of all of the duplicate files used in all of the images on a single partition. SIS monitors the partition used for RIS images and, when duplicate files are detected, replaces the actual file with an NTFS reparse point referencing the location of a copy of that file. To accomplish this, SIS uses a special-purpose NTFS file system filter and a software agent called a groveler, which does the file management.
Single Instance Store service
This form of optimizing storage requires that your backup software be SISaware, such as the Windows Server 2003 Backup application. Without SIS-aware backup software, restoration could experience errors or fail entirely.
The following are the required network services:
DHCP provides the target computers with an Internet Protocol (IP) address and referral to a RIS server. The PXE specifications extended DHCP to add functionality, allowing PXE systems to locate remote installation servers.
Part 2: Windows Server 2003 Installation
Part 1: Part Title
Using Remote Installation Services
DNS locates systems used in the various RIS operations, such as domain controllers and DHCP servers. Active Directory performs user authentication to the domain and manages computer accounts; thus, Active Directory must be installed and accessible on the network for RIS to operate.
Limitations of RIS
Although RIS is a welcome new feature and will help with operating system installation in many network environments, there are some limitations to RIS that you should keep in mind, such as the following:
RIS supports only clean installations you cannot upgrade an existing operating
Many Windows components and network services, such as DNS and Active Directory,
can t be installed during setup.
RIS distribution files used to deploy an operating system must be nonencrypted this
means a RIS distribution folder cannot be encrypted by using Encrypting File System (EFS). Likewise, encrypted files cannot be added to RIS folders and deployed by RIS.
User-level security settings (file system security, for example) cannot be set by using
RIS; rather, you must run a script after installation is complete.
RIS requires the image folder to be on a separate partition from the boot and system
Multihomed RIS servers require special consideration. The RIS server must also pro-
vide DHCP services to the client. The active DHCP scope must include all subnets used by the client computer, and that DHCP server must assign all IP addresses for that client computer. Adapters can be assigned IP addresses in one or more subnets.