Imaging Computers with Ubuntu/Ubuntu Server
I work for a software company that sells whole systems with our software. So when a customer buys our software they get anywhere from 5 to 50 servers/workstations, that run windows as the OS. In our production process we have Windows Deployment Services handling system images. So we have a base image with OS, tweaks, and software for all of our platforms. I really really really hate windows deployment services and I have been looking for a replacement for a while. WDS is used a replacement for an imaging suite that stopped supporting windows OS's after XP so it forced us to move along. I have tried Acronis and Ghost which worked but the licensing is where things start to get expensive. I am trying to find all zero cost options before I hammer on our sales department about adding the imaging costs into our systems costs.
So does anyone know of a Linux equivalent to Windows Deployment Services? Essentially what I'm looking for is software that runs on Linux that allows you to capture an image of a computer and deploy that image over the network to multiple clients. How it currently works in WDS is the clients that are going to get an image installed PXE boot to the WDS server, you select what image you want to install, and the image deploys over the network. To capture an image is kind of the same actions but with a lot more details and actions. This type of a flow with a network deployment of the image is a must and it has to be able to capture/deploy both Windows server OS's and Windows workstation OS's. Handling the Windows Server OS's is where I have been finding some issues with imaging software. So any suggestions for a service that could do this running on a Linux server would be greatly appreciated. I had someone a long time ago evaluate CloneZilla, however they said it wouldn't work for what we wanted it for. I'm going to revisit that since I don't really know why it wouldn't have worked but I'm hoping for other suggestions as well. I heard Cobbler might work so that's another application I'll look into.