Custom Deployments is a new feature in version 6.0 of the KACE Systems Deployment Appliance (SDA) that allow users to deploy a set of tasks to a Windows workstation without deploying an image or scripted install. 

With a custom deployment, no hidden tasks are automatically assigned like in an image or scripted install.  This means that everything needing to run will have to be manually assigned and for this reason, it is considered an advanced feature.  The 6.0 release of the SDA includes 2 custom deployments by default; x86 and x64 variations of "Scan User States Offline and Shutdown".  This is a perfect example of a custom deployment because after the task is complete and the shutdown command is given, the deployment shows as completed.  In the past, you would need to do a batch script to shut down, and because the built in tasks did not run, it would never display as successfully completed and it would stay in the Progress portion of the UI until removed.  This is just one example of a custom deployment, there are other great ways to leverage them.

We are including these downloads to get you started, you must be a member of the K2000 community on ITNinja to gain access.  After extracting the download, the package can be imported into the SDA.  The import is a task group (another new feature of 6.0) that contains all the tasks needed for the custom deployment. Since each custom deployment is assigned a specific architecture, it is easier to provide them as a single package with task groups

To use the imported item, create a new custom deployment, apply the appropriate task group, and save.  All the tasks are named with [CU] as a prefix, as CU is the prefix used when exporting custom deployments. By implementing this naming scheme it is easy to find the tasks commonly used for custom deployments.  I also name my custom deployments with the [CU] prefix.

The title of the Custom Deployments below are links to download a .zip file, you must be a member of the K2000 Community.  Extract the zip once it is downloaded and you will have a .pkg file and an .xml file.  You can import the Task Group one of two ways.  Since these are small packages you can browse to Settings | Package Management | Import Packages on the SDA web UI.  Then from the choose action drop down menu select "Upload Package for Import."  Select the .pkg file and click on the "Import Package" button.  You can also browse to the SDA Restore UNC path (\\sda_ip\restore).  Place both the .pkg and .xml file in the restore share.  Then on the SDA web UI browse to Settings | Package Management | Import Packages. You should see the Task Group on the list page.  Select the checkbox next to the Task Group to import and then from the choose action drop down menu choose "Import Selected."

Do not import these tasks into any version less than 6.0, it will cause issues.

Windows 10 in-place upgrade.  This custom deployment is used when an in-place upgrade of Windows 10 is needed, either from Windows 7/8 or an earlier build of Windows 10.  The same edition must be used when upgrading.  The auto logon and prepare Windows 10 tasks need to be customized for your environment, make sure to read the notes field for those two tasks.

Run tasks in an operating system.  If you have tasks that need to be run within the OS, then this task group is needed for everything to run the way you would expect. Some tasks need to be customized for your environment, make sure to read the notes.

USMT, DoD Wipe and Shutdown.  This task group will scan user states offline, partition/format the drive, perform a 7-pass DoD wipe and then shut the machine down.  We have referenced the SysInternals tool SDelete.  We cannot include the executables as we do not have rights to distribute them, but the task "[CU] Run SDelete (7-pass)" has a link to download SDelete from Microsoft.Once you have downloaded SDelete from Microsoft, extract the executable file. Next using the SDA WebUI download the SDelete.bat file from the usmt_wipe_shutdown task you previously imported and then ZIP the 3 files together. Use the resulting ZIP file to replace the BAT file in the task.  The BAT file will determine which architecture is running and run the appropriate application.  No other changes are needed unless you want to change some of the SDelete parameters, those changes would need to be made in the BAT file before it is added to the ZIP.

How will you use custom deployments?  If you have any interesting ideas that you believe others can use, export your tasks as a task group, making sure to have the tasks named with [CU].  Please review the tasks that are included here first and try to reuse those so we can stay consistent. Email your exported task groups to Corey Serrins [corey dot serrins at quest dot com] and we will add those to this page.