Operating System Gold Image – Core Applications and core utilities (Dependencies)
For the majority the standard computer gold image should be made up of blend of most compatible applications for all users. However, it is very important that this blend consists of vendor supported applications and is forward thinking in terms of where the company want to be in terms of software versions at the end of any virtualization VDI project or desktop refresh project. For a lot of companies redeveloping their line of business critical applications to support the latest operating systems is a project in itself and sometimes overturned decisions to force old application installations onto modern operating systems is the one and only single source of virtualization project failures.
Gold image layers and responsibilities
A typical computer can carry multiple responsible service members and so it is very important that all the layers of changes are catalogued in a contract to quantify the service persons accountable and responsible for those layers.
Virtual Desktop Gold Images – Rapidly deployed and update managed.
With disk image technologies like Citrix Provisioning Server, Citrix Machine Creation Services or VMWare Linked clones or VM Template provisioning, making changes to a single virtual desktop gold image and attaching this gold disk to hundreds of computers in minutes is a very fast and time saving approach to software rollout projects. However, usually with gold image changes, there is a tendency to be a great deal of risk management associated with gold image changes and typically what a business think can technically be rolled out in a very short time generally becomes a lengthy risk managed, tested and heavily governed turn around, especially when multiple support vendors are responsible for up time of the computers. E.g. Local IT software change initiator, Cloud Provider responsibility and SLA associated with Windows Patch management and up time of the OS layer.
Physical End User Device Gold Image – Thin Clients, Laptops, Workstations and other devices.
There are various technologies to help with physical end user device gold image management too:
- HP Thin Clients – HP Device Manager / Symantec – Altiris
- Igel Thin Client Devices – Igel Universal Management Suite
- WYSE Thin Clients – Wyse device manager
- Standard computers – Symantec Ghost, Windows Deployment Services (WIM Imaging), Microsoft Deployment ToolKit (MDT)
- Mobile Device Management (MDM) – Citrix XenMobile, Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (Microsoft Intune), AirWatch
Application Self Service
- Microsoft Group Policy – Software deployment Package advertising
- SCCM – Deployment of application software to windows computers
- Microsoft App-V
- RES IT Store – Web Shop front end for RES Automation
- RES Automation Manager – Highly flexible automation engine
- Citrix XenMobile App Controller – you can deploy a lot of different types of applications including Android Apps (APK files or MDX files for wrapped), iOS Apps (IPA files or MDX files for wrapped), Web & SaaS, Web Links or Apps directly from iTunes or the Google Play store.