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Hello,

 

We are looking to use SmartDeploy in a manufacturing venue, where we deploy systems with different applications.  We would like to use Differentials for app packages.  

Example:

Laptop 1 needs Windows 10 with Applications A and B.  Laptop 2 needs Windows 10 with Applications B and D.  Laptop 3 needs Windows 10 with Applications A and C.

Can we have a differential for each Application, and select multiple DWM files during deployment?

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Hi Mossmak,

Differencing images (.dwms) aren't really designed to be used in the manner you've described above. They are designed to be used to re-capture a VM that you've previously captured into a larger .wim file. They work by creating a smaller differencing image (.dwm) file that only contains those files that have changed since the previous .wim (which you specify) was captured. At deployment time, you would only need the original .wim and the most current .dwm.

The intended use of this feature was so that a central office could support branch offices with limited connectivity, and reduce the frequency with which they need to transfer large .wim files over their network, by allowing them to send a smaller file for each update. The .dwms would gradually increase in size as the VM gets more and more different from its original state, so they would eventually need to capture and send a new .wim - but this could happen less frequently.

Deploying with multiple .dwms is not supported. You could conceivably use .dwms to manage different application loads, you would have to choose one .dwm that corresponds to an existing .wim, and it would be difficult to update the VM - unless you created multiple copies of that VM after the initial creation, which would be updated, maintained, and recaptured in parallel from that point onward. However, this would not offer much of an space or time savings over simply creating and maintaining the VMs separately.

If the goal is to save space on the deployed media or on a network share, you could store multiple images in the same .wim file (simply capture one image from VM #1, then capture another image from VM #2, and select the previous .wim as the save location - you'll be asked whether you want to add another image to the .wim file or overwrite the whole thing). If you opt to go with this method, you would need to make use of the SmartWIM command to delete old versions of each image as you add new ones, but it would save space, as the .wim format utilizes Single-Instance Storage, so any files in common between your images (including all OS files) would only be stored once inside the .wim file.

I hope this answers your question - please feel free to email us at support (at) smartdeploy.com if you need any further assistance, and be sure to reference this thread.

 

SmartDeploy Support Team

 

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