Steps for provisioning a device

On the most basic level, provisioning a device is a simple process consisting of three steps. First, you create a provisioning template, then you configure the template with the features and components you want to install on the device, and then you schedule a task to run the template on the device. These steps are outlined briefly here; detailed instructions are found in the following sections.

Step 1: Create a template

To provision a device, you first create a template. A template is an XML document with a series of building blocks to be applied to the device. They build upon each other and can consist of actions, attributes, constraints, and so forth. A template can have one or many actions.

You can chain multiple templates together in a provisioning task so that they run in a particular sequence. You can also change the action order in a template where applicable (for example, you can't place a post–OS task before the installation of the OS). To get you started, provisioning comes with numerous pre-configured templates for various vendors (HP, Dell, and so forth).

Templates are saved in the core database as XML documents.

For more information, see Creating templates.

Step 2: Configure the template

Once you create the template, you must configure it by adding actions that are ordered into five sections:

  1. System migration
  2. Pre-OS installation
  3. OS installation
  4. Post-OS installation
  5. System configuration

You can only select actions in each section that apply to that section (for example, you can't select Software distribution as an action for the Pre-OS installation section). You can add any available action to any section, but be aware that some actions will break the template or may render your system unusable if completed in the wrong order.

For more information, see Configuring a provisioning template.

Step 3: Schedule the template for deployment

A provisioning task contains templates and the device identifiers of the target devices. When a provisioning task begins, the job is associated with the device’s Computer record in the core database so that the configuration history remains attached to the computer. Configuration tasks can't be reused with different target devices, but they can be reused by specifying another device identifier.

The Scheduled tasks tool shows the scheduled task status while the task is running and upon completion. The scheduler service has two ways of communicating with devices: Through the standard management agent (which must already be installed on devices), or through a domain-level system account. The account you choose must have the login as a service privilege and you must have specified credentials in the Configure Services utility.

For more information, see Schedule a provisioning task