Computer Imaging is Dead.
Advances in the capabilities of emerging technology are rapidly changing the way business output is measured. It is no surprise that organizations seeking to achieve and maintain regulatory compliance and business resiliency are replacing traditional IT systems processes like computer imaging with intelligent packaging automation.
One of the most critical IT systems processes in an organization is computer imaging. The monolithic computer imaging process as we know it has become so outdated that it is no longer able to keep up with the level of digital transformation required to efficiently maintain next-generation business process outputs.
For quite some time, IT professionals have expressed concern about the lack of ‘point-in-time’ availability of critical information within the traditional computer imaging process, which is unsustainable for meeting specific Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) within critical infrastructures.
Simply put, traditional computer imaging is dead.
However, the question still remains: how can the traditional imaging process sustain the rapid growth spurring up from today’s digital transformation era, as it relates to achieving uniformity and consistency of system functionalities, without increased cost, manpower, or time? The answer is automated, dynamic bare metal builds.
Imaging Computers — An Old Concept
First, let’s break down what computer imaging is. The concept of computer imaging is simply the process of capturing the current state of an operating system, software application, and prime system services on a computer for the sole aim of copying it into another computer.
These repetitive tasks are often used to stand-up new computers, as well as restore compromised computers to a desired state.
Although the traditional computer imaging process provides functional deployment of workflow packages, including firmware updates and configuration settings, operating system (OS) and software application customization, the process is extremely time-consuming, error-prone and vulnerable to emerging security threats.
The Pros and Cons of Traditional Computer Imaging
- Ability to create replicas of system functionality tools for multiple devices
- Simultaneous delivery of hard drive images to multiple systems over the network
- Redundancy and incremental back-up capabilities to account for security incidents and compliance requirements
- The constant need to build and maintain golden images across multiple departments and geographical locations, following each package update or security patch
- Continuous package scanning required to adjust golden images for the maintenance of interoperability standards
- Prone to human error, especially during image generation and deployment procedures
- Constant need for human intervention, thus requiring more IT resources — time, effort, and financial costs
- Not all applications can be cloned
- Drive encryption occurs post process leading to potentially delayed encryption issues
- User-specific apps must be installed post imaging processes
- Peripheral devices require proper driver installation verification, which is specific to each device
- Any new OS & application patches, which did not get added to the golden image, must be applied post deployment
Automated and Dynamic Bare Metal Builds: A Benefit of Automated Endpoint Management
Automated endpoint management is made up of fully automated, programmatic processes that require minimal human intervention, thereby reducing the chances of human error.
The implementation of automated endpoint management when executing a dynamic, bare metal build, guarantees the rapid ease-of-installation of system applications, BIOs, firmware, and drivers across a corporate network. These solutions manage critical systems logic in an automated manner, thus ensuring up-to-date functionalities required to protect an organization from cyber incidents.
With solutions that have automated endpoint management capabilities (like aiden), this process occurs within minutes, thus allowing IT engineers to focus on resolving high-priority risks required to maintain business continuity and resilience.
The Benefits of Automated, Dynamic Bare Metal Builds:
Computer systems across corporate networks are more prone to viruses, malware and other emerging threats today than they have ever been. Therefore, such an evolving threat landscape overburdens traditional IT teams seeking to provide a seamless computing experience for thousands of computer systems.
While securing corporate infrastructures from both internal and external cybersecurity risks, IT teams in today’s climate must simultaneously ensure that packages deployed during computer imaging processes are in alignment with vulnerability remediation procedures defined in policies and regulations.
With automated, dynamic bare-metal builds, system administrators don’t have to continuously worry about manually maintaining package standardization nor worry about bringing computers into compliance with new version updates and system patches.
Below are some of the benefits your IT teams can leverage using aiden’s automated, dynamic bare metal builds:
- Builds a task sequence on the fly based on your plain-text standards document even if it changes mid deployment
- Installs a clean installation of Windows from scratch including all drivers, applications, BIOS, and firmware updates
- Automatically configures all applications for the specific scenario
- Eliminates the need for using task sequencers
- Drive encryption is verified during the Windows deployment process before the device is handed off to the end user
- User-specific apps can be installed with a single click before handing to the end user
- Effortless standardization across user groups regardless of location, hardware or department
- Legacy systems are supported dating back to Windows 7 and Vista, breathing new life into older machines
Do these sound like benefits of having an expert IT engineer on your staff? Good, because using aiden to build new computers is like having a PhD-level engineer on your team giving you confidence that every new computer is built exactly to your specifications. This frees up your engineering team to focus on mitigating emerging threats within your computing environment.
Forward-thinking companies are exploring innovative ways to optimize their operations and save time and cost on repetitive tasks. aiden handles repetitive tasks using intelligent automation which affords your IT teams the privilege of detecting new problem areas and coming up with creative solutions.
Imaging computers is a static process and has become outdated in this age of rapid digital transformation. Dynamic bare-metal builds have therefore taken its place when rapidly building and deploying new computers across the enterprise landscape.
IT administrators are now freed up to think more about the value they can add to the system and the process they oversee. They’re able to focus more on tasks that require human judgment, and intelligent automation software seeks to complement and empower engineers to focus on more productive matters for business growth.
If you want a resilient business in today’s world, you need aiden to eliminate vulnerabilities, deliver rapid and consistent endpoint deployment, and ultimately provide uninterrupted services that enhance productivity.