CrucibleWDS is a Windows deployment solution created exclusively for Windows Operating Systems. It supports imaging Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. CrucibleWDS is not the first of its kind, but what separates it from the rest, is its simplicity. It is also the only open source imaging solution that can be installed on both Windows and Linux. It supports Unicast and Multicast technologies. It could be compared to commercial products such as Symantec Ghost Solution Suite™ and Acronis Snap Deploy™, but without the heavy licensing fees.
CrucibleWDS was created to be used primarily in schools or small businesses. It can be used to image 1000’s of computers (probably not all at once). It should be used with an existing infrastructure. Meaning, a network with managed routers / switches, DHCP server, etc. CrucibleWDS is intended to be installed on a server that is always running to ensure imaging is readily available.
CrucibleWDS is a managed solution consisting of two parts. A server side component and a client side component. The server side is installed on Windows or Linux and the UI can be accessed from any web capable device within your network. The client side uses Linux. Since the process is automated, no previous Linux experience is required, although it may be helpful. Imaging is achieved through your network with the use of PXE booting and WOL. There are no CD's or external hard drives to use. To achieve the best results all of your clients are added to a database, then you simply search for the computer you wish to deploy and start the task. The client will automatically turn on and begin to image. Imaging can be accomplished without ever being present at the physical machine’s location.