Windows Deployment Services: Create and deploy multicast images

I would like to explain a bit about IP Multicast before I start with WDS multicast image distribution because not all the organisation have existing multicast infrastructure. Still, I reckon it would be worthy to know bits and pieces of a technology while working on it.  So what is IP Multicast? Multicast is a technique for one-to-many communication over an IP infrastructure in a network. It scales to a larger receiver population by not requiring prior knowledge of whom or how many receivers there are. Multicast uses network infrastructure efficiently by requiring the source to send a packet only once, even if it needs to be delivered to a large number of receivers resulting bandwidth savings. The nodes in the network take care of replicating the packet to reach multiple receivers only when necessary. The most common low-level protocol to use multicast addressing is User Datagram Protocol (UDP). IP addresses from to are designated as multicast addresses. This range was formerly called “Class D.” The sender sends a single datagram to the multicast address and the intermediary routers take care of making copies and sending them to all receivers that have registered their interest in data from that sender. Multicast IP ranges assigned through DHCP scope. In any case, range through is reserved for local purposes (as administrative and maintenance tasks) and datagram’s destined to them are never forwarded by multicast routers. Similarly, the range to has been reserved for administrative scoping.

WDS Multicast Image Creating multicast images in WDS server is easy and straightforward if you have a functioning multicast infrastructure. For multicast imaging to work properly, the network devices that connect the WDS multicast clients to the WDS server providing the multicast transmission must support and allow multicast traffic as mentioned above. If the WDS server already contains tested boot and install images. One important point to note about multicasting is that only the Windows Server 2008 boot.WIM boot image file contains a WDS multicast client. In WDS server, you have to add Windows Server 2008 boot.WIM file into boot image. Now follow the screenshots bellow to distributive multicast image. Delete Multicast image when distribution no longer required.

Log on to WDS server using Admin Privilege. Go to Administrative Tools>WDS>Servers>Expand WDS Server>Right click on Multicast Transmission>Click Create Multicast Transmission.


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Here, you can schedule transmission if bandwidth and distribution time are criteria.

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About Raihan Al-Beruni

My Name is Raihan Al-Beruni. I am working as an Infrastructure Architect in Data Center Technologies in Perth, Western Australia. I have been working on Microsoft technologies for more than 15 years. Other than Microsoft technologies I also work on Citrix validated solution and VMware data center virtualization technologies. I have a Masters degree in E-Commerce. I am certified in Microsoft, VMware, ITIL and EMC. My core focus is on cloud technologies. In my blog I share my knowledge and experience to enrich information technology community as a whole. I hope my contribution through this blog will help someone who wants more information on data center technologies.
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4 Responses to Windows Deployment Services: Create and deploy multicast images

  1. Ariel says:

    Hi, I’m having the whole wds up and working.
    Normal (unicast) deployment is fully automated , OS win7, works fine.
    When it comes to multicast the image, it seems to be frozen after the multicast transmition starts. Only after 20 mins the counter reachs 1%. Of course that unicast is beats this perfomance.
    I’m using HP procurve 2510G switches.
    Any idea?



  2. Akira Sekine says:

    Hello Raihan,
    Good article. Do I need to have a complete unattend.xml (unattend and MiniSetup.xml) ready to utilise Multicast deployment? I am having problems with a couple of settings in unattended.xml (The system will wait for the user input) but just wondered if I could use still it for “Multicast deployment”

    really appreciate your comment,



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