PXE without WDS in SCCM 1806

Hello Friends

SCCM 1806 has got amazing changes and in this post we will discuss one of the exciting feature. It is about using PXE without WDS. So lets start.

Until SCCM 1806, WDS was requirement for enabling PXE on SCCM distribution point. This approach has few limitations:

  1. Server operating system is required for WDS role and makes it costly affair. This becomes important for smaller sites. Other option is to use third party solutions.
  2. WDS has impact on imaging via SCCM. For example, if WDS service will be down, it will halt imaging. Other issues can be related to RemoteInstall folder which WDS uses.

Enabling PXE without WDS on Distribution Point

  1. Open SCCM Console.
  2. Go to Administration \ Site Configuration \ Servers and Site System Roles
  3. Select Distribution point and then click Properties.
  4. Click Enable a PXE responder without Windows Deployment Service under PXE tab.

Enabling this option on existing Distribution Point with WDS will give a warning message as under:

As in warning message, it disables the WDS service and multicasting. Once you disable this option, WDS service resumes.

Note: WDS creates RemoteInstall folder which is not created once PXE responder without WDS is configured and SCCMPXE.exe responds to PXE requests.

Verification

  1. You can verify PXE status under Monitoring \ Distribution Status \ Distribution Point Configuration Status. Under PXE column you should find Yes.

 

 

  1. On site server check distmgr.log and smspxe.log on distribution point.
  2. In the Services window, ConfigMgr PXE Responder Service is created and running.

Limitation

Multicasting in not supported. If you need multicasting, WDS is still required.

Consideration

  1. You may need to configure IP Helper to point to Distribution point.
  2. If DHCP option for PXE was used previously, it should be deleted, and new IP helper should be configured.
  3. Multicasting is not supported so should be designing factor.

Final Verdict

WDS issue has been a major roadblock for smooth imaging. Using this option can solve most of those issue. It is best to use for smaller offices and sites as it has no dependency on Server OS. Only limitation of solution is multicasting and in scenario where multicasting is required, WDS is still the option.

In case you want to learn about WDS here is mt blog on it: WDS Deep Dive

And here is one on SCCM PXE :SCCM PXE

So that’s all in this blog. See you soon with some other technical stuff.

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