Help with Mass Hard drive cloning station



  • Hi Guys,
    I’m trying to build a cloning station and i was wondering if FOG is suitable for what i am after

    I have a i7 PC that has multiple USB 3.0 ports
    Each usb port has a Orico 4xBay SATA HDD connected

    The PC see’s 40 hard drives connected

    Question is , is FOG capable loading a source image and deploy it on the HDDs connected simultaneously?

    If so, is it also able to format the 40 HDDs?

    Thank you !

    Zion



  • @zionda said in Help with Mass Hard drive cloning station:

    Wish me luck guys

    good luck and don’t forget to report and don’t hesitate to ask if you have any setup problems.


  • Moderator

    @zionda You can probably do 1,000 a day once you’re setup.



  • Thank you guys for the answeres

    We will setup a FOG server and revert back
    Hopefully all go smooth

    The goal is to install 200-300 new Desktop with the same image every day
    Approx 1000 units a month.

    With that we are preparing the space to put the PCs with enough power outlets , ethernet ports, KVMs to put the 200 batch each time

    Wish me luck guys

    Zion



  • @zionda Hi, is there no network infrastructure? FOG is doing it’s job over the network and the clue is since every computer is connected to the network you don’t need to move em. You also can wake em remotely.

    For your case i would image the computer, replace the harddrive and deploy the image back to the new drive what ever it is m2, ssd, hdd.

    I bet you haven’t seen fog taking its actions right? :) if so please try it you will be flashed out :D

    Regards X23


  • Moderator

    @zionda I answered these questions in my below post. I hold firmly that you don’t yet understand what FOG offers, and still suggest setting up a POC before asking more questions that aren’t related to setting up the POC. None of us here are salesmen, we’re volunteers. Four days have gone by now in this thread, you could have had a POC setup in a few hours and answered many of your questions on your own.


  • Moderator

    @zionda First you know my answer will be a bit biased toward FOG ;-)

    From a logic standpoint, wouldn’t you want to use the same tool to initially deploy your images as you would for ongoing imaging? This is where I think FOG is a perfect solution. The same tool used to originally image the machines will be also used if the target computer is damaged and must be repaired and reimaged some time in the future.

    The scope of your question has changed a bit now. In your OP I had envisioned that you would been to image 100s of PCs at the same time (mass deployment). FOG works great for this with its multicasting ability (sending 1 image to many computers). With your latest post your work flow seems to be a bit different. You will have to manually touch each computer to replace its hard drive. You could use a disk duplicator here or you can use FOG and unicast a single image to the target computer. In my company, with our fat image ~25GB it takes about 4 minutes to push the image to the target computer. If you think about your cycle time that image is faster than you can replace the hard drive in the next computer.

    Regardless of the approach you take, you need to consider how much after the imaging is complete you have to / need to touch the computer. Will you have to name the computer? Will you have to connect it to the domain? Assign it to a certain OU? Install additional applications? Install any local hardware peripheral drivers? Make any other post imaging customizations? How frequent will these systems be reimaged (daily, monthly, yearly)? All of these steps may need to be taken into consideration when determining your imaging solution.

    The image push is only the first step in the imaging process. You have quite a few others to consider when going from bare metal to finished product.



  • Thank you for the replies and discussion guys !

    So i understand that i might be doing some workaround and it’s not the way to go.

    what we are experiencing currently is that we have a limited of PC’s we can install at once from PXE (we can do approx 10-15 at a time)

    sometimes the PC’s for the schools supposed to have their HDD’s replaced with SSD’s or bigger SATA ones and than i need to remove the old one and install the new ones, so i figured for this situations i rather put them back after i cloned the new drives with the images.

    the FOG as i read is an Amazing solution but my question is do you think the right way is to connected each PC individually ? will it be faster (and less logistic) than doing it bulk directly to the drives ?


  • Developer

    @x23piracy yeah, if he wants to clone to the drives in the way he originally describes clonezilla is probably the best choice.



  • @Avaryan @zionda thats really uncomfortable and kind of tinkering. Just forget FOG for this case, just use a cloning solution on that local computer were you have all the drives connected via usb3.

    I’ve seen something different in the past at atos origin, they used IBM Tivoli but they connected the whole computers not just the harddrives, but just using a harddrive was also possible with that.

    Regards X23



  • @zionda said in Help with Mass Hard drive cloning station:

    Hi Guys,
    I’m trying to build a cloning station and i was wondering if FOG is suitable for what i am after

    I have a i7 PC that has multiple USB 3.0 ports
    Each usb port has a Orico 4xBay SATA HDD connected

    The PC see’s 40 hard drives connected

    Question is , is FOG capable loading a source image and deploy it on the HDDs connected simultaneously?

    If so, is it also able to format the 40 HDDs?

    Thank you !

    Zion

    In regards to the original question, it may be possible to assign each HDD to a virtual machine and deploy to each one. Can’t say I’d recommend doing that though.


  • Developer

    @Wayne-Workman fixed
    of course, this is super slow compared to our current imaging speed. i image in almost half that time now.


  • Moderator

    @Junkhacker Must be private? I can’t see it.


  • Developer

    @Wayne-Workman i’ve created a demo video in the past for a conference i spoke at


    i just don’t have the time to edit the video for a new one


  • Moderator

    I can do a screen capture of it, but my equipment is old as dirt and my setup is far from optimal. I’m working at home with a 100Mbps network, and a test windows 10 image. Worse, the test server and test box are virtualized so that further worsens my performance. So I’m only getting about 6 minute imaging times.


  • Senior Developer

    @Junkhacker I don’t :(. I’ll admit, I don’t record any videos. Not that I couldn’t but I’m usually tweaking so many things at once, that my videos wouldn’t make sense comparitively.


  • Developer

    i have to recommend that you give FOG a shot as it is supposed to be configured. with as fast as FOG images systems, you’ll have them all imaged in the time it would take you to remove all their hard drives for your original intended method. does anyone have a demo video from after we added zstd compression?


  • Moderator

    @zionda said in Help with Mass Hard drive cloning station:

    @george1421

    Well actually maybe you guys have a diffrent idea

    We are installing each time different images to diffrerent schools in our region

    We sometimes needs to install 500-800 pcs all exact same pc model and specs and all of them with the exact same image

    We use pxe boot to image each pc but i cant find an effective way to so it in mass installation since we have limited space and few technicians and im trying to make the imaging process more effective

    Would love to know if you have any suggestions on how to handle mass installations (i tought making a duplicator and just mass install the hdds and assemble onto the pcs will be faster, specially when sometimes there is an Hdd upgrade than we already have the hdds outside the pc)

    Any best practice will be helpful

    FOG can do this job natively, as @george1421 already said. FOG uses PXE, that’s just one aspect of how it works. Now, before you think that FOG is anything like GHOST, stop. Because GHOST vs FOG is not even a competition. FOG vs WDS is not a competition. Comparing these would be like comparing a lame horse to a new motorcycle. These other solutions don’t come close to FOG’s speed nor it’s functionality, or support for that matter.

    The way you are wanting to do this (in your OP) is a bad idea and we aren’t going to help with it, it’s also not best practice and would be super labor intensive and lack all the great features that you don’t know about yet which FOG offers as standard, supported features.

    If you want to setup a P.O.C. for FOG, we can assist - you can see how it works, we can go from there. This is what I would suggest. Instead of getting caught up with a billion questions here in a thread without actually trying it out. With our help, and this being your first experience, you can probably have a P.O.C. setup and functional in a couple hours. We have plenty of guides for you to work from, also. I recommend this one: https://wiki.fogproject.org/wiki/index.php?title=CentOS_7 You will need to modify your DHCP server during setup, notes on that are here: https://wiki.fogproject.org/wiki/index.php?title=Modifying_existing_DHCP_server_to_work_with_FOG


  • Moderator

    @zionda Hopefullt @Wayne-Workman will be along soon. He worked at a pretty big school district and has first hand experience with imaging on a large scale.


  • Moderator

    @zionda What is your time span to install the 500 to 800 systems? (minutes, days, weeks?)

    Fog can do a multicast deployment where it send out a single image and the devices configured to receive it will do so. If your network is built properly you can do this in place without touching the computers at all (understand there are a few assumptions in that statement). I would probably limit the deployment size to 50 or so just because your overall deployment speed is dependent on your slowest computer being installed. Fog will do this today.

    Now if you have a routed network (i.e. subnets, vlans) you will need to setup a multicast router so that the multicast traffic gets routed properly without swamping your network. Having managed switches that support igmp snooping also helps to keep the multicast traffic to switch ports where there are multicast subscribers.


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