Looking for FOG institutions nearby - Minneapolis/St. Paul

  • Hi everyone,

    My institution is starting the process of selecting a new imaging system, and FOG is one of our candidates. Are there any users in the Minneapolis/St. Paul (or surrounding) area who might be willing to share their experiences (and maybe host a site visit)?


  • Given the information that you have provided, there are some good things and some bad. FOG shouldn’t have any problem imaging the Dell/HP computers. I am unsure about the MPC/OmniTech systems though. However, as long as they are 2000/XP/Vista/7 or Linux, they shouldn’t be a problem. The issue that you will run into are the Apple computers. FOG natively can’t image Apple computers, but there is a work around. I know this works as we currently have this implemented on our system, you can follow the directions from here, [url]http://www.fogproject.org/wiki/index.php?title=How_to_get_Macintosh’s_Netboot_working_with_your_FOG_server[/url], to be able to image Apple computers. The long and short of that site is that you need to have a working DeployStudio server setup on a Mac server, and then FOG will point to that server for the images.

    I’ve never tried imaging a computer that is a dual boot, so someone else might have to chime in on that. I do know that FOG supports multiple partitions, but it might be possible to copy the drives using the “Raw Image” function which copies the drive on a “sector to sector”. Also, given that you have several computer labs, you should be able to take advantage of multicasting though FOG, if you’re networking gear supports it.

    It’s good to hear that a good majority of your computers are Windows 7 though as FOG handles these without much issue, however, i’d suggest that you read up on imaging, as it takes a little extra work to get a working image other than a regular sysprep. I’d suggest reading over this document, [url]http://blog.ibuddy.info/index.php/2011/05/fog-29-my-windows-7-guide-3264-bit-docv1/[/url]

    Hope this info helps a bit.


  • Hi there, and thanks for the response!

    Right now, we’re not at the “Selling it to management” stage so much as we are at the “Is this the best solution for our institution compared to other products with similar features” stage. We’ve done some preliminary research into FOG and other tools, and we are currently looking at FOG, SCCM/WDS and LANDesk. Since both FOG and LANDesk have a fairly small following, I assumed that we’d probably have to set up a test server for FOG and have a product demo for LANDesk, but we were hoping that we’d find another institution nearby that is using one of those tools.

    [B]1. How many computers are in your organization, and are they all from a specific company (Dell, HP) etc[/B]
    We have somewhere around 1500 computers according to our inventory. This is composed of devices from several manufacturers – mostly Apple, Dell and MPC/OmniTech

    [B]2. Does your institution have any computer labs?[/B]
    Yes, several. We have moved to a dual-boot model for most labs (Mac OS and Win 7). We currently create modular OS X images and monolithic Windows images for these. Finding a modular option (like FOG) that we can apply to the Windows partitions in our lab environment is something we’re keen on. On that note, I’d love to hear whether anyone using FOG is using it for dual-boot deployment (and how!).

    [B]3. Do you have multiple building locations, and if you do, are they directly linked together (fiber line) or connected via VPN?[/B]
    We are multiple buildings at a single location – no satellite campuses.

    [B]4. What operating systems will the computers have?[/B]
    Mostly Windows 7, although we will continue to have a few Windows XP machines for the foreseeable future.

    [B]5. Would your FOG server be on a physical box or a VM?[/B]
    TBD. I believe that our network staff prefer VM when possible, but we could probably go either way depending on need.

  • Rachel,

    Welcome to the forums, let me ask you a few questions to get a better feeling of what you are looking for and see if you have any questions in return. FOG “Out of the box” works well once setup, but you will have to spend some time tweaking files and configurations to really get it to work at its full potential for your needs. Thankfully, there are quite a few members on these forums that work with FOG daily and would be able assist with almost any problem that comes up. I’ve always believed that the best way to show a product is by giving a demo instead of saying what it can do. But lets get on with some questions:

    1. How many computers are in your organization, and are they all from a specific company (Dell, HP) etc

    2. Does your institution have any computer labs?

    3. Do you have multiple building locations, and if you do, are they directly linked together (fiber line) or connected via VPN?

    4. What operating systems will the computers have?

    5. Would your FOG server be on a physical box or a VM?

    The other things that you can use to persuade your institution to look more towards FOG would be the snap-in system, the virus scanning, memory testing etc. Personally, the selling point when I pitched the idea of FOG to my supervisor was the hardware inventory we could keep on every device (We could tie a serial number of a computer, to a computer name, and then to a user) so if a computer went missing, all we did was type in the computer name or serial number and we could tell who the computer belonged to. While no product will ever be perfect for your needs, FOG has a lot of customization that can be used to make it fit your needs better than the other commercial software. My suggestion would be to setup an isolated network, even two VM’s would work, and setup and test FOG. If you are new to it, it’ll take about 2 hours to fully start from scratch and install the Linux OS, and FOG. Also, FOG 0.33 should be released any day now, so you might also wait for that release.