The CFI team will be on the TechChat to discuss the CFI process and how you can integrate it into your deployment plan.  Bring your OS deployment questions and try to stump the experts!

Click here to join the chat at 3PM Central Time

Chat Transcript:

Dell-WarrenB:Hello everyone!  Welcome to today's TechChat with the Configuration Services team!  We'll get started shortly after 3pm...about 10 minutes

  Hans De Leenheer:beers!


  Dell-Joe G:Hi gang!

  Emptyone:Hi all

  Hans De Leenheer:Cheers

  Said Faiq:Hello

  Dell - Steve H:Cheers Hans!  beers where?

  Dell-Joe G:I have a couple of the Dell Configuration Service members on board today...

  Dell - Tony V:Howdy

  Said Faiq:a couple??

  Dell-Joe G:Once we get started... We'll get this topic of discussion started.

  Said Faiq:the whole team is here ;)

  Dell-Joe G:@Said Yes indeed. :)

  Guest:but, where's Rakan?

  Said Faiq:on his way

  Guest::) what user id and password i use to log on?

  Hans De Leenheer:@Steve - over here :-P

  Dell-Joe G:Guys, were waiting a few minutes to give folks an opportunity to log into the new platform.

  Dell - Jason R:Dell - Jason R if you'd like to move me up to Presenter, we'll remain hands off. :o)

  Dell-Joe G:Once we get situated... We'll get started.

  DENNIS SMITH:Hey everyone!

  Dell-Joe G:Howdy @Dennis

  Dell TechCenter:Hey Dennis!  What's the score?

  DENNIS SMITH:figured I'd login from the user group incase there were any problems with the new platform

  DENNIS SMITH:hahaha  0-0 starts around 7

  Dell-WarrenB:Thanks for that!  We'll probably need it!

  HoosierCAB:wow, this is different.


  Dell-WarrenB:All right guys!  We're just about to get started!

  DENNIS SMITH::) that's just how important the system thinks I am

  Hans De Leenheer:OK, I'll behave from now on Warren ;-)

  DENNIS SMITH:@Hans....we know that's not true ;-P

  iscsiking:hey everyone

  Dell-WarrenB:OK, here we go!  Today we have Steve, Tony, and Joe from the Configuration Services team who help customers deploy their builds directly from the factory.  I'll hand it over to them to run.

  Hans De Leenheer:from now on = until the end of this session I will do my very best

  Dell-Joe G:Hi Guys. My name is Joe Garza with Dell Configuration Services. Today we'll talk about how you can leverage SCCM ConfigMgr OSD in Dell Factory

  Dell-Joe G:We'll go over creating a simple task sequence as well as adding Dell variables and condition statements to allow your production image to boot in Dell Factory

  Dell-WarrenB:Make sure you vote on the poll to your right!

  Dell-Joe G:Yes. Thanks @Warren.

  Hans De Leenheer:Joe: could you give a prectical example on how that goes into work?

  Dell-Joe G:Please make sure and vote using the poll.

  Dell-WarrenB:This is also our first official chat with this new chat tool...feel free to give your opinions...especially since we have Dennis on the line! :)

  Dell - Steve H:@Hans:   Steve here...  We have a whitepaper that explains the process... gives customers the ability to run their task sequence in the factory.  Customer puts a "hand-off" into their task sequence where system shoudl be boxed and shipped...   Everything prior to that point must run "standalone" -- no call-outs to your internal SCCM infrastructure (e.g., Apply Driver Package for factory vs Auto-Apply Drivers in your internal SCCM env)

  Dell - Steve H:@Hans:  This way customers can run much of the task sequence in our factory -- saving time during deployment

  Dell-Joe G:@Hans we provide the detailed steps on creating that custom task sequence using the following whitepaper:

  Hans De Leenheer:is that on a per piece order or only on big batch orders?

  Hans De Leenheer:lets say I have a multinational ordering per 5 pc's according to the image we have agreed upon

  Dell - Steve H:@Hans - We have to setup a Configuration Services project for the customer.

  Dell - Steve H:@Hans -- customer will have a custom project setup with thier SCCM part of that customer will have a Project ID (also called a System Integration # or SI#)

  Dell-Joe G:With a SCCM task sequence, and using the Configuration Services whitepaper, Dell will be able to process your image within the dell factory to transition a smooth OS Deployment.

  Dell - Steve H:@Hans -- the SI# becomes the "part number" if you will that must be included when the customer orders the systems.  It is this SI# that instructs factory to download the customer's custom deployment

  Hans De Leenheer:so that is a YES on the one order deal?

  Dell - Steve H:@Hans -- depends on the customer's task sequence...

  Hans De Leenheer:i meant one piece order

  Dell-Joe G:Once the OS Deployment is complete, we will ship the platform to the customer site which will boot up and continue the rest of the deployment process which will proceed with the Post-Delivery steps such as joii n  domain

  William At City of Richland:what is the cost of this service?

  Dell-Joe G: How to Insert Dell Factory Variables and Configurations: (wiki - Whitepaper mockup)

  Emptyone:How long time does it take from a change is made by the customer to it is up and running in your factory?

  Dell - Steve H:@Hans -- I'm not a sales / order entry guy -- so not sure about different ship-to addresses on a single order,   But certainly from deployment perspective one custom project can be setup and used for multiple orders.

  Dell-Joe G:@Emptyone We have a process workflow in which Dell Configuration Services will first validate your task sequence.xml...

  Dell-Joe G:@Emptyone Which then turns into a stand alone media creation...

  Dell - Steve H:@Hans -- and yes -- could order a single unit, but there are minimums for the project (50 units)

  Dell-WarrenB:Cameraphone video of the Out of Box experience for systems using this process (from a few years ago!).

  Dell-Joe G:@Emptyone and then the media is validated by Configuration Services who then hands the image off to Project Engineering. Once in the hands of P.E. it then takes 7-10 business days

  Hans De Leenheer:is that the same services that will handle the vStart deployments for servers?

  Said Faiq:William, cost per box is same as the cost for any regular imaging cost today. Please reach out to your account team as cost may vay depending on the situation.

  William At City of Richland:we have over 300 systems, but we are on a 4 yr replacement.  at times there are always over 50 on an order of laptops.  can you still apply the image if less than 50, but yearly we handle over 50?

  Dell-Joe G:@Emptyone: First things first... We would need to validate the TS.xml and that could require a number of changes before made perfect. The average time for Config Services to validate that task sequence is under 48 hours. Then we get the customer to upload the media using a secure FTA site or by snail mail.

  Dell - Steve H:@William -- if over 50 per year that's fine

  Hans De Leenheer:is that a project price or per order uplift for the services?

  Dell - Steve H:@Hans:  It's a per box fee for the image load.  Dell's Configuration Services offer...  (formerly known as CFI -- Custom Factory Integration)

  William At City of Richland:for the Install Software task can we supply software we have license for or must it be only software from Dell?

  Dell - Steve H:@William:  For software install task -- it can software you supply

  Dell-Joe G:Another poll is being tallied over to the right ------------->

  Dell - Steve H:@William -- you will be exporting a media build to send to Dell Configuration Services.  Similar to what you might provide to a remote user.  See the whitepaper link above for details

  Dell-Joe G:One of the biggest advantages of having your SCCM/MDT image deployed from Dell Factory is the ability to simplify your deployments and save a ton of time by having Dell boot the image from the factory.

  Dell - Steve H:@William:  Sorry, prior reply should say "It can be software YOU supply"

  devin:the 50 machines a year... is it world wide, or region by region?  I order 500/year in the US, but only 3 in Brazil... can I get the image in Brazil?

  Said Faiq:@Devin, is it the same build/Image?


  Jenny Boltz:can you use the online first article with SCCM ConfigMgr OSD

  devin:when I looked at CFI last year, we were told that we had to do 50/country/year... I have operations in 20 countries, but 15 of them don't order 50/year... but we total 2000 world wide

  Said Faiq:@Devin, with 500/year in the US, we can accomodate for Brazil as well

  William At City of Richland:I get how you are exporting media like you would to a DVD or USB.  we have done that here, but then if we make a change to the process we have to re-export it all over again.  would it be the same if we have to make a change for our Dell image?  would we need to upload the whole thing again for a simple software change or SP?

  Said Faiq:@Devin, are you currently using CFI?

  Hans De Leenheer:@devin: if you can't manage to get that on a +500 order per year, you got the wrong account manager :-)

  Dell-Joe G:Going back to Project Engineering... Once Configuration Services validates the Stand Alone media and we ensure the Deployment process is a smooth transition,.. the order then becomes available for Physical First Arctile.

  devin:@Faiq.  No, it's useless to me if I have to support 2 different imagaing task sequences, one for 15 countries, and one for the 5 I can use CFI

  Dell - Steve H:@Jenny:  On-line First Article (OFA) will only show what will occur on a system that is not connected to your domain.  That said -- yes, you can request / use OFA.  Recommend ordering a physical first article as well for first time SCCM/MDT projects

  Dell-Joe G:With that Physical First Article ordered, you can then see how the process boots back up into your SCCM ConfigMgr environment to contiue the Post-Delivery Configuration tasks (i.e. join domain, network-based software installs, etc)

  devin:CFI would be most usefull in the small countries where I have slow connections and updating SCCM packages can take a week.

  devin:@Hans De Leenher   we even offered to pay just the uplift cost on 50 computers, even if we only orderd 5, and were told no.

  Dell-Joe G:The same Physical First Article process is similar to what @Jenny & @Steve H described as the On-line First Article (OFA)

  Dell-Joe G:OFA will not be able to see the Post-Delivery Configuration last remaining tasks such as Domain Join.\

  Dell - Steve H:All -- any questions on the whitepaper?

  Dell - Steve H:All -- link above

  Dell-Joe G:With On-line First Article (OFA), customer will only be able to validate the image deployment completes along with proper driver injection and software installation (as applicable).

  Dell - Steve H:@Jenny -- yes

  Dell - Steve H:@Jenny -- but obviously not connected to your domain.

  Dell-Joe G:@William. Going back to your Q. Yes, you would need to re-upload the media again. This is why we make sure your Task Sequence xml  is validated before the media creation process starts.

  William At City of Richland:on pg 13 - question: if you have to upload the .iso file, if you make a change do you have to upload the whole .iso again?

  Dell-Joe G:@William. We would like to ensure little-to-no-mistakes are made so we don't waste time uploading media every time.

  Dell-Joe G:@William Yes, any change requires a new media build to be re-created.

  William At City of Richland:sure, we have no mistakes for 2-3 months, but then we get a software revision and I can change it in SCCM in 10 minutes, but if I have to upload for hours or days because it's one file it's fairly heavy

  Dell-Joe G:@William this is the case for SCCM. MDT gives us a little more flixibility in which we can modiy the task sequence.xml while the boot media is in our pocession.

  Haralambos "Harry" Mavromatidis:To clarify, I assume just like a MDT CFI Integration, any change would require after a new upload a ~2-3 week process and having to order a singe unit to test before it beocmes "golden" for future orders correct?

  Dell-Joe G:@William There are alternate options to sending the media. You can Fedex a USB or external drive with your image on it. The image does not have to be uploaded every time.

  Dell - Steve H:@Harry:  Are you familiar with On-Line First Article?

  Dell - Steve H:@Harry:  You are correct -- typically any change must go through our process for quality assurance.  That said -- if you are not changing the "First Boot" behavior on your side -- you should be able to leverage "On-Line First Article" to test any updates without having to wait for a physical system to be shipped.  OFA provides secure KVM access to a system in our lab that has going through engineering with your project -- allowing you to verify (but with no network connectivity to the system).

  Dell-Joe G:What is your average OS Deployment time (Poll)  ------------------------>>

  Dell-WarrenB:Great Poll Questions!!

  Dell-Joe G:OS Deployment, Application Installs, WSUS Updates, Join Domain etc.

  Dell-Joe G:Any questions regarding First Article, Whitepaper, Stand Alone Media Creation, Dell CFI Process?

  Dell-WarrenB:We have 10 minutes left, so get your last questions in regarding Configuration Services or any other questions.

  Dell - Steve H:Any final questions?   Or if you'd like to dicuss off-line shout and we can get your contact information in a private chat?

  Josh Cedoz:When we supply the credentials for the domain join are these encrypted in the answerfile?

  Dell-Joe G:What are some of your biggest Win7 Image Deployment pain points in your environment?

  William At City of Richland:biggest pain points are getting enterprise bitlocker to work as part of the SCCM task.  for all laptops we end up having to turn on bitlocker after imaging.

  devin:@william are you using MDT integration?

  Dell-Joe G:@Josh In SCCM the logon creds are encrypted in the variables.dat file and with MDT, your environment variables are not encrypted. Instead they are displayed in plain text in the CustomSettings.ini

  William At City of Richland:yes, I tried to get it working, but we only have 20-30 laptops a year so spending even more hours was not as constructive as just clicking a few times to enable it.

  Dell-Joe G:@William We also have a documentation that details how to enable bitlocker from within SCCM...

  Dell-Joe G:@William I can Private message you my information and I'd be glad to talk to you offline.

  Hans De Leenheer:Adios people. Belgium is out ;-) Sorry my impact was minimal this time. You can keep me quiet if we're not talking iron

  William At City of Richland:I think I tried the docs from MS, and from Dell, and yes we use the MDT integration. 

  Dell-Joe G:Thanks @Hans

  Dell - Steve H:@Hans:   Thanks for joining Hans1

  Dell - Steve H:!

  Said Faiq:Thanks Hans

  Dell-Joe G:Are there any enhancements, features, improvement opportunities you would like to see Dell providing support for?

  Dell - Steve H:Any more questions?

  Dell-Joe G:Guys, if there are no more questions for the Dell Configuration Services team, I'd like to thank everyone for their time this afternoon.

  Dell-WarrenB:Thanks for joining today!  If you have any last questions jump in now, otherwise we'll see you next week!

  Dell - Steve H:I want to thank everyone for joining if you have any additional questions please email us at

  Dell - Steve H:""

  Dell-Joe G:It seems like we are all out of time. I thank everyone for their time today. Thanks @Warren@/@Dell TechCenter/@DennisSmith/@iSCSIKing

  Dell-Joe G:Oh and @JeffS :)

  Dell-Joe G:Dell Configuration Services signing off. We'll see everyone next week! Pre-MMS Chat