Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Speeding up LAN based Automation OS boot times using a Custom TFTP Server for Altiris (for WinPE and Linux)

One of the more easier ways of speeding up your WinPE boot times via PXE are changing the default TFTP server which comes with Altiris. First of all, open up the PXE Configuration Manager and disable Multicast since the WinPE image cannot be transferred over Multicast anyway(only DOS supports Multicast via TFTP). This simple tweak shaves around a second off your PXE Boot time.

Another tweak which can be performed is changing the TFTP Server itself. This sounds quite difficult but is quite easy to accomplish and is a significant benefit.  My own testing has shown that 10 Clients concurrently loading a WinPE image do it around 45-50% faster using another TFTP Server than if I was to continue using Altiris’s own server.
I was also going to cover compressing the WinPE image to reduce its file size, but found thatwhen doing so, the reduction in size was minimal shaving off around 10mb.
I’ll be using the Open Source Open TFTP Server, available from Download it and install it either on your Altiris Server or like I did, on my workstation and then copy it over to your server. You will also need to copy over your Settings file.
Firstly, open up the Services control applet and Stop the Altiris PXE MTFTP Server service.
Now comes the good part. Open an elevated command prompt. The following is based on our Altiris setup, with it installed on D drive and me creating a folder under PXE for OpenTFTP and pasting the OpenTFTP executable and Settings file into that folder.

sc config "Altiris PXE MTFTP Server" binpath= "D:\Deployment Server\PXE\OpenTFTP\OpenTFTPServerMT.exe"

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