We have all experienced the dread that comes with hearing, “we will need to reimage your computer.” The thought of being down for several days and spending hours ensuring everything is where it is supposed to be is sometimes too much to handle. Thankfully, cloud-based solutions have taken a large part of the headache out of the equation and turn a several days turnaround into a few hours.
What is Autopilot?
What are the advantages of Microsoft Autopilot over an imaging server? Moreover, what is an imaging server? Let’s work in reverse order to get a better understanding.
Companies use a lot of software daily. This software might be keeping the computer secure, used for productivity or to track the health of the computer. On top of that, not all software is necessarily installed at the latest publicly available version, and having a technician manually configure each company laptop to meet these requirements would be take an unthinkable amount of time! So, someone found a better way: a base image. To create this “base image” all the absolutely necessary software is manually installed on a computer. Then, you effectively copy that computer to make your base image, and voila! The amount of work has been drastically reduced! That base image can then be loaded to a server and copied down to new computers during deployment.
Having an imaging server is a great tool to cut down on the manpower it takes to configure new computers, but it has its drawbacks. The one we will be focusing on is its accessibility. Imaging servers usually only exist on internal networks, which means the computer will need to be onsite to access. This can create a bottleneck for remote employees and cost companies thousands in shipping back and forth!
How Can This be Prevented?
What can be done to minimize lost time and money? Move the image to the cloud!
Autopilot uses the Windows image already installed on the computer and installs the necessary software. Microsoft has a built-in functionality that will automatically check if a computer is enrolled once it is connected to a network. This means that any computer enrolled in Autopilot can receive the company image, regardless of location, so long as they have internet connection! And on top of that, Autopilot has features that make setup as easy as signing in once to kick off the whole process. We can say “so long,” to the days of shipping computers back and forth just to reinstall the operating system!