Deployment is the process for automating the configuration of new computers into a known state. Imaging is the process of placing an image on a computer, such as what Apple does prior to shipping new computers.
Deployment includes pushing an image to a client computer in a full fashion, a process known as monolithic imaging. But deployment can also mean a package-based workflow where you push out a minimal image and then lay automations on top of that image. Lion Server is an integral part of any imaging workflow.
In this chapter, we are looking primarily at the imaging aspect of deployment, appropriate for many small environments including homes and small offices. Lion is the first operating system from Apple deployed solely on the Internet. No more optical or USB media from Apple to install computers. This means that if you have a slow Internet connection that it can take a considerable amount of time to install new computers.
An example would be if you have 10 computers that you want to install from scratch. Each has to download the entire operating system over the Internet independently. Each also has to be configured to work on the network, log into the server and maybe have a few pieces of software installed as well. This entire process can take up to two hours per system. However, if you have an image that you have prepared, you can probably do all 10 computers within 20 minutes or less, with the systems completely configured and a perfect ...