There are a many terms used to describe the deployment of operating systems and its associated practices. Here are some of the most popular ones and an explanation of when to use them.
The process of applying operating system images to a computer(sometimes called build). This may also include it’s associated framework inc. drivers, patches, service packs, applications etc. The term is a general phrase that describes the process as a whole.
Windows Image Deployment (WIM Imaging).
This term describes any of the methods used to apply images based on the Windows Imaging file format.
Operating System Deployment(OSD).
This term can be used literally but usually refers to the deployment of images using the OSD feature of System Center Configuration Manager.
Lite-Touch Deployment (LTI).
This describes the use of Microsoft Deployment Toolkit to apply images. This includes any such methods including PXE boot with Windows Deployment Services
Zero-Touch Deployment (ZTI).
This describes applying images with System Center Configuration Manager with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit integrated.
User-Driven Installation (UDI).
This is Zero-Touch deployment that is initiatedby a user using the User Driven Installation feature of MDT. It could also refer to any other method of deployment where the user user initiates the build.
The term ‘imaging’ when appending a noun can refer to where the image is being deployed from but it’s not totally accurate terminology. eg WDS Imaging, File Share Imaging,
Below are a few useful links to various articles on this topic.
Operating System Deployment Terminology This is a glossary of most of the popular imaging process technical terms.
Choosing a Deployment Strategy This post will demystify the terms High Touch, Lite-Touch and Zero-Touch.
Deployment Dilemmas This post will explain the following terms – In-Place Upgrade, New Installation, Refresh and Replace.