When doing the DDPS (Desktop Deployment Planning Service) engagements with customers, one of the nicer things Microsoft has put together is a set of hydration files, that enables you to set up an entire Proof of Concept virtual environment in a couple of hours!

The set up files have been available for about a year and is about 13 GB in size, but then you also get all the necessary software you need to do MDT 2010/SCCM07, Office2010 and OS deployment with all the trimmings.

You can download it from Microsoft Connect here https://connect.microsoft.com/pocjumpstart, just scroll down to the bottom and look for PoC – Jumpstart 10 Day – Hydration Kit. And be aware that license terms of the different software is still in effect..

Well the name of this post is “Set up SCCM test environment in no time”, and I would be lying if I said that there isn’t a lot of fiddling about, that needs to be done in order for this hydration kit to work. Also its important to realize, that it is intended for POC purposes, and therefore consists on a lot of evaluation software (SCCM, SQL and SCOM), and some of the software has been updated since the hydration was created!!

So that’s where my friend and OSD colleague, Johan Arwidmark comes in.. Johan has been kind enough to create a Hydration setup, based primarily on your own downloaded software, and some WSF and PowerShell scripts! He also show you exactly how to set it up in a small video, as well as a written step by step guide!

Johan’s Hydration setup can be found at his new site deploymentresearch.com here: http://www.deploymentresearch.com/Blog/tabid/62/EntryId/13/Hydration-Automating-builds-in-your-datacenter.aspx

It’s excellent stuff and should come in handy, for many IT Pros..