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Automated remote install on multiple PCs

I guess this is more directed at pipeline TDs, but I'm wondering how people do studio wide installs and updates (for new Houdini builds, but also for Maya service packs, environment file updates etc) on Windows. Previously we've done everything manually but this is obviously inefficient and more and more time consuming as the studio grows in size.

Ive been looking into it and it seems SCCM and GPO are pretty common for this kind of thing as well as msiexec scripts - though it seems you only get an exe from sidefx so I guess I would have to convert that to msi? 

We use deadline for our render farm which is able to do 'maintenance jobs' which can execute a batch script once on each slave so that (with an msiexec script) could be an option.

If anyone could mention their current solution or any advice on this that would be great.



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We use bat files to install all needed software. Because we need bat files anyway for starting Maya, because our maya is heavily customized, we extended the system to all programs we use.

In the batch file it simply calls all needed other programs install bat files and finally start the application. Where needed Maya is installed from a deployment setup.exe. The install file of houdini can use a whole bunch of options as well. Other programs can be simply copied locally and work fine. This procedure works really fine, at least on Win7. We added an archive of the software, simply packed everything in the programs folder. This way we can simply delete the local install directory in case we screwed someting up or files are lost (what indeed happens from time to time), and the archive is extracted locally and everything runs again.

Drawbacks of this procedure is that you have to find a way to install everything with admin rights if you have limited user rights. Another small problem with this procedure is that you the Setup.exe of a Maya deployment does not block the execution of the bat file. So you will have to find a wait procedure until it is done. 

On the pro side: You do not need extra software, only the software which is actually needed is installed, it is easy to extend or add environment variables.

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Hey, thanks for your reply. I have used bat files much before, is there any good documentation for installing Houdini or Maya using them?

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No, not really as much as I know. For Houdini I was able to find these commandline switches:

houdini.16xxxx.exe /S /MainApp=Yes /InstallDir=whereeveryouwant /AcceptEula=yes /ApprenticeLicensing=No /DesktopIcon=No /FileAssociations=No /HoudiniServer=No /HQueueServer=No /EngineMaya=Yes /HQueueClient=Yes /IndustryFileAssociations=No /LicenseServer=No /Registry=No /StartMenu=whatnameever

For the setup of a maya deployment you can use:

Setup.exe /qb /i path_to_deployment\Img\Maya2018.ini /language en-US

We then call a loop and check if setup.exe is still running and continue as soon as it has terminated.

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