Turn off SIS for small RIS installations

Single Instance Storage (SIS) can slow down you PC imaging when using RIS.

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We were having some latency problems with Remote Installation Service (RIS). It was taking about two hours to image a PC. So I checked the network utilization on the port and it wasn't taking that much bandwidth.

The RIS setup installs two Single Instance Storage (SIS) services on the volume it's installed to. I decided to try to use RIS without running SIS to see if I could see any improvement in RIS image latency. First, I used ntbackup.exe to back up all the files contained in SIS storage to a new non-SIS volume. I backed these files up to a file backup device. Then, I deleted the RIS volume and recreated it. After that, I re-installed RIS and then immediately disabled the two SIS services. The SIS groveler can be disabled through the Services MMC, but the SIS service itself has to be disabled in the registy at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesSIS.

After I had the two service disabled so that SIS would not start, I restarted the server and then restored all my RIS images files to the server. The first PC image that we did after this change only took about seven minutes. With such an improvement after the change, we concluded that SIS was causing the delay in imaging a PC. It just took too long to get the files out of the SIS database as opposed to the files staying on the file system directly.

We are a small shop with less than 10 PC images, so losing space to multiple copies of the same OS file is not a big problem for us. I've got about 30 GB of space dedicated to our RIS images. Larger organizations with multitudes of RIS images might not want to sacrifice space for the sake of speeding up PC imaging.

This was first published in August 2003

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