Earlier tonight I needed to upgrade the software on an Ethernet switch. Most network administrators will be aware that this generally requires access to a trivial file transfer protocol (TFTP) server and it’s widely believed that to set up TFTP on a Windows server requires third party software. Not so – Microsoft remote installation services (RIS) includes a built-in TFTP daemon and I found that this can be used to serve files to any TFTP client (I’ve written before about using RIS to PXE boot non-Windows images and this was a effectively a variation on the same theme).
All that was required was to copy the binary that I needed to run on my Ethernet switch to the RIS server’s remote installation share (\\servername\RemInst). Once the file had been copied to the RIS server it was simply a case of following the switch upgrade process and supplying the appropriate TFTP server address (i.e. the IP address for the RIS server) and filename.