You could use the 'local data store' which puts a ISO/DVD into each host.
You can open smb and give the user read only access to the share...
You could use several build servers in the separate network segments, populate the datastore via nfs/ft/scp and then you only need to run smb in that segment and prevent smb traffic from having to traverse routers/firewalls..
Just an idea.
I proposed both solutions to the customer, but I don't think they will like them.
Any chances to use something else than SMB?
Is the WinPE boot image that actually acts as an SMB client?
Winpe starts the install by mounting a share and running the winnt.exe from the share. I don't know of any other way to do this w/o rebuilding how our solution works, except using the 'local datastore' option.
Do they not allow file shares in their environment?