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Any experience Mac administrators out there?


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#1 MrFriendly

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 11:42 AM

Howdy

 

So, my professional life involves a reasonable amount of work with Macs, nearly all of them using OSX 10.10, in a range of different environments. Trouble is, internally at my company I'm kinda the go to guy for all things Mac support, but, I only just know enough to get by comfortably.

 

We just don't have any strategy to properly manage our huge fleet, and I honestly don't know the best way to go about properly managing them all. Things like:

 

- Should I stand up a Mac Mini with OSX server and create and OD environment?

- Should I just join them to the AD Domain?

- Should we use ARD for everything or another 3rd party platform

- Backups and imaging for easier standard deployments to all Macs.

- Patch management and remoting.

 

I gues what I'm asking, is if any Mac admins out there have good suggestions or can share what they do to manage? Do you know of any really good education resources to really understand all the under the hood mechanics of OSX, OSX Server in a primarilly Windows Domain environment? I'd just love put an actually stategy together to make it less of a headache to administer.

 

We're about to rollout LabTech, but so far the remoting tool is fucking terrible. ARD still seems to be the most reliable way to remote onto the bastards.


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#2 TinBane

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 09:48 AM

There's plus and minuses for everything.

 

Ideally, get a Mac OS X server and run OD. 

 

But you are in a largely windows environment, which means you want to use AD, right?

 

I don't run an AD environment, but YEARS ago, I did provide support to people running this kind of setup. They had it working pretty well on AD, there were some things that needed to be set up twice.

 

 

Backups, you used to be able to patch time machine to backup to generic volumes. Worth doing, but don' tback up the entire drive, just the user specific stuff. It uses a network mounted disk image to back up via time machine, and if you do the whole drive then you are more likely to sooner or later end up with issues.

 

Likewise, mac OS server allows netboot, including netboot install.

 

ARD is great, unless there's a specific problem you have, that it doesn't address.

 

I think  most people run a Mac OS X server, so that you can use it's netboot/netinstall setup, but they use AD for authentication and network user directory etc.

 

Hopefully there's something of some use in here. Unfortunately I haven't dealt with this kind of stuff since 10.8 released.


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#3 mudjimba

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 11:54 AM

- Should I stand up a Mac Mini with OSX server and create and OD environment?

The cheap management option you do, and use profile manager like GPOs. Better options are 3rd party tools like airwatch, meraki, casper for management.

 

- Should I just join them to the AD Domain?

Both if using profile manager.

 

- Should we use ARD for everything or another 3rd party platform.

 

 

- Backups and imaging for easier standard deployments to all Macs.

Use deploy studio, build images for the machines for easy deployment. If you have standardized dock and preset preferences, you can re-image machines without much impact.

 

- Patch management and remoting.

ARD or whatever management solution you chose.

You should have a 10.10 server running with update caching to save bandwidth. You can download the update packages and push out via ARD or whatever you are using.






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