MacSysAdmin September 19, 2013 at 9:14 am

MacSysAdmin 2013 (Day 2)

Another day in Göteborg brought many more fascinating talks, including the first public talk on autopkg. For those using JAMF Casper, Marko Jung from the University of Oxford showed how by adding many modules to Self Service, users have been empowered to do many tasks with the click of a button which would normally require a help desk call.  This implementation has led to happier users, and looks like a great way for organizations to reduce common calls. Daniel Svensson from IKEA gave a very interesting talk about scaling Mac management over hundreds of sites, each with relatively few clients.  Particularly interesting in IKEA’s deployment is the use of existing Linux infrastructure to support NetBoot and update caching, instead of having to deploy separate hardware to each store.  By using the existing Linux servers which are part of the baseline deployment for each store, Mac support comes automatically with each store.  Also interesting is how replication occurs using a tiered model, with endpoints replicating from regional data centers, instead of sending hundreds of gigabytes of data over long, slow WAN connections. After lunch, Greg Neagle spoke for the first time about autopkg, a project which has recently seen a large amount of development work and will save countless hours of time in the future for Mac sysadmins.  Greg’s presentations are always as great as the projects he works on, and this one was certainly no exception.  Sysadmins must devote a large amount of time to finding software updates, importing them to their management solution, and testing them.  By using autopkg, the finding and importing steps can be completely automated, and much time saved. Finally, the de facto master of FileVault, Rich Trouton, spoke on the changes of FileVault going from Snow Leopard to Lion, and onto Mountain Lion.  FileVault 2 has become the standard for full-disk encryption on the Mac, with other products shifting from FDE to FileVault 2 management, and is an important topic for sysadmins to understand as they implement it in their organizations. There are two days left of MacSysAdmin 2013, and everything has been great so far.

Samuel Keeley

Samuel Keeley can frequently be found in ##osx-server on Freenode, or on Twitter @keeleysam.

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