Mac Administration - IT question

Discussion in 'macOS' started by jmitch720, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. jmitch720 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    #1
    Not sure if this specific forum is the best place to ask this, but it's pretty general.

    I work at an IT company that mainly support Windows based companies, but we have clients with Macs as well. We don't have nearly as many options to manage these Macs and I'm wondering what other IT professionals are using. One client was using ARD (Apple Remote Desktop) internally, but Apple has all but abandoned it and it leaves a lot to be desired. I see the Casper Suite from JAMF Software looks pretty promising. We need something that ideally would support remote support from PCs. All recommendations are welcome, but it would be most helpful from people with hands on experience.

    Thank you,
     
  2. ScoobyMcDoo macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #2
    I'm not sure what you you mean by "remote support". If you are simply referring to remote control and maybe moving some files back and forth, I have used both teamviewer and logmein for this purpose and they both support macs. Both work equally well; the main difference is the way they license their software - you will have to see which license works best for you.
     
  3. jmitch720 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    #3
    I mean remoting in to troubleshoot remotely. Logmein and Team Viewer are great but only for a few machines. We use Kaseya for Windows based machines, which is a very popular and powerful computer management service. It allows us to remote in and has a million other features like machine auditing and script running. I'm looking for something similar for Macs.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    Check out Apple's Remote Desktop App

    For remotely administrating Macs its probably your best bet
     
  5. jmitch720 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    #5
    I appreciate the suggestion, but ARD is not practical for our needs for a couple of reasons. One is that it does not work off site, unless you have VPN, which not all of our clients have. Also, Apple has not updated ARD in years. All they do is make it compatible with new releases of OSX, and just barely at that. It performs very poorly on my Mavericks machine. I'm looking for something possibly web based like Kaseya that would allow me to remote in from almost any computer.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    Your options are limited to gotomypc, logmein and teamviewer, if ARD is not the solution for you.
     
  7. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #7
    With a few simple SSH scripts ARD works very well off site. Apple has given it new features, even some just this past year. Beyond its current functionality, there isn't much else that needs to be added to it.
     
  8. chrfr macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #8
    This forum doesn't attract a lot of enterprise Mac management people. I suggest reading through the mailing list archives linked from http://macenterprise.org, even if you don't want to subscribe to the mailing list.
     
  9. jmitch720 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    #9
    Thanks for the lead. I will look into that.
     
  10. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    #10
    Apple updated ARD last month. It might not be super fancy, but it does the job.

    Casper is very good, but pricey.

    If you're looking at remote support, you might want something like bomgar.com.
     
  11. Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    Joined:
    May 13, 2013
    Location:
    'merica
    #11
    I use ARD for the administration of Macs in our main office and via VPN to our NYC, Washington DC and New Mexico offices. In total about 200 Macs, ranging from Tiger to Mavericks. Combined with Profile Manager in OS X Server my workflows are pretty straight forward. As you said though, VPN access isn't always available for your clients so this might not be the best option.

    For remote Macs without access to VPN access (mostly in Korea, Africa and spread through the US) I use GoToAssist. Aside from occasional lag it works pretty well for screen sharing and chatting with the end user. One benefit that I like for record keeping is the ability to attach notes at the end of a session, like "Worked with John to fix Outlook crashing, had to rebuild identity".

    You might consider tracking down a Mac centric IT consultation company, similar to you but primarily Macs, and quiz them on what they use. Obviously I wouldn't ask any in your market but dig around far away cities and you might find one that is willing to share some of their best practices since they aren't a direct competitor.
     
  12. jmitch720 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    #12
    Thanks, there's some good info there. How do you manage the auditing of the machines, especially the remote ones? With ARD you can run a report to get things like serial numbers and specs, but not if the machines are offline. How do you deal with that aspect?
     
  13. Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    Joined:
    May 13, 2013
    Location:
    'merica
    #13
    For most auditing (specs, serial, etc) I go back to the stone ages with spreadsheets. I, or someone I've trained, sets up each Mac that enters our organization and I've made this part of the workflow, we simply add the Mac's details to the relevant spread sheet. The only time this really affects us is when we need to see the OS version as our end users ARE able to upgrade on their own although we discourage them doing so. For our remote users I've used varying methods of walking them through it, emailing them a script and having them run it, etc. Admittedly that's one aspect that I'm still trying to nail down.

    Our organization is looking at Absolute right now to help with both the auditing and asset management as well as enabling the rest of IT to help with some of the day to day Mac operations, since right now it's more or less just me.
     

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