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Salesforce’s Story: The Breeze of Scaling Your JSS

Watch this JNUC session in its entirety.

Salesforce scaled their JSS, and you can do the same. In today’s session, Salesforce Client Engineer, Ben Marks, shared how Salesforce went from a single Tomcat MySQL VM running Windows Server 2008 that supported a few thousand Macs to three Tomcat VM’s MySQL VM + load balancer that supports 23,000 Macs – all on Red Hat. Marks additionally covered information on load balancer configuration and JSS settings, and how they impact database size and performance.

Marks started off with a single analogy, “Every JSS is a unique snowflake.” He went on to explain that each JSS has different sizes, settings and individual aspects that separate it from its counterparts. So, simply stated – don’t treat them all the same.

Throughout this morning’s session, he put a special emphasis on the benefits of manual installations. “Focus on a single task, and try and install things manually,” he explained as a method to best tailor your choices to the uniqueness of your JSS. “If you can do a manual install and do one upgrade, that’s going to prepare you for anything else that’s coming.”

Marks then took a look at network setup, giving one key piece of advice. “Pick your URL right off the bat.” He recommended making a deliberate choice, selecting one that won’t ever change. Done. What else?

Marks said if you’re going to focus on anything with network setup, do these three things first:

1) Select a permanent URL. (This is a non-negotiable.)

2) Register your domain. (Just do it!)

3) Get an SSL certificate. (Another – Just do it!)

“If you do these things right off the bat, you’re going to have a very, very portable database,” Marks said before leading into the importance of Resources.

Above all else, Marks recommended asking your Technical Account Manager (TAM) for your Resources document. “That’s a really great starting point.” Of course, even with this document, Marks reminded the crowd to remember that each JSS is unique. What may work for one, isn’t a guaranteed fit for another.

He then took a look at the load balancer. “While it is easy to set up, there are a couple of settings that could make your life pretty miserable,” Marks warned. So move forward with caution. But even when things don’t go as planned, he also reminded that help is only a call away, and Jamf is always there to assist.

The same goes for separating your JSS and Tomcat servers. Marks admitted that it’s not always easy to give up control, but “From a portability and scalability standpoint, this is one of the biggest things you’re going to do.”

Marks also reminded the crowd of a few key points about performance bottlenecks. “Make sure all of your VMs are in the same place,” he said. “And keep an eye on what you’re doing and how it affects database size.” Noted.

Wrapping up the session, Marks gave one last nod to what makes his job so much easier. “In many ways, Apple and Jamf are ahead of the curve with managing these devices, he said. “DEP makes our lives a million times easier.”