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Starfish IT: Scaling Eventbrite IT’s Mac Management

This JAMF Nation User Conference (JNUC) session posed the question to the audience: if your main office went offline, would you lose the ability to manage your Macs or authenticate your users? Well, thanks to this session, you don't have to! 

Jason Kuo, IT Support Engineer at Eventbrite, discussed with the crowd how Eventbrite has doubled in size in less than two years—now over 500 users—and how this tremendous growth has led his staff to take a different approach to their IT strategy. He explained how they inverted the traditional, centralized IT architecture by leveraging the principles behind starfish — fascinating organisms that have no centralized nervous system.

He said, “If you cut the arm of a starfish off, it’ll grow a new arm.”  This got him thinking, "what would this look like in IT?” 

Throughout his session, he explained to the crowd the three things they need to consider if they want their environment to be more starfishy.

Decentralize
This allows them to be more resilient and less dependent on geography, and lets them scale and expand much more quickly. By decentralizing their Mac management and authentication infrastructure, they were able to mitigate potential disruption of a primary office outage. Utilizing JAMF Cloud and driving authentication from the cloud, even if Eventbrite headquarters went offline, all Macs would still be managed and all users would still be able to authenticate to critical services.

When hosting their JSS in the cloud, they "get the security of having essentially an in-house JSS without having to maintain the server itself,” said Kuo.

He said they also decentralize in the sense "that you can take it off-premise to a highly available solution like Okta so they are not dependent on any particular office."

Reproducibility
"If you take out a unit, the organization is unharmed,” says Kuo. To do this, he uses a  combination of cloud-centric infrastructure , simplicity, documentation, and the right tools. 

He encouraged the audience to “set up your Mac imaging environment even when supporting only 30 users so you can reuse your work when you grow." 

Flexibility
By utilizing more user-centric IT, he says that IT can empower users to work regardless of where they are or what device they are using.

With Kuo's help, an organization's IT strategy will benefit from being more starfishy and more resilient, reproducible, and flexible.