The NetBoot/Software Update Server Appliance, also known as NetSUS is an important tool for virtualized OS X environments. Jason Borchardt, technical lead of the Mac platform at a major insurance company, discussed all things NetSUS on the main stage to a packed audience.
Starting with requirements, Jason shared a few examples of simple boot images such as EFI booter, and some more complex versions available like NetInstall and Kernelcache. Moving through to the anatomy of a bless command and then on to some use cases, he highlighted the importance of NetSUS in his own environment. As anyone can imagine, insurance companies have a lot of regulations and restrictions. With a ton of lawyers in house (hundreds), an NDA with Apple was not an option, which meant neither was Apple insurance. Prior to implementation of the NetSUS appliance, “broken” devices had to be shipped to headquarters, off to a third-party vendor to be repaired, back to headquarters, and finally, returned to the originating party. This took up to a week and a half. Their solution? Make self-diagnostics available in Self Service. By providing users full hard drive surface scans and memory diagnostics, his team is able to pinpoint and identify the simple fixes from the more complex, saving a lot of time and money.
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