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JDS, Casper Admin, and compiled images

Problem:
It seems that when using just the JDS method of distribution points, one cannot compile images and thus the block copy imaging is not available.

Question: What is the community using to compile images in such a fashion that, if uploaded to JDS-only distribution method, it would allow a monolithic image (compiled from the appropriate packages in Casper Admin) to be distributed by Casper Imaging to all our clients?

Additional Background: We have been told by our two JAMF Account Execs that when using the JDS method of distribution points, which is the clear way forward we are told, one is not able to take advantage of compiling images and thus block copy. Indeed, documentation found within JAMF Nation points this glaring omission out. JAMF has recommended this as our best possible architecture for our environment considering we were starting fresh with Casper 9 (and have many different "sites" involved.
My single department was able to accomplish this in previous versions of the product as we had a "traditional AFP/HTTP/SMB distribution point" and then had JDSs sitting off to the side. One would create a configuration in Casper Admin, compile the configuration, and then block-copy the image in a matter of minutes to the target computer (as long as the machine was pointing to the traditional distress).

Without compiled images, this same image has taken over an hour (and counting) to deploy and thus really impacted our operations going forward. Does anybody have any constructive ideas on how this could be remedied?

In my humble opinion, the SITES feature in Casper is what is really letting us down. Now that my group has proved the importance of having Casper (version 8.x and lower), a larger group has taken over leadership of our group using Casper 9. They have issues with Capser Admin and the various types of distribution because of the way packages can be seen/screwed-with by other sites. Combine all that with the technical issues within Casper 9 and as a result, we have a terrible product experience compared to Casper 8. Casper 9's SITES feature has been a major downer considering it was the main reason the larger organization bought-in on the product.

I wish that, within Casper Admin, I could place packages, specific to my "sites permission", into my own distribution system (JDS or traditional), and those packages could be private to just our group (or global if my permissions allow). In addition, give me the ability to still do compiled images (of which I've heard JAMF preach for years about how this negates the need for multicast-imaging because images can happen so quickly (and I agree with that). Now, in almost a true Apple-like fashion, it seems we are being told how evil this method is, and how much time I save with modular, but uncompiled, images. I feel I am being told this by a shortcoming of the Casper 9 re-write and not because it is correct. That is just my frustrated and disappointed opinion though and not that of my employer.

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SOLVED Posted: by alexjdale

According the admin guide's section on Compiled Configurations, you just need to have your Master distribution point be a "file share" type in order to compile into a DMG. You can still use that DMG on the rest of your JDS distribution points or manually build your own monolithic DMG if you are 100% JDS. Heck, you could make a file share your master temporarily just to compile a DMG, and then go back to JDS-only.

Don't pay too much attention to "trends" because every company is different. Just because the JDS may be the "wave of the future" according to a couple people doesn't mean you need to convert everything over (I don't plan on using any JDSs at all). There are more than one ways to accomplish any goal, it's up to you to think critically and evaluate all of the options for your organization.

For example, it doesn't sound like your organization should be using Sites, you should probably have separate JSSs (or better change management and processes).

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SOLVED Posted: by winningham.2

@alexjdale I appreciate your opinion on this. Thank you.

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