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Jamf Casper compared to other Mac management solutions

I am just starting to look into getting some type of management software for my laptops. I currently have 2/3 Mac and 1/3 PC. The PC's are going away as we can replace them or they break. So I am looking for something that is more Mac centric but some PC stuff would be nice. End result, we should have all Mac within a year or so.

My question is how does other solutions like Dell Kace compare to Jamf? Just doing some research to see what others are seeing out there.

Thanks for any info anyone can pass my way.

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SOLVED Posted: by rhettelliot

in my experience you'd have to script EVERYTHING if you want to use KACE...

I tried SCCM Parallels plugins, all the Apple provided management tools, writing my own "setup scripts" and nothing compares to the flexibility and robust feature set of the Casper Suite.

AND JAMF is SUPER CHEAP!!! :) compared to other server based enterprise tools.

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SOLVED Posted: by alexjdale

I would say the FileVault recovery key escrow is almost worth the price of entry on its own, and I haven't seen any other product that provides the same "day one" support and rapid integration of new features that Apple releases.

If you are only looking at managing Macs, then there's nothing better.

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SOLVED Posted: by rderewianko

I don't take credit for this, but i came across this document on someones comparison of different management software (about a year ago)

https://docs.google.com/a/pingidentity.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ane3dV9FGdGLdEU5Skc4QTl4dU1kcTY3Vm8wTm84ZWc&usp=drive_web#gid=0

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SOLVED Posted: by Account Deleted

If I weren't using Casper \- if Casper wasn't kicking ass for me by being a force-multiplier and enabling me to do more, faster, more consistently, and easier \- I'd be looking at http://www.deploystudio.com/Home.html, https://code.google.com/p/munki/, and https://github.com/wdas/reposado.

There's also http://www.absolute.com/en/products/absolute-manage and http://www.landesk.com/products/management-suite/ \- neither of them come close to matching Casper's depth and ease of use, but they do both have cross-platform capabilities.

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SOLVED Posted: by dgreening

I am using Casper in conjunction with DeployStudio for imaging (I like it better) and Reposado for SUS. We have looked at other solutions, and have concluded that Casper is the best product for our Macs, both in terms of functionality and price. I often refer to Casper as a force-multiplier! It has enabled a team of two (though mostly me on the sysadmin side) to deploy and manage over 8000 Macs and 3000 iPads. +1 for Casper!

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SOLVED Posted: by jwojda

rderewianko \- thank you! I was looking for something like that.

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SOLVED Posted: by bentoms

I think @rtrouton has some mac KACE experience.

So mentioning him to see if he can chime in.

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SOLVED Posted: by ctangora

Casper has drop down menus for multiple things that would have to be written as a script in almost all other enterprise management solutions.

Plus zero-day support for OS upgrades are spot on.

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SOLVED Posted: by WLeishman

Has anyone compared Parallels Mac Management vs JAMF Casper? The Workstation Management Testing Matrix GDoc is great, but Parallels Mac Management wasn't included;

We have a large Global SCCM infrastructure and 98% Windows vs Mac (but expect Mac to grow) but are being asked to quickly implement a solution to do more full featured Client Management on the Apple OS X devices we have and expect to have. Key requirements (at least initially) are Settings/Config Management, Patching, HW/SW Inventory and enterprise mgmt of FileVault Keys.

We've talked to Apple and have been told that the vast majority of enterprises use JAMF Casper, but given little specifics on the % of those that are mostly Windows with large investments in SCCM for Win Mgmt.

Does anyone have any experience with both and any comparisons, etc?

Thanks

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SOLVED Posted: by Matt

Let me put it this way, JAMF is the only Mac provider I work with that actually stays bleeding edge with Apple. We used Parallels Virtual Server and it was useless because they didn't update it for months. We got nothing but empty promises and vaporware. JAMF gets stuff out within 72 hours of Apple releases and they have the most knowledgable employees... plus you have all of us too!

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SOLVED Posted: by corbinmharris

I'm now a support desk team of 1 and couldn't do support 150 \+ Macs at 3 locations without Casper. Of course the support team is the best of all our vendors.

Corbin

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SOLVED Posted: by iJake

Do you want a dedicated product or plugin?

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SOLVED Posted: by acdesigntech

we have about 5500 computers in our environment. 80% windows, 20% Mac. I'm the only Mac engineer in the company. And we have a single break/fix level 2 support-type guy at our HQ. Other than that, Casper does all the heavy lifting and I'd be lost without the power it gives me for imaging, patch management, security compliance, and inventory reporting.

I have not encountered a challenge yet that Casper either does not already take care of right out of the box or can utilize a custom script in some fashion to meet that requirement.

Plus their support team is spot on and very responsive.

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SOLVED Posted: by WLeishman

@iJake][/url To answer your question "Do you want a dedicated product or plugin?"...

We need to select the product that best meets our requirements for managing Macs with the least amount of impact to the infrastructure or support organization that will continue to manage our 95%+ Windows PC environment. Also we need to move quickly get real results on our Mac devices. Cost is less of of concern (even though Casper is significantly more $, possibly justifiably so).

Our "must have requirements" do not specifically have a preference on "a dedicated product" vs. "plugin"

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SOLVED Posted: by mm2270

In addition to many of the points mentioned by others up above on this thread, its also important to note that the market for Mac management is beginning to get a little crowded. Certainly more crowded than when JAMF first came on the scene years back and they were mostly the only game in town.
The reason for this explosion of Mac management "Me-Too's" is for two primary reasons.
One, obviously, the Mac has made pretty good inroads into the enterprise. (Their strategy of winning over the consumer first worked well for them here)
Two is that when Apple introduced Configuration Profiles back in 10.7, many existing vendors saw it as an opportunity to add a checkbox to their list of what they could manage. Many were already managing iOS devices with a similar Configuration Profile model, so it made sense for them to extend their offering to OS X. Little rework for a lot of potential gain.

The reason I'm mentioning this is important.. While many of the products out there talk about Mac management, most are just treating Macs as iOS devices. (SCCM's Mac management tools are a good example of this) When you dig deeper most of them have far less capabilities than something like the Casper Suite. This is only my personal opinion on it, but if a product can't do something like deploy and run custom scripts on my Macs or provide detailed inventory including custom database fields (Extension Attributes in Casper parlance), then they aren't really doing much for managing them to me. Take a look here on this forum or other locations and you'll see lots of talk about custom scripts to do this or that thing which isn't built into a Config Profile payload, or Extension Attributes to capture some data that isn't part of the regular inventory capture.
The simple fact is, many of these products are only skimming the surface in terms of what can be managed in OS X. It may be "simpler" or more "cost effective" to extend something you already have to manage your Macs and it'll be a quick win, but down the road when management asks you to take care of something that the product can't do, you may kick yourself in the head for not pushing harder for a more complete solution.

While I haven't looked at or tested every product out there by a long shot, right now, the only two things I'd ever recommend using based on what I know are the Casper Suite and Munki (and some adjunct tools like DeployStudio) Everything else seems like an imitation to me.

To answer your question on %s of PCs vs Macs, where I am now, we have something like 50-60k Windows devices out worldwide, managed by SCCM primarily and a growing list of Macs, close to 8,000 now, all managed by Casper Suite running on a Windows server on a VM infrastructure.

Just my 2¢.

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SOLVED Posted: by scottb

@mm2270: I have just copied and pasted this into a document to show people when they ask me this! Thanks \- it's one of the best replies I've read on this. Hope you don't mind me borrowing it to sway the non-believers. I prepend it with "I didn't write this" :)

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SOLVED Posted: by sean

Our current setup: Deploy Studio, Absolute Manage, split ASUS/Reposado (transitioning). My previous employment was fully Casper with ASUS. Both global setups.

Initially I was thinking I disagreed with @pete_c. Absolute is really easy to use, easier than Casper, but then it isn't as feature rich. That said @ctangora is right, in that you will need to do much more scripting, so depending on your scripting ability it could then be suggested that Casper is easier.

Jamf offer excellent support and if Apple let you manage something, then it's included. They also turn out updates after major OS releases almost immediately.

Absolute support has also been excellent, but there ability to turn out necessary updates is somewhat lacking. Their equivalent of Composer, Install Ease, (the package maker, snapshotter, etc) still doesn't work on 10.9, with no indication of a fix! That's 6 months, whilst all other updates have been timely.

I guess the real question is if I started fresh (forgetting other options) what would I choose between these two setups. Honest opinion, if it weren't for the package maker issue, I'd be hard pushed to choose one of these over the other. Deploy Studio fills many of the holes and some that Absolute lacks, which I prefer, compared to Casper. However managed preferences/profiles really requires a separate setup, eg MCX via AD, OSX Server OD or Profile Manager, whilst Casper includes them; so Casper simplifies this process.

Of course, that's the Mac side. Absolute also offers extensive Windows support, but we don't use it for that, so I can't comment. If you are shying away from command line, then I'd suggest Munki isn't for you either. Our Windows are managed by Kace; ask our Windows guys about that ;)

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SOLVED Posted: by donmontalvo

A lot depends on how you staff up, and whether business continuity, risk management, and leveraging supported products is your goal.

Most businesses eventually have to deal with budget and usability, at that point "bleeding edge" is kicked to the curb and business sense steps in.

At the end it the day it boils down to requirements \- genuine or fabricated.

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SOLVED Posted: by easyedc

Out of curiosity, has anyone looked at the Parallels Desktop for Mac SCCM plugin. We're a \~55k WinXP/7/8 shop with our small (but powerful, i.e. C-level/VPs/Directors) mac users footprint in the 150-200 range. We've had zero success with the JAMF SCCM plugin, and wonder if this could solve some of our woes when they want to collectively report all of the data in one place.

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SOLVED Posted: by ctangora

The only thing I don't see mentioned here is BigFix (aka IBM Endpoint Management).

While it isn't as easy to use as Casper, it does have the ability to manage the Macs and Windows (& some Linux boxes) under the same roof. If you are talking about managing a machine it does a great job, but if you want or need something like self service or something that is pleasant to the eyes of the end user, Big Fix is not it. At least not yet.

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SOLVED Posted: by ADoon

Great thread, love all the info! Two questions for the group:

Where does Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) fit in? Anyone using it in a production environment to manage software distribution to Macs?

I didn't see a repackaging tool included with ARD. Being new to Mac management, can you help me understand how often you need to repackage an app with Composer or a similar product? or are you able to distribute most pkg and dmg's silently without repackaging?

Thanks in advance -

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SOLVED Posted: by Matt

Ive never understood IT's "one shoe fits all" mentality. SCCM does great for windows and Casper does great for OSX. Why not use both. Casper is relatively cheap if you do your ROI calculations.

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SOLVED Posted: by denmoff

@ADoon][/url ARD is still a very handy tool for managing Macs for the times when direct control over the Mac is necessary. I mainly use it for managing my labs as it can be a bit finicky about connecting to Macs that are not on the same network. Casper Remote would be the analog to ARD. But managing Macs solely with direct control apps like ARD and Casper Remote is not ideal as you run into many issues, like when a the Mac is turned off or at the person's home.

As for repackaging apps, I use Composer. But it would be best practice to use repackaging as a last resort, because many pkgs will have logic built in that would be lost if you tried to snapshot repackage it. Most pkg apps can be installed in their native form with Casper(and ARD). If anything needs to be added to the install, it's best to add that as a secondary package or script. That way, if the package gets updated later, you can just plug the updated version into your policy and leave the custom settings package alone.

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SOLVED Posted: by donmontalvo

We've purged ARD from most large firms, where only Mac Engineers have access. Casper Remote sessions can be logged in JSS.

@Matt if a business is trying to reign in costs (what company isn't?), starting with the industry standard tool set (Casper for Macs, SCCM for PCs) and building around it, makes the most fiscal sense. Doing so puts you in the best position in terms of support (300+ strong at JAMF), and staffing (easier to re/staff up if you don't deploy a science project as a tool). There are plenty of holes in any solution, for folks who want to design solutions, just doesn't make sense to reinvent the wheel (sucking up your company's budget in the process) when a solution like Casper Suite handles the bulk of your needs. Just my dos centavos.

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SOLVED Posted: by Matt

Most IT dinosaurs like any Non Mac solution because they don't understand Macs and they are afraid they will take over. Job security for Non Mac engineers.

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SOLVED Posted: by donmontalvo

@Matt Yep, it's the biggest reason I turned down an offer last August in Northern California. At our face to face meeting, the CTO's "We want to use our PC solution to manage the Macs" was enough for me to decline. Speaking candidly, the CTO explained his wrists were tied by the CFO, and so he was expecting 2 years of trying/failing before the Firm could spend money on Casper. He wanted the industry standard tool (Casper) but it was not the right time. When it comes to very large, publicly traded companies, the politics can be incredibly nonsensical. One person's bottom line, and their potential bonus (business sense?!) trumps common sense.

We tried Altiris at Polo some years ago, after a 2 year contract to get them moved from OS 9 to OS X. I declined their full time offer when they refused to look at best-of-breed tools at the time, convinced that Altiris can do it all. Of course it couldn't, and still can't, but someone walked away with a nice bonus after the dust settled there too I'm sure. My successor @milesleacy got them to buy Casper and turned that ship around and is now teaching for JAMF. So things eventually take a turn for the best. :D

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SOLVED Posted: by charles.hitch

Does anyone have any input comparing JAMF with AirWatch as it relates to managing Mac OS X?

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SOLVED Posted: by jwojda

We have both AW and Jamf, though I never really compared the two, I know AW is trying to handle managing the macs. I don't beleive that they are a full deployment suite in the way that JAMF is. AW will do config profiles and tracking and stuff, the same way that JAMF does, but JAMf is also package management, deployment, patching, and everything else.

I should probably have a meeting with our AW reps to see what they are currently able to do, so I can compare against JAMF in better detail.

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SOLVED Posted: by gachowski

Charles,

Give this a read,

https://jamfnation.jamfsoftware.com/discussion.html?id=13515

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SOLVED Posted: by bradtchapman

I'm reviving this.thread as well as that.thread mentioned by @gachowski .

Parallels has announced version 6 of their Mac management product. They're making very bold claims about using SCCM as "the single pane of glass" to manage and get reporting on Macs via SCCM.

As Macs are still the minority platform in most companies, we need to "know the enemy" in order to understand what it can do (and what it can't).

http://www.parallels.com/products/mac-management/

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SOLVED Posted: by gachowski

Also it looks like AirWatch is trying to work with it's users, they did not work with our phone team.....

http://blog.eriknicolasgomez.com/2017/03/08/Custom-DEP-Part-1-An-Introduction/

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SOLVED Posted: by scottb

It's not that there aren't other macOS products in the enterprise. Some are even good. What (to me) sets JAMF apart from every other one of them is this community. There is nothing out there like jamfnation.

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