March 10, 2017

Techno Bits vol. 96: A light at the horizon

For the last 9 months, as a Mac Admin community, we've been reading tea leaves. We can have a discussion another time if tea leaf reading is the best way to prepare, but for now it's what we've got. Some of the signs are stronger than others, some of the details are clearer than others, but if you've been reading here, or listening in Slack, a lot of people are talking about a sea change coming. Something big is out there on the horizon, and it's going to change the way we manage Macs.

Not that it's an us-vs-them sort of mentality, but I think the community just got the biggest set of tools to preserve their existing management tools like Munki, Puppet and Chef, and leverage them in a world where DEP is the best method for initial state configuration. 

Erik Gomez at Pinterest has been busting his ass, and been working with a major MDM provider to support their toolchain at Pinterest for the Macs. In their test environment now, they can bootstrap a Mac via DEP and their existing infrastructure. Erik's got a four-part blog post that starts here and you should read all four parts. Interestingly enough, and much like The Calculus, he's not been the only one hard at work: Simple MDM announced support for the exact same thing this week, but focused on the Munki toolchain.

If we can install signed applications via DEP to handle the bootstrap, then we're about 95% of the way to replacing imaging with straight up deployment, and that's a pretty wonderful future to live in.

Media Stuffs
See y'all next time.