I've been playing with an evaluation copy of Casper Suite 8.6 for a couple months and feel as though I have a pretty good understanding of the different components of the suite and how to use them.
Was JumpStart valuable to you? How so?
If you could re-do the JumpStart session, would you do anything differently to get more value out of it?
I'm interested in hearing about other peoples experiences and how they made the most of the 2-day engagement.
We deployed the Casper Suite around 15 months ago. We're a team of 6 staff supporting 1600 devices (as well as the other associated IT equipment in a K-12 school) .
We took 2 days out of our schedules in a school holiday for all of us to participate in the JumpStart, so that by the end of the process all of our staff were at the same level of knowledge or skill.
We felt pretty confident that we could have gone ahead without the JumpStart, but during the 2 days there were some areas of the installation process which came up that we wouild likely have got wrong had we gone ahead by ourselves.
I fully recommend the 2 days, they were very valuable
I agree with Andy above. Well worth it, and rules out the "but it's Casper, I don't know how to do that" excuses!
Also I believe the Jump Start is a requirement for the license (although I have been known to be wrong many times before!)
We just implemented our JSS back in June. As for the JumpStart, it's a good idea...I'll be honest, I knew nothing of how Casper functioned on a day to day level until our organization purchased it. I had seen every kind of demo though for the product and knew that we did indeed want it.
Our individual JumpStart was ok and the guy knowledgable, but if you do a vanilla JumpStart (which they have a scripted agenda of things they are required to cover) without being willing to do some after class homework (in my case I assigned it to myself), you may end up with only a subset of what you want with more work to do later when the content isn't as fresh in your mind.
After the first day of the JumpStart, I was able to help move things along by populating all the buildings, subnets, departments and many of our packages that were already prepared for.
The second day, we discussed settings and preferences and imaging and I took what I learned, did some more homework and had things further along. In this case I added our OS images and some other packages I had learned after the second day. The third day was the iOS part over a remote session. That went quickly.
My individual jumpstart guy had some scheduling issues so through us asking a favor, he offered me a free 3 hour remote session to answer last minute questions, things I wasn't getting and to look at how I had built things out.
Bottom line, take the JumpStart, but be prepared to assign yourself some homework to move things along if you want it to be effective for your environment.
I felt similarly to you back when I first starting using Casper Suite. I had set up a fully functional working environment with my trial and had it all humming. But I actually learned several new things during the JumpStart that I wasn't aware of, so like Jared says, there are always new things to learn. How much you get out of it is also up to you in a way, and how many questions you ask.
So, not only is it a good idea and highly recommended, its also a requirement upon purchase of the product, at least last time I checked. Its always possible that's changed, but I don't think so. JAMF's goal is to make sure all their customers have at least a baseline of knowledge after you get set up. That helps keep their support costs down, which in turn helps them keep the cost of the product reasonable. if every customer eschewed a JumpStart and started calling in with "how do I do abc?" basic stuff they'd need a support staff of hundreds to keep up with it.
I would have been lost without our JumpStart and certainly there were questions as to why do this and why do that. I hadn't really worked with Casper that much before the jumpstart, so it was a lot to comprehend in 2 days. It will go by real fast.
As for day 2, personally I wish I had worked more on Casper imaging. I'm so stuck on DeployStudio and knowing it inside and out that even after 2 years I have yet to jump over to Casper Imaging. I want to, but the learning curve and not having much time have both prohibited me from making that jump.
I've stayed with DeployStudio and been happy with it. It's a good complement to Casper.
Among other things, it allows me the ability to reinstall the Casper agent using a QuickAdd package during a DeployStudio-driven OS upgrade.
I'll mirror the above. I had a pretty good handle on things, but it's certainly nice to know that you've had 1:1 instruction on the "proper" way of doing things. As with any elaborate management system there are some gotcha's that you may not expect. The CCA is invaluable for the more advanced stuff, but you need to make sure you're not missing something critical. (For me, we corrected a serious issue with the MySQL backup on day one with the jumpstart.)
Seperately, make sure that you also plan a CCA, CMA or anything else you're planning on doing. JAMF's trainings are some of the very best I've ever been to.
Having done the Jump Start, helped to set up the foundation of our Mac deployment and made a huge advance on our iOS roll out. i currently manage 3000 devices by myself. so getting a good push in the right direction always helps. P.S. after a few months of working with the casper suite take a class either CCA, CMA or both can really make a difference.
By far, Yes - be sure to be ready to build your JSS with your infrastructure group or be ready to test your knowledge on how to connect to network resources (or build it on a Mac on your own for a working Demo if Linus/Windows resources are too controlled). Lost a little bit of time multi-tasking in my jump-start- but I'm savvy enough to catch up.
So worth the time in the 2 days in our Jump Start-
The JumpStart generally follows a specific agenda, but you have the opportunity to let the person doing your JumpStart know ahead of time any specific needs you may have. They usually do a phone conference with you several days before coming out to get a feel for your environment, and on that call you can let them know of the items that you're most interested in.
They'll still try to cover all of the material, but don't be afraid to let them know if something isn't relevant to your environment. The Casper Suite has a lot of functionality, and not everyone uses everything. For example, we don't use Casper Imaging, instead choosing to stay with DeployStudio, at least for now.
If you use ARD now, you can still continue to use it for certain items while you make the transition. JAMF will even tell you that Casper Suite and ARD can compliment each other in many environments, so its not an all or nothing proposition.
I'm going to give you some advice from someone who was at the very beginning about a year ago and was given a Casper Jumpstart. They do tend to follow a specific layout that is very effective, but I can give you some practical advice. If you haven't actually scheduled the Jumpstart yet, schedule it at a time when you can devote some overtime of your own to the cause. Your Jumpstart guy is only required to do 8 hours, but my advice to you is to assign yourself some overtime work...he'll have you setup a couple of sample subnets, buildings and departments...I actually worked between day 1 and 2 to set all of them up myself. We covered using composer and building a single package or two of Mac apps...I used my day 2 overtime to import every single one of our PKGs and converted many of the larger ones to Casper-style DMGs that night. (I already was repackaging for ARD pre-Capser). If packages aren't your big concern but configuration profiles/MCX are...I spent the time after learning how it works to bring our stuff into it...my advice...learn what you can, know what you want to do/manage, and your Jumpstart will be very effective. As a result of doing such overtime work for those couple 3 days, I had everything almost ready to go and had our Jumpstart guy audit a lot of things before he left to make sure I wasn't mucking things up.
Perhaps a bit extreme, but its only 2-3 days and I'm guessing you really want to get the most out of the whole experience and not just do small subsets of things.