I have recently proposed to our IT department that we purchase the Casper suite and have received a preliminary approval from the powers that be. Before they finally commit the funds for the purchase they asked me to solicit some testimonials for JAMF Software as to their reliability and customer service (as opposed to the case studies that are available on the JAMF website). I would be grateful if any of you out there in Casper land could drop me a couple of lines in order to facilitate our purchase.
thanks in advance,
I am currently the head of Apple Infrastructure for Time Inc. I use the
Casper Suite to manage our Mac OS X servers around the world. Prior to
coming to Time, I was responsible for global Mac Technology at Polo Ralph
Lauren, where I used the Casper Suite to manage high-demand creative
environments, including in-house advertising and media groups.
The tool is solid, and provides a framework to get just about anything done
on a system that doesn't require physically touching the hardware. Both the
folks at JAMF and the people on this list are constantly finding new ways to
get more done more efficiently with the suite.
JAMF support is fast and knowledgeable. You won't get a typical call center
experience when you contact support. The person who answers the phone is
well-versed in the product and can solve most issues in a few minutes. In
the instances where I've had a real stumper of an issue, I've been on hold
for a couple of minutes at most while the support person checks with an even
more knowledgeable person (who always seems to be close at hand).
All in all, I can't recommend Casper enough. I don't like to manage more
than one Mac without it.
Miles A. Leacy IV
? Certified System Administrator 10.4
? Certified Technical Coordinator 10.5
? Certified Trainer
Certified Casper Administrator
miles.leacy at themacadmin.com
I was working on a three part blog on my website. I was going to cover Apple in enterprise environments, working in a 1:1 laptop deployment and using the Casper Suite was going to be Part 3. Well, due to me being busy only part 1 is written so far, but I was going to give Casper it's own part all together. I can tell you right now no matter what anyone says here, it won't really describe what Casper really is.
I have been working with Macs since right around 1999/2000 when I landed my first IT job right out of high school. Since then I have always been the "Mac Guy" at every job I have had, not because I prefer the platform, but just because I know it. I am versed in Microsoft, Novell, and Linux as well. However, last year my current employer hired me on to help maintain our 1:1 Macbook deployment. I started working about 2 weeks before we deployed which means I hit the ground running. I had never even heard of Casper before working at this current job. At my last job there were maybe at maximum 300 Macs me and one other guy managed and like 2 xserves. The Macs at my old job just lived in their own little world and we managed them by hand because we lacked the tools to manage them like you would a PC using Active Directory. I had never worked with 6,000+ mac clients and 30+ xserves or Open Directory before at all at this point. All of my server experience was Novell, SuSe and Microsoft.
So, I had two weeks before we deployed 5,700 Macbooks, and I had never once heard of Casper. Josh Holland came down from JAMF and gave me a two day crash course on how to use their product. By about the 2nd month in from our deployment I was already pushing out packages and creating some policies. Spliced up all the VLANs into network segments and made smart groups of teacher and Student machines.
Looking back now, there is no way that I can manage all my clients with out Casper at all. Well, I take that back, I could do it, but I would prefer to have Casper any time. I have only been using it about a year total.
To give you a testimonial on the imaging process. June 1st, 2008, my boss dropped a huge bomb on me and my fellow IT workers. We were going to load Windows XP Pro on 6,000 Macbooks because of licensing issues with virtual machines (it was way too expensive) and we had one piece of testing software that would not run on intel Macs at all. So, I created a master image of OS X and Windows XP Professional and in basically the whole month of July, we were able to image 6,000 Macbooks. I think our record was about 450ish laptops in one 12 hour work day. Not too shabby. I also use the self service application from casper to allow all my users to dual boot into Windows XP with out giving them admin rights and while maintaining firmware passwords and keeping firmware locked down. I posted a video of how it works on youtube.com.
The best part of this whole thing was is that we had no idea exactly how we were going to do it, we just jumped right in with a dual boot image, and at the time Casper 6.0 wasn't even released yet, but I had gone to the CCA training course two weeks prior and got to see a sneak preview of it.
I agree with Thomas and others that have replied,
I manage only 260 macs and 6 servers, but using Casper makes the job soooo much easier and smoother.
I started using macs with os 8.6 as an IT Admin and have used all version of os x and os x server, have built and run linux servers and PC's
I have used lots of software from various companys and non can compare to the leave of support you will get from Jamf. Its like having your own expert in the building. Its not the best being from the UK as we have different working hours but this email list means someone ALWAYS has an answer.
The fact that Jamf actually listen to their customers and adds features as requested by their customers is partically unheard of in other companys.
There are no words to describe how good Capser is but to say that if you have the money uve really gotta buy it, its worth every penny ten times over.
Senior Customer Support Analyst (Mac Services)
Apple Certified Technical Coordinator v10.5
LIS Business Support Team
University of Central Lancashire
Preston PR1 2HE
Wanted to add some info on a testimonial that I don't know if was covered. Besides the fact that other replies cover what a great tool suite Casper is to administrate your Apple systems from start to end and everything in between, a point that I wanted to express is that, I have a challenging environment. I administer 100 workstations, 4 servers in a 3500 wintel, 150 novell/Active Directory server network. To top that off, we are a regulated utility company that has to comply with not only SOX using COBIT framework but have adopted ITILv3 standards as well. This brings in patch management reporting, development and production testing and deployment, policy enforcement, change control requests. CAB compliancy, Licensing tracking and many other controls that are required to comply with these standards. From a corporate business standpoint, this type of management is becoming mandatory. Casper suite was a easy sell alone on being able to give these types of reporting and management . Good Luck.
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I'll probably be echoing what everyone else has said, but I just thought I would give you a sense of my thoughts on Casper, Jamf, and the process.
Before adopting Casper about 9 months ago in my 300+ mac environment with 2 xserves, we actually had a custom built system in place that did many of the same things. This was basically a bunch of scripts that 1 other guy and I wrote that could make packages (in tarballs instead of dmgs), verify them, extract (install) them. We also had an "autobuild" system that would get a config, which was just a directory structure in a tar.bz2 file, and setup a specific lab load automatically.
We had no database/webservice back end. Inventory reporting was a script that parsed system_profiler output and used curl to inject what it found into a db.
One of our biggest concerns when purchasing Casper was if the costs were justified since it was mostly stuff we were already doing with a prettier interface. After 9 months I've found that without having to work on the end user experience AND the infrastructure I've been able to make the Mac user experience exponentially better because I can focus more of my time on just that.
Jamf has been an excellent company to work with, as well. I've come to know many of the support people, and they are always excellent when I need anything. I have made several requests based on things we used to do in our old system, and have been pleasantly surprised by the fact that they listen. They are always extremely helpful, and definitely a customer oriented company. It's been a pleasure working with them.
UW - Stevens Point
Ryan.Harter at uwsp.edu