Automate macOS® Deployment

By Zach DeMeyer Posted December 11, 2019

With so many Mac® systems infiltrating organizations today, IT admins are wondering how they can automate macOS® deployment. By automating the system deployment process, IT organizations can save loads of time normally spent unboxing, registering, and imaging new Mac machines. The challenge, however, is finding the proper avenues to do so.

First Steps Toward Automating macOS Deployment

DEP

Apple® realized that Mac deployment was a time-consuming process, creating DEP, or the Device Enrollment Program, in response. IT organizations can leverage their DEP accounts to streamline the general Mac deployment process, with automatic mobile device management (MDM) enrollment as well as the ability to opt out of unboxing steps (i.e. Apple ID, et al.).

IdP

Although DEP is useful for gliding through Apple’s PreStage deployment process, it leaves out an important facet of automating macOS deployment: Mac systems need to be managed by a central identity provider (IdP). In general, Macs haven’t played nicely with most IdPs, especially Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD), the most popular on-prem IdP for the last couple of decades. 

Even with DEP, IT organizations leveraging AD struggle to automate their macOS deployments. More often than not, IT admins struggle with managing Mac systems through AD, which requires the addition of third-party software to properly extend an AD identity to the Mac system. Using software like an identity bridge usually throws a wrench in the works for DEP.

MDM

Choosing an MDM solution to managing Macs and iOS® mobile devices can help with automating macOS deployment. Unfortunately, not all MDM tools integrate cleanly with AD, making centralized identity management for the system messy as well.

Automated Mac Deployment from the Cloud

With new technology available from the cloud, IT admins can now fully automate the macOS deployment process. Leveraging the JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® platform and its documented PreStage user enrollment guide, an MDM solution, and a DEP account, a Mac can be centrally managed and deployed with only a few clicks. The result is a zero-touch deployment process, where the system is unboxed by the end user and set up automatically without any IT admin involvement.

Watch the following video to get an idea of the general zero-touch deployment process:

[Note: This workflow will change slightly depending on the MDM used.]

The benefits of this approach are significant for IT organizations, with less effort on the part of IT admins and more control over each Mac.

Learn More

If you are interested in learning more about automating macOS deployment with JumpCloud, please contact us for more resources. You can also schedule a free personalized demo to see the process and other parts of the JumpCloud product live.

Zach DeMeyer

Zach is a writer and researcher for JumpCloud with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He loves being on the cutting edge of new technology, and when he's not working, he enjoys all things outdoors, making music, and soccer.

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