Mac management for Windows IT folks

Nearly 80 percent of businesses have Macs in-house; it's to your advantage to understand how to add them to your network safely and effectively

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Preventing changes to Macs
If you are working without a full Mac client management solution and want to ensure that your configuration is retained regardless of what users do, you can use Faronics Deep Freeze (begins at $45 per license; maintenance subscriptions and discounts are available for volume purchases and education, government, and nonprofit customers). This software restores Macs to their original configuration on every restart. Faronics also produces a range of related products that can manage Deep Freeze installations throughout a heterogeneous network of Macs and PCs.

Similarly, Radmind lets you monitor managed systems (Mac, Windows, Linux, Solaris and BSD Unix distributions) for changes and optionally reset changes after they are made. As mentioned above, Radmind's flexible architecture can also be used to push out software and files to clients, and it includes the ability to define multiple file sets for increased flexibility and organized administration.

Supporting and managing Macs in a predominantly non-Mac environment is a unique challenge, particularly if you're new to the platform. The good news, though, is that while the machines may be different, the basic strategies for client management are pretty much the same. With the right combination of tools and techniques, you can develop effective processes and solutions that don't take as much effort as you might initially expect.

Ryan Faas is a frequent Computerworld contributor specializing in Mac and multiplatform network issues. You can find more information about him at Computerworld is an InfoWorld affiliate.

This story, "Mac management for Windows IT folks" was originally published by Computerworld.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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