updated 03:29 am EDT, Wed August 1, 2012
Remote management tools for OS X, iOS in enterprise
Two companies vying for IT budget dollars to help support and increase the use of Macs and iOS devices in enterprise and general business uses have announced that their flagship programs are now updated to be compatible with Mountain Lion, OS X 10.8, which debuted on July 25. The server version of Mountain Lion consolidates and update many enterprise-level features, and both MobileIron and JAMF Software have their products ready to work with the updated OS.
According to Forrester Research, the enterprise sector will spend approximately $19 billion on corporate Macs and iPads this year, increasing to $28 billion in 2013. MobileIron's self-named software provides security for a wide variety of mobile-device platforms, not just iOS and Android but also Windows Phone, BlackBerry and even WebOS devices. Administrators can use MobileIron on Mountain Lion-equipped Macs to provision and enforce passcode and password requirements, VPN and Wi-Fi configurations, certificates and email on both mobile and desktop devices.
The suite also handles security issues such as remote lock and wipe for lost or stolen devices, as well as the removal of enterprise provisioning for retired Macs. The company incorporates BYOD policies in its support for multiple OS platforms and handles data mixtures including both cloud-based and local storage, and says its goal is to give IT departments the freedom to incorporate Macs seamlessly into the enterprise.
JAMF Software's flagship product, the Casper Suite, comprises a collection of client-management apps for OS X and iOS devices and was the first to fully support Mountain Lion, updating its suite on the day of the new OS launch. The suite, now at version 8.6, adds centralized management capabilities and offers full support of Apple's native FileVault 2 full disk encryption, along with support for the Gatekeeper technology designed to keep unauthorized apps off managed Macs.
The Caspar Suite works with the security settings management built into OS X Lion and Mountain Lion and adds additional functionality such as imaging and deployment settings, customized software distribution and policy enforcement, patch management and other options. The suite takes advantage of FileVault 2's master recovery key technology (which is used in conjunction with the end-user's key), which centralizes management and encrypted volume recovery.
By leveraging FileVault 2 and Gatekeeper rather than a proprietary alternative, the need for additional third-party encryption software is dramatically reduced. The software incorporates Gatekeeper settings into software distribution workflows, allowing secure and predictable software deployments.
The suite's iOS management features include a Self Service console to allow over-the-air software distribution and App Store apps, along with full integration of Apple's Volume Purchase Program for apps in enterprise. The 8.6 update is free for all currently-supported Casper Suite customers. The company holds a live, weekly demo webcast on Monday or Tuesday afternoons on its website.