I have to agree with Chris here. NetInstall or NetRestore is the easiest
route for deploying an entire lab if you have a network. If you¹re already
using Ghost over the network, then, you can handle
NetBoot/NetRestore/NetInstall. Although it would take more time to setup
initially than cloning from external drives, using your network to image
workstations is much more efficient. In addition, you can use Apple Remote
Desktop in conjunction with NetBoot and NetRestore to allow you both do your
imaging from remote locations and automate the process. I personally feel
that a combination of NetBoot and NetRestore are the best way to image, but
I guess the biggest question is how many computers are you responsible for
imaging? If you have any more than 5, I would say that taking the time to
setup NetBoot and NetRestore is worth it. For ³one-offs² and small clusters
of less than five (if that¹s all you have), then, the external drive route
would probably be easier.
I'd also like to note that if you were to ask Mike Bombich (the developer of
CCC) this question personally, he would more than likely state that Carbon
Copy Cloner is not designed for imaging and deployment. He's stated it
several times in the past, and, always recommends NetRestore for those types
Macintosh Technical Specialist
University Computer Labs
Salve Regina University
100 Ochre Point Ave
Newport, RI 02840
(401) 341-2499 | email@hidden
http://macsupport.salve.edu [On Campus Only]
On 2/8/08 3:32 PM, "Chris Hafner" <email@hidden> wrote:
> Let's not forget NetBoot and NetInstall (Apple) or NetRestore (bombich.com).
> Depending on the size of your lab or potential for future needs it might be in
> your benefit to have a process set up to handle imaging a large number or
> machines remotely via the network. This is slower than running an image from a
> firewire hard drive... but it doesn't require a large number or hard drives,
> or the time to move a couple around all over the place. There is so much
> information I could list here but the e-mail would be far too long. however,
> it might be good to point out that at least twice a year I have to image
> several hundred machines in a day and it's no problem using a single OS X
> Server and NetRestore.
> P.S. Radmind is a tripwire system that can maintain a lab with great
> results... steep learning curve though. Check it out.
> Chris Hafner
> Nick McSpadden <email@hidden> writes:
> ----- "Ovando S Russell" <email@hidden> wrote:
>> Dear All,
>> I'm new to Mac and I would like to know how can one prepare a Mac OS
>> deploy to multiple computers in a Academy Lab. I know that for
>> we use sysprep to prepare a machine to image and deploy to other
>> Is their something similar for Macs?
> Apple Remote Desktop, contrary to what one might expect, doesn't actually help
> very much in terms of deploying software.
> Lab deployment on the Mac OS is significantly easier than on Windows, for the
> basic reason that there is no real copy protection or licensing that requires
> careful preparation. On Windows, SysPrep is necessary to avoid having all lab
> machines using the same hidden system identifiers. On the Mac, it doesn't
> matter either way.
> The best way, in my humble opinion, to deploy a Mac lab is with a FireWire /
> USB 2.0 external hard drive, a ton of FireWire cables, and a lot of spare
> time. Develop the system and software you want on one of your target
> machines. Once you are satisfied with your security arrangements and user
> setups (don't forget the ARD client software!), you can use a free program
> like Carbon Copy Cloner 3, Super Duper, or even Apple's own Disk Utility to
> make the clone.
> In a pure horse race between two identical machines, I find that CCC3 is
> faster than both SuperDuper or Disk Utility (though barely by minutes), so
> I'll go with that. Plug in your external media, erase it / format it to HFS+
> (or whatever preferred file system), and then use the program to "clone" one
> drive onto the other. You now have an external BOOTABLE image to work off of
> (which is something that is much more difficult to achieve in Windows) which
> you can modify and manage as you see fit.
> To deploy a lab, you just need to clone it to one master machine, and then
> continue to use the drive AND each new computer as a master to clone others.
> The nice thing about Macs is that all of them can boot into Target Disk Mode,
> which essentially turns the computer into a FireWire hard drive. Your only
> limit is the number of FireWire cables you have. Each computer you clone can
> become a new master for the one next to it, and so forth.
> The upside to all of this is that you don't have to redo the mirror when a new
> update comes out. You can just boot off the external drive, apply the
> updates, new software, configurations, etc. and it's primed and ready for the
> next batch of mirroring / deployments.
> The downside to this is that you have to make a separate image for each
> separate model of Macintosh- i.e. iMac vs. eMac vs. Mac Pro vs. PowerBook,
> etc. etc. However, this is mitigated by the fact that you can take one large
> 200 gigabyte drive, for example, and partition it into a dozen-and-a-half
> 30-gigabyte chunks, and use each partition as its own separate mirror. That's
> the system I'm using right now- a couple different external drives each with a
> dozen or so partitions that handle all of the different hardware / software
> configurations used in various locations around our school system.
> This is, of course, a vastly simplified run-down of the process, and there are
> a large number of things one can do to streamline the process even more (such
> as post-processing configuration scripts that set up unique names,
> self-cleaning ovens, etc.); but this is, in a nutshell, the process you need
> to go through.
> Apple Remote Desktop is an effective management tool for computers that have
> already been deployed, but it won't help you get a lab started.
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