As one of Australia’s largest universities, Griffith University boasts a population of 43,000 students and 4,000 faculty. With such a large population, the university IT department was facing the enormous challenge of supporting and managing not only a huge number of IT systems, but also a wide variety of client devices connected to the university’s networked infrastructure. The university has around 2,900 Mac computers alone, spread across its five campuses — 2,000 of which are used by faculty; the remaining 900, by students. As the number of multi-platform computers and devices continued to grow, so did management and support-related issues.
Griffith University had a huge PC-based network with a sound management and support infrastructure in place, but it did not have solid and comprehensive support for Mac. IT administrators needed a solution that would enable them to manage the school’s multi-platform environment seamlessly and more effectively, without disrupting operations or further draining resources—both human and financial.
"The challenge for IT was to find a solution that would allow seamless and efficient management of the constantly growing number of Mac computers within the university’s predominantly PC environment without having to invest heavily in additional resources," said Merv Connell, Architect Workplace Technologies, Information Technology Services Manager at Griffith University. "It was crucial for us to continue to balance the IT budget and available resources with the IT demands of the academic community."
Griffith University looked at solutions that would allow Mac and PCs to coexist and run efficiently within the network infrastructure.
To manage its Mac devices and PCs seamlessly while enforcing the same security policies across both platforms, Griffith University chose Parallels® Mac Management for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM).
"Parallels Mac Management allows us to have compliance and control of the university’s Mac computers centrally, enforce security policies, inventory installed software, and even remotely push installations of software. These features are critical to us," said Connell. "We have evaluated a number of competing solutions, and we found Parallels Mac Management the best fit for our needs."
The solution provides software discovery and distribution, as well as asset inventory for the university’s Mac devices without the need for a costly Mac-only infrastructure.
“We found Parallels Mac Management the best fit for our needs.”
—Merv Connell, IT Services Manager
A comprehensive cross-platform solution, Parallels Mac Management runs as a plug-in to SCCM, scans the network to discover all connected Mac computers, and then automatically enrolls them into SCCM. For Griffith University’s growing number of Mac devices, the suite’s ability to enforce security policies ensures that all data files are encrypted.
Parallels Mac Management has made IT operations at Griffith University much more efficient and productive for IT administrators overseeing the university’s huge fleet of Mac devices and PCs that are spread across its five campuses—all managed easily through a single management console.
The ability to support the university’s IT assets regardless of their computing environment helps streamline IT operations, ensures consistent enforcement of security policies, and keeps all installed software inventoried and up to date.
As the university’s Mac user community continues to grow, Griffith University looks to further extend its Parallels solutions deployment. It also continues to leverage its Parallels solutions by considering management of applications designed for Windows® running on Mac. With Parallels Desktop® for Mac Business Edition, the university’s Mac users will have the ability to switch instantly between Mac OS® and Windows without the need to reboot. This eliminates the need for separate systems and further simplifies Griffith University’s IT operations.
"Not only are we satisfied with our decision to use Parallels Mac Management to manage our fleet of Mac computers," added Connell, "we are happy with the consistent and reliable support that Parallels has been providing us as a partner."