Configuring a Mac Image Using Microsoft SCCM and Parallels Mac Management


This blog post is being reprinted with permission from the original author, Ian North. We are extremely excited and pleased to get to share his post as a special guest blog this week. Read on for Ian’s how-to for configuring a Mac image in Microsoft SCCM and Parallels Mac Management, and let us know if you are experiencing an increase in Macs in your network and the steps you’re taking to keep them centrally managed.


I touched briefly on using Parallels Mac Management for Microsoft SCCM to build Macs in my overview article but I thought it might be a good idea to go through the entire process that I use when I have to create an image for a Mac, getting the image deployed and getting the Mac configured once the image is on there. At the moment, it’s not a simple process.

It requires the use of several tools and, if you want the process to be completely automated, some Bash scripting as well. The process isn’t as smooth as you would get from solutions like DeployStudio but it works and, in my opinion anyway, it works well enough for you not to have to bother with a separate product for OSD. The Parallels team is working hard on this part of the product and they tell me that proper task sequencing will be part of V4 of the agent. As much as I’m looking forward to that, it doesn’t change the fact that right now we’re on V3.5 and we have to use the messy process.

First of all, I should say that this is my method of doing it and mine alone. This is not Parallels’ method of doing this, it has not been sanctioned or condoned by them. There are some dangerous elements to it, and you follow this procedure at your own risk and I will not be held responsible for damage caused by it if you try this out.

Requirements

You will need the following tools:

At the end of this process, you will have an OS X Image which can be deployed to your Macs. The image will automatically name its target, it will download, install and configure the Parallels Mac Management for Microsoft SCCM agent, join itself to your Active Directory domain, attach itself to a managed wireless network and it will install any additional software that’s not in your base image. The Mac will do this without any user interaction apart from initiating the build process.

Process Overview

The overview of the process is as follows:

I’m going to assume that you already have your SCCM infrastructure, Parallels SCCM management proxy, Parallels Netboot server and OS X Server working…

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