There is a new donateware tool available for Mac OS X called StarDeploy. StarDeploy is a straightforward patch management solution that allows you to place items in Applications, Libraries or User Folders on a centralized server and have those items sync to client systems. StarDeploy also allows you to push out packages using the centralized file share as well.
The combination of StarDeploy and DeployStudio allows you to image and then patch manage systems in simplistic environments fairly quickly, easily and to do so in a cost effective manner. However, StarDeploy isn’t as object oriented as JAMF’s Casper Suite, FileWave, Symantec’s Altiris or other solutions you may currently be using or reviewing. The solution manages somewhat flat structures. You can create multiple file shares if you have multiple groups, but compared to how Casper or other comparable tools operate, this could get somewhat tedious to manage in complex environments. However, the cost is a donation that you can make and so it is inexpensive.
In our use, StarDeploy has been able to easily push out packages to a large number of systems very quickly. The packages that you build for StarDeploy can then be moved into other solutions if you outgrow StarDeploy. This makes for a nice modular approach where you can grow into a more complex solution or even have StarDeploy work in conjunction with other solutions; for example: allowing StarDeploy to manage lab environments and using a more robust solution for more robust environments.
Overall, StarDeploy makes an excellent addition to the toolkit of anyone with a keen eye on managing large numbers of Mac OS X systems. If you would like to discuss using StarDeploy, JAMF’s Casper Suite, FileWave or other products for patch management, contact your 318 Professional Services Manager or firstname.lastname@example.org today!