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Simian Demo

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If you ever thought in having Munki in the cloud then you have probably considered using Simian

Simian is in short a Munki server that sits on Google’s App engine. Compared to the web server that you could build to use as a Munki server it has some cool additions like:

  • Manage Apple SUS with auto-promotion!
  • Collect client logs when needed
  • Client-Server and Server-Client authentication based on SSL certificates
  • Client statistics like uptime, free disk space, Munki and Simian versions, OS X version, off-corp time (requires your own script logic), stolen status…
  • Logs which admin modified what
  • And obviously being cloud-based. But that is something you could also do yourself

The three major drawbacks that I could think of would be:

  • Managing the certificates can quickly become a mess if processes are not in place. Generating, signing, deploying and revoking certificates are usually not easy tasks.
  • Price? from my testing I don’t think this will be an issue for any business, but hey who knows what budget you’re dealing with.
  • Being in someone else’s hands. Hosting things in the cloud and having a control panel there that can potentially compromise you whole client base is worth discussing internally.

For the Munki admins out there I’d say that Simian has a slightly different way of doing things, but it is nothing you can’t get around with some practice.

As I did recently for MunkiReport-php2 I have put together a demo site for you to check it out live. Click on the following image and authenticate with a valid Gmail account to play with the console.

Simian

PS: Today I’m a happy admin with my internal Munki, Munkireport and Reposado servers for managing software on my clients.

Different opinions are always welcome.

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