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#1 2017-01-09 19:34:40

Peteo
Member
Registered: 2012-03-22

APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

So APFS is supposed to come out this year and the winds are saying imaging is done on the Mac and MDM is the future.
Does the Deploystudio team have any thoughts on this? Can DS be turned into a "free" MDM solution or is this the end of the road?

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#2 2017-01-26 17:26:50

jgeorge04
Member
Registered: 2015-05-28

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

I think there will always been room for bare metal imaging.  I use MDM features to deploy software post image, but I always use deploy studio workflows to simply OS installation, first boot options/preferences, AD Bind and profile manager enrollment.

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#3 2017-01-26 17:32:14

Peteo
Member
Registered: 2012-03-22

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

> jgeorge04 wrote:

> I think there will always been room for bare metal imaging.  I use MDM features to deploy software post image, but I always use deploy studio workflows to simply OS installation, first boot options/preferences, AD Bind and profile manager enrollment.

I don't think you understand. Once APFS is set up it does not allow bare metal imaging. APFS will be the default soon. (iOS 10.3 beta has it as default now)

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#4 2017-01-26 21:49:20

Meat
Member
From: SF CA US
Registered: 2009-02-04

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

Netboot will be a problem?
What about package and file installs, and scripts via DeployStudio Runtime?

Last edited by Meat (2017-01-26 21:51:17)

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#5 2017-01-26 22:11:55

Peteo
Member
Registered: 2012-03-22

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

> Meat wrote:

> Netboot will be a problem?
What about package and file installs, and scripts via DeployStudio Runtime?

No one knows. All apple has mentioned is you will not be able to bare metal image. Sounds like you will not have access to the file system when the computer is not booted to macOS.

Last edited by Peteo (2017-01-26 22:12:15)

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#6 2017-01-30 15:57:50

mjsanders
Member
From: Schiedam, Netherlands
Registered: 2008-09-02
Website

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

I have read several reports, but what puzzels me is this:

Apple needs a way to put the original OS (software) on the device in the factory.

So some form of bare-metal imaging needs to be functioning.
It is a policy choice if Apple chooses to share this tool with the rest of the world...
I guess that (thunderbolt) target disk imaging will remain possible, regardless if the filesystem is HFS+ or APFS.
If block copies fail, file copies should always work as far as I can tell.

For mass deployments netboot is the only suitable tool, and I am not sure if Apple will support that.

So in any scenario one needs to rethink your tools.
Yes I believe DEP and MDM are the future for new devices, but for re-deployments I hope there is room for more tools.
We will know more when the first betas of 10.13 will arrive (I hope)

Maurits

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#7 2017-01-30 16:49:31

Peteo
Member
Registered: 2012-03-22

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

> mjsanders wrote:

> I have read several reports, but what puzzels me is this:
>Apple needs a way to put the original OS (software) on the device in the factory.

This is pure speculation but I think the installer is signed per computer. So when you do an internet restore, it signs the installer based on your unique hardware info. Then installer will be allowed to run and install OSX.
But this would mean you always need an internet connection to install the OS. (so it can send the unique signed installer) seems like overkill.

Last edited by Peteo (2017-01-30 16:50:20)

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#8 2017-02-01 15:36:17

jakov
Member
From: Delft, Netherlands
Registered: 2008-04-22

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

Perhaps Apple installs the original macOS on a Mac the same way as they do now with iOS on an iPhone/iPad. Does anyone know how they do that?

Personally, I think imaging will stay for a while on the Mac...

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#9 2017-02-01 16:07:04

Peteo
Member
Registered: 2012-03-22

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

> jakov wrote:

> Perhaps Apple installs the original macOS on a Mac the same way as they do now with iOS on an iPhone/iPad. Does anyone know how they do that?

>Personally, I think imaging will stay for a while on the Mac...

Read here:

https://derflounder.wordpress.com/2017/01/10/imaging-will-be-dead-soon-ish/

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#10 2017-02-01 16:08:57

Peteo
Member
Registered: 2012-03-22

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

Oh yeah read this Tweet (twitter is all the rage these days)

@ygini I bet that system imaging will end with APFS. You should focus on DEP, MDM and loosely coupled directory integration.

— Deploy Studio (@deploystudio) January 8, 2017

Last edited by Peteo (2017-02-01 16:09:06)

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#11 2017-02-01 16:58:00

jakov
Member
From: Delft, Netherlands
Registered: 2008-04-22

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

I know the future is DEP/MDM, but that does not mean imaging will be cut-off directly.

i.e Cron has been declared deprecated and replaced by launchdeamons in OS X 10.4 but it still works!

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#12 2017-02-22 08:45:36

PaintedTurtle
Member
Registered: 2010-06-27

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

I'm hoping that APFS will not mean the end of imaging. But if it really does, then I'd love to see them release, or open source, the source code for deploy studio. It would be great to see exactly how they do some of the magic that they do.

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#13 2017-02-23 09:52:57

mjsanders
Member
From: Schiedam, Netherlands
Registered: 2008-09-02
Website

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

There is surprisingly little magic in DeployStudio, most things are in scripts that you can read (if you know where to find them)
try these paths:
/Applications/Utilities/DeployStudio\ Admin.app/Contents/Frameworks/DSCore.framework/Versions/A/Resources/Tools

all the plugins inside
/Applications/Utilities/DeployStudio Admin.app/Contents/Plugins/

like this for creating images:
/Applications/Utilities/DeployStudio\ Admin.app/Contents/Plugins/DSDiskImageTask.bundle/Contents/Resources/Scripts

for restoring images
/Applications/Utilities/DeployStudio\ Admin.app/Contents/Plugins/DSRestoreTask.bundle/Contents/Resources/Scripts

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#14 2017-03-31 14:36:24

Jkersten
Member
Registered: 2012-07-24

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

I currently manage a fleet of around 500 Macs, all of which are in classrooms, labs or public areas (read: multiple users per machine, none of them admins). Many are in locations with less than optimal networking (100MB ethernet, at best), and the software installed adds up to between 80-120GB (e.g. full Adobe Suite, Matlab, SPSS, etc).

Currently, using DeployStudio running from a custom USB boot key, I can restore a machine from any state -> known good state in < 20 minutes regardless of network conditions, and I can scale this as needed simply by adding more keys (I do have a NetInstall server set up as well, but we have been using it less as software footprints increase and the network has become increasingly congested. We do use munki for patch management and deployment of smaller updates). We have a similar workflow for our Dell Windows systems that uses different tooling but provides basically the same functionality.

If Apple truly breaks this ability and does not provide or at least allow for another option that can deliver similar benefits, I can see us eventually going back to being a Windows only shop, or at least consigning Macs back to limited niche deployments. As things stand now we would need to move to a commercial MDM solution like JAMF ($$$), and even after having spent all that money, we would still not be able to provide the level of service we currently do (20 minute recovery time -> several hour internet restore, followed by several more hours of piecemeal installs over the network by the MDM).

Needless to say I hope these reports turn out to be overblown, or that other alternatives remain available (e.g. continue to allow bare metal restores, even it means reverting to HPFS).

Last edited by Jkersten (2017-03-31 16:10:04)

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#15 2017-04-29 09:26:35

admin
Administrator
Registered: 2007-03-29
Website

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

WWDC17 is just a few weeks from now. We'll probably get clear directions about devices management with next gen macOS & filesystem.

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#16 2017-06-07 18:59:09

Peteo
Member
Registered: 2012-03-22

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

So at WDDC apple announced APFS will be the default file system for 10.13 High Sierra. So it looks like this fall could be the end of imaging on the Mac.
Any one test DS on the Beta?

Last edited by Peteo (2017-06-07 20:39:42)

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#17 2017-06-08 15:33:47

Jkersten
Member
Registered: 2012-07-24

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

How does "APFS being default" imply "end of imaging"?  There is nothing preventing Apple from updating ASR or releasing a similar tool that does for APFS what ASR does for HFS. I haven't yet seen any definitive statement from Apple one way or another. Have you?

Even if they don't update ASR, "default" != "mandatory." I have done some preliminary DeployStudio testing on 10.13 with HFS that looks encouraging, but cannot comment further on this forum without venturing into NDA territory (see 10.13 Beta channel on the Apple Developer Forum if you have access).

Lastly, see Mike Bombich's blog re: CC4 updates. This may provide a path forward for Deploystudio if no ASR update/replacement is forthcoming from Apple.

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#18 2017-06-08 16:12:35

Peteo
Member
Registered: 2012-03-22

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

Apple has hinted that Imaging is not longer going to be possible with APFS. They have said that we should definitely look into a MDM for setting up systems instead of custom image.

Reading the CC blog, they have APFS systems able to be restored to HFS+ volumes but not APFS to APFS. They say they are working on it but there is no confirmation that they will be able to get it to work.
Also we have heard 0 from the DS folks even though APFS has been in beta since fall. Maybe they will come out and say they are working on it and think that DS will support APFS. But right now all i have is what apple said, which was not Imaging was no longer possible, but we should look into MDM, imaging might not work.

take a look here:

https://www.reddit.com/r/macsysadmin/comments/6fjs3m/imaging_is_dead/

Last edited by Peteo (2017-06-08 16:58:45)

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#19 2017-06-09 19:28:37

Jkersten
Member
Registered: 2012-07-24

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

> Peteo wrote:

> Apple has hinted that Imaging is not longer going to be possible with APFS. They have said that we should definitely look into a MDM for setting up systems instead of custom image.

A change with this kind of impact on enterprise/institutional users requires more than subtle "hints" and innuendo. As tightlipped as Apple is, they have in the past been pretty good about formally deprecating features well in advance of killing them off, even if the end date and replacement was not always immediately apparent (e.g. SUS being deprecated in the last Server release).

> Reading the CC blog, they have APFS systems able to be restored to HFS+ volumes but not APFS to APFS. They say they are working on it but there is no confirmation that they will be able to get it to work.
>Also we have heard 0 from the DS folks even though APFS has been in beta since fall. Maybe they will come out and say they are working on it and think that DS will support APFS. But right now all i have is what apple said, which was not Imaging was no longer possible, but we should look into MDM, imaging might not work.

Apple has been pushing MDM for a while now. But Apple's solutions don't begin to address zero-touch automated deployment of software outside of Apple's ecosystem (i.e. non-App Store apps). This is where 90% of the pain is in deployment is, at least for us. There are vendors, tools and workflows for these that have been around a while (JAMF, custom scripting, munki, even DS itself etc). These are known quantities, and the tradeoffs (in terms of flexibility, effort required, network infrastructure requirements, and speed of deployment) have not changed. Point being there are valid technical and functional reasons why some sites have remained with imaging beyond inertia, or in some cases even budget. When there are other solutions that *meet the necessary requirements* we will be more than happy to consider them.

Re: DS future, silence from the DS development team is par for the course in my experience, and not necessarily concerning in and of itself.

Re: CCloner, if it truly becomes impossible to create full backups of Macs using third party backup tools, this may in and of itself kill off Macs in some environments where standardized (non-Apple) backup/recovery tools are used.

> take a look here:

> https://www.reddit.com/r/macsysadmin/comments/6fjs3m/imaging_is_dead/

Yes, the same rumors that have been propagated and speculated (wildly on in some cases) in various blogs without any confirmation one way or another. Again, a change with this kind of impact deserves clear and effective communication directly from Apple, not hints and innuendo delivered through surrogates. And this communication should occur well in advance of the change taking place (getting a vendor's MDM solution -- or an "completely outside the box" solution like Chromebooks, etc though security review, procurement, pilot, and implementation is a process that can take a year or longer in many larger shops).

Since speculation seems to be the order of the day however, I'll indulge in some myself: One wonders if a trial balloon isn't being floated here (leak rumors, see who squawks, then decide if development resources need to be spent on bringing forward "legacy" imaging capabilities to APFS).

Very well then, challenge accepted ;)

Thanks,
-Jason

Last edited by Jkersten (2017-06-09 19:37:19)

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#20 2017-06-10 16:39:20

ICAImager
Member
Registered: 2011-04-05

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

Cross posting this link from Rich Trouton: https://derflounder.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/wwdc-2017-notes/  Inside contains WWDC 2017 Apple File System Lab Q&A

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#21 2017-06-12 21:25:21

Jkersten
Member
Registered: 2012-07-24

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

I have done some preliminary testing with the 10.13 and DeployStudio. To avoid NDA issues, results are being posted in the 10.13 Beta channel in the Apple Developer Forums (See the "High Sierra Deployment, Imaging, and Management Discussion" thread).

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#22 2017-06-14 21:59:54

Peteo
Member
Registered: 2012-03-22

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

Question: Should mac admins continue to rely on imaging workflows or will DEP required to provision macs in the future?

Answer: ASR restores are expected to work with APFS.

- ASR restore on AFPS: it will be a Thing of some sort. The engineer spoken to hinted that they didn't even know internally exactly how it would work yet, but they fully expect to support asr restores in the future, even with APFS.
- System Image Utility: the team that writes it knows it is broken, and wants it to be fixed, and expect to have it resolved with APFS support, but maybe not until seed 3 at the earliest

- NetBoot / NetInstall support (as well as SIU): they fully expect to support that as an option and it's not going away



So this sounds good, hopefully DS will still be able to restore images

Last edited by Peteo (2017-06-14 22:01:58)

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#23 2017-06-19 14:07:05

Jay
Member
Registered: 2015-04-14

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

> admin wrote:

> WWDC17 is just a few weeks from now. We'll probably get clear directions about devices management with next gen macOS & filesystem.

Any news on this?

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#24 2017-08-17 15:54:53

Jkersten
Member
Registered: 2012-07-24

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

The latest AutoDMG Beta can generate APFS images for 10.13, and folks with access to Beta 6 should definitely take a look at the man pages for asr.... DS will presumably need updates to capture and restore APFS images.

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#25 2017-08-17 18:27:30

Meat
Member
From: SF CA US
Registered: 2009-02-04

Re: APFS, the end of imaging and the future of DS?

Nice! :) Fingers crossed.

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