What is DriveSavers?
Chris Rosa, senior systems engineer at DriveSavers for the past two decades, has witnessed the progression of the data recovery company that has been operating since 1985. DriveSavers specializes in recovering data from every type of media you can imagine: hard drives, servers, cell phones, camera cards, and security camera systems. With a commitment to recovering lost data wherever it's stored, the company has earned a reputation as a leader in the industry.
Since the founders decided to be an Apple- and Mac-centric company from the start, Chris assumed the role of overseeing the devices used as workstations by employees. When he joined the company 19 years ago, very few management options were available. He spent his time imaging machines, using a virtual machine to create the desired image for deployment and then manually copying that image to new machines.
Over time, DriveSavers transitioned to using tools like Apple Remote Desktop and even standing up its own Munki instance to improve the device management processes. However, the real shift occurred when the company came onboard to SimpleMDM, which helped effortlessly manage its entire fleet of systems.
"And then we onboard with you guys [SimpleMDM] and MDM. And that really helped me manage the whole fleet of systems that people were using."
Back in 2016, Chris, who describes himself as more of an old-school MacAdmin, found himself using Apple tools — such as Profile Manager and Apple Configurator — to manage devices within his organization. While these tools served their purpose for deploying a small number of systems here and there, they fell short in providing him with a more comprehensive look at his systems and remote management capabilities without the need for direct access to a system, like Apple Remote Desktop. And with the mobile device management landscape limited in terms of available MDM solutions, Chris just wanted something he could quickly stand up in their environment.
"Because MDM was very new to me, I was looking for a solution that was easy to wrap my head around from an old-school Mac management perspective."
While looking for an MDM solution, Chris found many options to be legacy products that were hard to get started with and also more expensive. He started with a few machines on SimpleMDM. Eventually, it became the standard for DriveSavers Apple device management.
"...I was able to get started with SimpleMDM and do what I knew I could do without feeling like I was over my head."
DriveSavers was already utilizing Apple Business Manager, and any new devices the company purchases are automatically enrolled to SimpleMDM. With the majority of the workforce at DriveSavers onsite, Chris can do a minimal touch setup to preconfigure devices before handing them off to end users.
Chris also leverages SimpleMDM’s hosted Munki integration for various purposes, like managing and updating applications, using our Shared Apps directory for seamless distribution of popular macOS apps, and creating his own custom packages. These capabilities give Chris the flexibility he needs to push out the necessary software to devices. He also offers a few self-service apps to users via the Managed Software Center.
"And then SimpleMDM brought on Munki with your platform as well. And that was a huge boost for me. It just made my whole deployment capabilities a lot easier."
With experience running his own Munki repo, Chris appreciates SimpleMDM’s Munki integration. It not only saves him valuable time but also alleviates the complexities and hassles associated with self-hosting Munki.
"I was running my own Munki repo, and it worked great for a while and then just eventually it was kind of problematic. So the solution that SimpleMDM offers is much more seamless, and I almost never have problems with it."
Outside of basic device management tasks and leveraging Munki for application deployment, Chris finds that SimpleMDM also helps with asset management. Since most of DriveSavers workstations are Macs, he can easily access device information, like serial numbers and whether they are encrypted or not. This has been useful for compliance and auditing.
Having all these capabilities at the tips of his fingers has been huge for Chris. SimpleMDM’s Munki integration has proven particularly helpful, giving him more control with less effort.
"...Wow, this is really going to save a lot of time."