The New Customer Challenge

Posted: April 27th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Insight, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Work | No Comments »

ticking-time-bombI’m an Apple consultant. I help small businesses who want nothing to do with the decision making aspect of technology. Planning, budgeting, procurement, deployment, support, deprecation, and recycling. Out of all these contexts no task is more challenging than workstations.

For those who are in the field, you know what I’m talking about. You get a new customer, they have workstations… some are new, some are old, some have MacKeeper, the bastard ones are carrying old migrated home folders that originated from 10.4 and a Cisco VPN kext. Some have 16 mail accounts filling 70% of the disk but since they’re “disabled” in you don’t see them at first. Now you have to dig to find out where the space is. Do this across 10 – 50 workstations and you will soon realize why I went bald early.

I needed a quick dirty way to get some very specific data out of the machine and into a little text file, yes I’m sure there are some sort of MDM tools or whatever might have you that will track everything that I don’t care about widget, but I don’t want that. It’s about workflow, see if I don’t get an idea of what I’m stepping into before I step into it I may find out something nasty far too late. In other words, I wouldn’t deploy an MDM before getting an idea of what’s going on.

Introducing feel free to download here

usage: -c <client name> -s <ftp server> -u <username> [-p <password>]
-c unique identifier for audit, a folder of this name will be made on your ftp server
-s ftp server fqdn/path sans protocol ie:
-u username to connect to ftp server
-p password for username, will prompt if none given
Requires root privileges to successfully deduce all features

Once I begin relations with the new customer I immediately gain admin access to all their machines, after placing the following script somewhere on the web I can then push it out through ARD in a script something like this:

curl -o /tmp/; chmod +x /tmp/; /tmp/ -c clientname -s -u ftpuser -p "ftpuserpass"

I also have it wrapped in AppleScript so that I can pop it over email to any remote machines. Usually also along with a Meraki MDM as well. Just place this code into Script Editor, then save as an application. Place inside the package of the AppleScript app.

## change the switch arguments!
set path_ to (path to me as string)
set p to POSIX path of path_
do shell script "" & p & "/ -c clientname -s -u ftpuser -p 'ftpuserpass'" with administrator privileges

Automated Backups of Mac OS X Server 2.2.2

Posted: April 27th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: DNS, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mountain Lion, Open Directory | No Comments »

Hi Everybody! dr-nick-riviera

So I’ve been in the Mac game for quite some time now and all along I was always longing for a good automated backup solution. A few years ago myself and a colleague got together and wrote A simple shell script with a few variables inside. Simply edit the shell script and then install as a cronjob to run nightly. Features of this backup script include:

  • Open Directory archiving
  • Service Plists
  • CalDAV/CardDAV database
  • Profile Manager database
  • DNS records
  • Wiki database and binary files
  • Webmail

I’ve been using this script for years now under 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8. The version listed here is for Server 2.2.2 under 10.8.5

Restoration of these backups is fairly simple to do as long as you know some postgres commands. Here’s the article on how to restore the wiki.

Calendar, webmail are fairly similar. DNS restoration is just a matter of placing the files back in /var/named and /etc/named.conf

If you need to restore open directory archive you should use Apple’s latest knowledge base instructions. Just make sure that the server hostname matches the backup.

To restore OS X Server setting plists:

sudo serveradmin settings < /path/to/your-sa_backup-servicename-plist

Get the code here.