Just like those Valve guys

This is another Casper-specific post. Ill have pictures later.

I’ve been working on a mass update of our companies MacBooks to Mountain Lion. Our company had to wait a while to get VPN working for everyone and a few other things before everyone could get it.

Instead of just allowing this to be downloaded via Self Service which was how it was deployed to beta groups, I opted for the Steam model. Steam will pre cache a copy of a new game to your harddrive if you pre order it. This allows it to be played “instantly” on release day.

  1. First, I ran a custom inventory attribute that determined free space on the harddrive. You can check it out here.

  2. I created a smart group in Casper for computers that had at least a certain amount of free space and were either 10.6.x or 10.7.x.

  3. I created a policy for that group that cached the Mountain Lion installer on these computers.

  4. In a couple weeks, when our beta tester group gets back to us, Ill be adding a policy to Self Service that will install the cached package.

A side note of this is that people won’t be able to accidentally download / install with almost full harddrives (ie, 256GB MacBook Airs). The package only gets cached on computers with enough free space. For clients that don’t see the install button, the troubleshooting steps will be to:

  1. Make sure you have 10GB of free space.

  2. Run the Update Inventory command in Self Service. Since I made a custom inventory attribute, the user may need to restart their computer and rerun the Update Inventory command. In an extreme case… Recon might need to be rerun, but that shouldn’t be necessary.

On our teams side, we will likely individually use the Casper Remote tool to push the cache.

A side benefit of this is that this will also be caching the package to users connected via VPN and at satellite offices. Since this is done in the background, there will much less waiting for downloads since all the user will have to do is install the package.

From my side, within one day of setting this policy, the number of computers that have successfully received this package has gone from 5 … to 25 as of when I wrote this.