Is Google Getting Into Mac Management?
We cover a lot of Apple Mac-related news here on The VAR Guy, especially when it comes to management of Apple computers and devices. And while companies such as Centrify, Sophos and Dell KACE have been at the forefront of device management, it looks as though a new challenger has appeared: Google. As unlikely as it may seem, Google has actually stated it is developing some Mac management software internally …
A big tip of the hat goes to 9to5Google.com for carefully watching the Google+ updates of one Clay Caviness, the “systems administrator for Google’s internal Macintosh Operations team.” According to Caviness’ post, the tools Google is releasing are the “tools and scripts and utilities we use to help manage our … large … fleet of Macs.”
Those tools include “crankd,” a utility that leverages python code to execute a wide range of remote management commands across Macs on a network, along with “a simple faster recipe to create facts from the database” created by using a “application usage module” in conjunction with crankd. Caviness said Google will be releasing more items, likely sporadically.
Google’s strategy to release free open source utilities isn’t anything new or groundbreaking, but it does raise the question about where small businesses will obtain software to manage their Macs. Google is definitely not strong-arming its way into any industry, but the Unix backbone of OS X lends itself well to open source tools such as the ones Google is offering. And if those offerings become popular, there could be channel opportunities.
While MDM, tablets and cloud hype dominate the market, people forget Macs are slowly finding their way into businesses of all size. A refocused effort on ensuring Mac management could be just as profitable of opportunity as MDM, if not more so when combined. The bottom line? It’s all food for thought, but it’s an interesting move nonetheless as Mac acceptance takes off.