SysteMacs, a Mac enterprise-consulting firm, will showcase anti-virus software and a backup solution, boxIT, in July at Macworld Expo New York.
The product, aimed at enterprise customers, is available now. In fact, SysteMacs patented its solution and trademarked the boxIT name on Monday.
boxIT is a method of making a disk image of a customized Mac with a properly configured operating system and applications. The custom image is copied to an external FireWire, USB or SCSI device. This image can then be deployed to an unlimited number of computers simultaneously. The external device also stores all critical data, including email.
This custom disk image can be deployed on similar Mac systems in an enterprise, and is an “excellent tool” to deploy Mac OS X, according to Ken Easterby, founder and president of SysteMacs. When problems occur, the user or IT support person can restore this image in less than one hour, he added.
The disc image ‘freezes’ an image of a Mac’s operating system, applications, and preferences. It doesn’t freeze data such as word processing files, because such info is “dynamic and constantly changing,” Easterby said.
OS X migration “The idea is to make one machine ‘look’ like another, and do it more quickly than you can normally do,” Easterby added. “It’s also useful when problems arise on a machine. There’s no troubleshooting at all – boxIT simply restores the computer to a previous state. It also makes a perfect Mac OS X-migration tool.”
boxIT isn’t a cheap product, as it’s a completely custom-built solution. When it’s first implemented, SysteMac does a systems analysis database in FileMaker Pro. After that, the company can give an estimate on what it will cost to deploy. However, Easterby claims that the solution can save a company up to 60 per cent in time and money. Though it’s hard to peg a ‘typical customer’ for the product, he said that boxIT is well suited to enterprises that have over 100 Macs.
Easterby said: “boxIT allows Macintosh computers to have system-software and applications instantly installed from a remote computer – and have unprecedented back-up and restore capabilities.
“This is a common function in the PC world, but hasn’t been done with Macs. It was a big gap in the curve between PCs and Macs, and we wanted to fill the need.”
The 15-year-old SysteMacs has developed proprietary software designed to help Macs penetrate deeper into large businesses.