OS X Multicasting?

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
The school where I work has got 128 new G5s which will be set up in a couple of labs.

Each lab will have a full complement of software, which makes our image weigh in at around 21 gigs compressed, 28 gigs uncompressed.

Our problem is that we need to be able to image all 128 G5s every semester (at least).

So far, we've tried NetInstall (dismal, at about 200 minutes per G5, even on GigE), ARD2 deployment (not much faster), and Carbon Copy Cloner (So far the best solution, but it costs a lot in terms of labour).

The ideal solution would be to use something like Ghost to push the image out to all the Macs at once. On the PC side, we can image a lab in about a half-hour.

Are there any multicasting solutions for OS X? UDPcast looks promising, but is giving me some grief compiling on PPC. Assuming that multicast is not an option, does anyone have any ideas how we can make this more automated? (Please don't suggest block-level unicast...)

Thanks for your time!


  • Reply 1 of 1
    Have you looked at RsyncX/RsyncX CD. While they are unicast, once you have the base install done it is only ever a differential to update/re-image the machines. The first image might be slow, but the rest should be lightning (unless someone is doing wonky things).

    With a very little scripting you can either do updates as a push or a pull event, so a re-image on reboot is very possible, alongside a system where you initiate the re-imaging from a server. And with the CD version you can even crate a bootable disk that will cause a machine to image itself without human intervention (once again with a little work).
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