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How does Parallels Mac Management for Microsoft SCCM work?

With Mac Management from Parallels, IT professionals can manage Windows and Apple macOS desktops side by side with System Center Configuration Manager's native features.

When organizations need to manage Apple macOS and Windows desktops, they must find tools that can handle both OSes. IT cannot manage configurations and deploy Group Policies for the different OSes without a supplementary tool.

One option is Parallels Mac Management, a software plugin that extends the native functionality of Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to macOS desktops.

The plugin makes it possible to discover, enroll and manage desktops running macOS within SCCM as if they were Windows desktops. SCCM includes native functionality to support macOS management, but these capabilities are limited and labor-intensive. Mac Management enables administrators to control both Windows and macOS desktops from a single platform.

Corel, a software company based in Ottawa that focuses on graphics and text editing, acquired Parallels International GmbH in December 2018 and will integrate its software with Parallels' desktop, application management and delivery products.

For organizations already invested in the SCCM infrastructure and dealing with the complexities of managing macOS desktops, Parallels Mac Management could be a welcome relief. With Mac Management, IT can use the SCCM console to deploy macOS images, configure OS options, automate patch management and more.

Mac Management components

Parallels Mac Management is made up of several components. One of the most important is the Configuration Manager Console Extension, a set of dynamic libraries that IT must install on the same desktops that run SCCM. These libraries extend the SCCM console, which allows IT to carry out administrative tasks specific to macOS desktops.

To use Apple Business Manager for SCCM enrollment, IT professionals must install the Parallels Mobile Device Management Server.

Another important component is the Parallels Configuration Manager Proxy. This component is a Windows application that connects the desktop running SCCM and the macOS desktop. The proxy is essential for carrying out all administrative tasks.

In addition, Parallels Mac Management includes the Parallels IBCM Proxy to support internet-based client management. This proxy passes requests between the Configuration Manager Proxy and the macOS desktops.

If a deployment includes macOS desktop images on managed Apple devices, IT professionals must also install the Parallels NetBoot service. NetBoot is an Apple technology that allows macOS desktops to boot from the network, and the Parallels Netboot service allows Mac Management administrators to use this Apple product within the Parallels console.

Parallels Mac Management also supports Apple Business Manager, a system for deploying new macOS desktops in an organization. To use Apple Business Manager for SCCM enrollment, IT professionals must install the Parallels Mobile Device Management Server, which also allows them to lock and wipe macOS desktops remotely.

Another optional component is Parallels OS X Software Update Point. This component makes it possible to manage macOS software patches with SCCM. IT must also ensure that Windows Server Update Services is installed and configured on the server that runs OS X Software Update Point.

The final piece of the Parallels Mac Management puzzle is the Parallels Mac Client software, which IT can install directly on the macOS desktops. The client enables communication between the desktop running it and SCCM via the Parallels Configuration Manager Proxy.

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