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Big Sur is almost here: Are you ready to upgrade?

Apple’s latest OS release, Big Sur brings some of the biggest changes yet. It’s the first major change to macOS in more than 15 years, and it’s designed to run on the new Apple Silicon architecture coming to all new models of Macduringthe next two years. But is your Estate ready to upgrade? If you’re a Jamf user, we have some good news. Read on to find out what this means for you…

 

The top business features from the update include:

         •       Redesigned interface which resembles iOS/iPadOS.

         •       New version of Safari, with focus on Safari Extensions and more Privacy controls.

        •       View all devices that have been added into Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager even without device management.

         •       iOS and iPadOS applications can now run natively on macOS.

         •       Supervision means user-approved enrolments are now possible for devices that have been migrated to MDM recently, without DEP.

         •       Auto Advance is configured into the MDM so that once the device arrives at the customer’s office, it will automatically build and setup once an ethernet connection is present.

         •       A Mac Pro (2019+) can be powered, shutdown and rebooted remotely even if the device is not responding using Lights Out Management.

Full feature list available herehttps://www.apple.com/macos/big-sur-preview/features/

 
Can your estate run macOS Big Sur?

Unlike previous versions of macOS, the minimum requirements for upgrading to Big Sur are not based on your components. Instead, it’ll look at the model and year of your devices. And with changes coming to how apps work on the OS, how do you know you’re going to be able to upgrade without interrupting service?

Support for macOS Big Sur will be on the following devices:

         •          2015 and later MacBook.

         •          2013 and later MacBook Air.

         •          2013 and later MacBook Pro.

         •          2014 and later Mac mini.

         •          2014 and later iMac.

         •          2017 and later iMac Pro.

         •          2013 and later Mac Pro.

What’s changing?

Apple Silicon

AApple have announced that they’re switching from Intel CPUs to processors of their own design. This transition will establish a common architecture across all Apple products, making it far easier for developers to write and optimise their apps for the entire ecosystem. However, this does mean that some apps and software will have to be rewritten to work on the new OS.

 

Applications

Apps are going to need to be redeveloped to work with the new architecture. Microsoft and Adobe have already started development for native applications running on Silicon, with a demo of the Microsoft 365suite and Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop running already.

Some apps may not have been redeveloped in time for the launch, but they’ll still be able to run on Big Sur using an emulation app called ‘Rosetta 2’. This app means Intel Architecture software can still run on a Silicon Mac so that you can use the new OS release from day one.

 

Same-day support with Jamf means same-day

Jamf know that having support available exactly when Apple launch their upgrades is essential to their user’s success. By providing their caveat-free same day support service, Jamf ensure their users have the latest features, updates and profile configurations while managing the release to suit the wider organisation’s needs, so Jamf users can continue working seamlessly.

 

No more Kernel Extensions

macOS 11 will not run any application that relies on kernel extensions. Vendors need to move to System Extensions to continue functionality in macOS (as well as adhere to user privacy and security best practice).

 

This is going to seriously affect the Endpoint Security landscape, with the likes of Sophos, MacAfee and Symantec being left behind.An exception being Jamf Protect users, as Jamf already runs System Extensions according to Apple’s recommendations – meaning it is equipped and prepared for the transition and can make the switch as seamless as possible.

Visit this Apple help page to find out more about the move.

 

Security

macOS11 is also bringing changes to the ‘network setup’ utility. Before, standard users could use this utility to change network settings. But with Big Sur, while standard users will be able to toggle WiFi on and off and read the network settings, modifications will require an administrator’s approval.

Two other major changes are coming too. The first major change involves a huge boost to privacy on the end user side of things by changing hardware serial numbers so when and where the device was made becomes anonymous.

 

The second major change benefits WiFi users on the go, who connect to WiFi hotspots. It provides automatic WiFi MAC address randomisation to boost protection. But don’t worry about this impacting your ability to manage devices – Jamf is prepared for these changes and can facilitate them as soon as they go live.

 

How Jigsaw24 can help

With the number of changes coming from Big Sur, we can support the full deployment of new hardware into the organisation, help with device recycling and ensure there is a fully functioning network behind it all.

 

Auditing your hardware

A hardware audit is the best way to find out if your hardware will be supported by Big Sur. Auditing hardware manually can be a long process, but if you have an MDM solution such as Jamf Pro this is very simple. If you don’t have MDM software, we would recommend checking out our device management services webpage to see the benefits it can offer your business.

 

Providing security software

Our team can quickly identify if your security software provider will work with Big Sur. If we find it doesn't, we will work with you to propose, deploy and support the most appropriate replacement for your estate.

 

MDM and Apple Business Manager

Devices purchased from an Apple Authorised Enterprise Reseller (such as Jigsaw24) will be ready for enrolment into Apple Business Manager. Apple Business Manager lets you manage your devices and apps, and also enrol devices into a chosen MDM solution for an easy way to manage devices and ensure your security settings are applied to all devices in your organisation.

 

Upgrading your estate

We can help deploy updates using our ITIL aligned release management process. It’s designed to understand and minimise risk while making IT changes. We check to ensure that all changes have progressed through the appropriate approval boards and all stakeholders have been informed. If you want to roll out macOS 11 while minimising the risk of issues, this is the service for you.

 

What needs to be done before upgrading?

All existing data on the devices should be backed up as a priority. Any device with Apple Silicon chips cannot be rolled back to a previous version. If an old machine has been updated, it can be wiped and reset. 

 

Are you ready for Big Sur?

As an Apple Premier Service Partner, our team of experts can make sure your estate is ready. Our Big Sur Readiness Assessment is a unique service designed to assess your IT estate and give you feedback on whether you’ll be affected by the upgrade. Our Professional Services team will be looking specifically for elements where improvements can be made to help with the integration of Big Sur.

 

For SMBs

The service includes:

         •       Initial planning meeting.

         •       One day of remote discovery sessions with our Apple-certified experts and the key stakeholders from within your organisation.

         •       Debriefing session with key stakeholders to disclose the key findings.

         •       A detailed report, specifying the finding and appropriate recommendations.

         •       Support from our team to implement the agreed recommendations available on request, at an additional charge.

£900 plus VAT

 

For enterprise

The service includes everything above, plus in-depth remote discovery sessions with our Apple-certified experts and the key stakeholders from within the organisation, followed by one day off-site documentation preparation.

£1800 plus VAT

 

If you want to upgrade your business’s devices, talk to our team for a stress-free upgrade. Get in touch by calling 03332 409 214 or email business@jigsaw24.com. For the latest news, follow us on LinkedIn,  Facebook and Twitter.

 

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