Google’s CorpEng uses open source whenever possible; as we made a large scale shift in terms of the computing resources used internally by end users, we decided that it was time to rethink how we supported those platforms.
Having gone through an extensive build vs. buy process, we decided that extending the tool-set of Munki was the most cost effective way. Using Munki in combination with Puppet, Facter and other tools.
We then undertook the process of building other needed tools around Munki, building a client for custom functionality and adding an entire reporting and management server to manage running Macintosh OS X in the Enterprise.
However, open source works best when it’s a two-way street; Google has made the code that we used available under the name Simian, and runs monthly meetings for those trying to run Macintosh fleets in large organizations. The cost savings associated with running on these systems took Google from roughly ~100$ per machine per annum, to 50 cents per machine per annum.
Lastly, we have continued to expand what we support and will be releasing more software with the end goal of having an entire open sourced suite of software for people who are concerned with systems, security and scalability for their organization.
Justin is a developer in Corporate Engineering based in Google NYC. He has been building enterprise App Engine applications for the past 3 years, previously filling a desktop support role since he joined Google in 2006.
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