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Jamf @ Stanford Rolling Out to Mac Devices

Monday, June 7, 2021

As part of the university’s Healthy Devices program, Jamf software is rolling out to macOS devices used by employees for Stanford work. The migration, which will take place in phased deployments, is an essential and exciting next step in our ongoing effort to make our devices substantially safer and easier to use.

Why are we moving to Jamf?

Modern operating systems provide a much cleaner way for us to ensure that devices are correctly configured and maintained. These new solutions offer the capability to automate some of the device management functions you had to perform manually, so you don’t need to worry about staying current with software upgrades and patches.

We’re taking advantage of these new capabilities with Jamf for Macs. But Windows devices won’t be left behind. We’re in the process of selecting a Jamf-like tool for Windows.

Enroll your device

If you’re a Mac user, you’ll receive a notification with details on how to begin the enrollment process for your devices. If you’d prefer to enroll your device sooner, you can do so now by following the instructions on  The process takes less than five minutes and requires just a few easy steps on your end. All Mac devices that are used for Stanford work — whether Stanford-owned or personally-owned— should be enrolled.

Alternatives to Jamf

If you do not handle High Risk Data, you can still use the alternative called VLRE. VLRE is a lightweight tool that monitors the security configuration of your laptop or desktop. However, if you use VLRE, the responsibility for configuration changes and software patching is entirely yours. Those currently using VLRE will not be prompted to install Jamf.

Leading the way

In December 2020, the School of Medicine successfully rolled out Jamf to more than 11,000 Macs. This spring, University IT Mac users were the first to take advantage of the newly built Jamf installer, which makes enrolling a device in Jamf almost automatic. 

What about BigFix?

Stanford has been using BigFix to configure and patch Windows and macOS computers for more than a decade. Due to Apple's recent security enhancements to macOS, BigFix is no longer able to perform the tasks needed to properly manage Macs. Jamf provides the needed features, and it will be administered by the same University IT teams that administer BigFix.

Next steps

Eventually, Jamf will replace BigFix for Mac devices. When that happens, similar to BigFix, Jamf will become a requirement for compliance at Stanford (with the option of using VLRE instead).

Learn more

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