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Jamf @ Stanford

In September 2021, rates will change for some of the technology services provided by University IT. To view the majority of our planned rate changes for services that are broadly available to our community, please visit this page. For more information, please visit the rates section of our website.

Jamf @ Stanford Rolling Out to Mac Devices

June 7, 2021

Healthy Devices @ Stanford

February 12, 2021

As a best-in-class enterprise device management tool for Apple devices, Jamf lets us manage and secure Stanford Mac computers in a way that meets the needs of modern and mobile users. Jamf enables us to address IT problems, improve security,  and configure devices on the backend so that you can work with minimal to no interruptions. What's more, its on-demand app catalog empowers you to get the resources you need when it's convenient for you.


Here are some of the benefits Jamf can provide:

  • Reliability: Your device will quickly receive software updates and patches with little to no interaction on your part.
  • Time efficiency: You will stay more productive because deployment and updating processes run in the background, freeing up more time for teaching and research.
  • Flexibility: You can choose when and where to install new software or run maintenance on your device through self-service portals.
  • Security: IT will manage the security of your device, so you don't have to. You can rest assured that software patches, antivirus protection, and firewalls are well maintained. You can remotely wipe the device should it be lost or stolen.
  • Remote assistance: You will get a fast resolution of issues without a need for a deskside visit.
  • Confidentiality: Your data and files will remain confidential; no personal data is scanned, indexed, or transmitted off your device. Jamf servers also keep full audit logs of any actions performed by Jamf administrators.

Designed for

Jamf is available to current faculty, staff, and students who use Stanford-owned or personally-owned Apple macOS devices for official Stanford work.


A macOS device must perform enrollment (details coming soon) or funnel into the Apple School Manager (ASM) program, an Apple service for device management. Devices purchased through a Stanford vendor such as Smartmart or the university bookstore funnel into ASM at the purchase point.

  • SUNet ID
  • Stanford or personally-owned computer, used for official Stanford work
  • A supported version of macOS - Learn more

What about VLRE?

As a compliance alternative to BigFix or Jamf, devices that do not handle High Risk Data can install a read-only application that provides encryption verification called VLRE (Very Lightweight Reporting Engine). This option comes with the caveat of increased system management by the user.

Data security

This service meets the Information Security Office requirements.


There are no fees associated with this service.

Get started

Jamf will be Stanford’s device management tool for Macs used for Stanford work.

Similar to BigFix, Jamf will be a requirement for compliance at Stanford.

  • Like Stanford-procured iOS devices, Apple Setup Assistant will install the Jamf mobile device management (MDM) software upon the computer’s first start or restore.
  • Through a user-initiated workflow, existing devices enroll with Jamf @ Stanford.

Get help

For questions, submit a Help request.

Learn more

What should I know to understand the Apple management framework better?
Apple operating systems support a unified management framework, typically referred to as mobile device management (MDM). Third-party MDM solutions work within this framework to configure and manage device deployments securely. Other device management methods in the market may use different names to describe MDM functionality, such as enterprise mobility management (EMM) or mobile application management (MAM). These solutions have the same goal in mind.
What is Jamf @Stanford?
Jamf is an MDM solution for managing the Apple platform. With Jamf, we can proactively manage the entire lifecycle of all Apple devices. macOS lifecycle management includes deploying and maintaining software, responding to security threats, distributing settings, and analyzing inventory data.
Why has Stanford chosen Jamf to replace HCL BigFix on Stanford Macs?
Due to security changes in recent versions of the macOS architecture, BigFix is no longer adequately performing the tasks needed to manage Apple's operating system. As we transition management systems to Jamf, BigFix will remain until Jamf provides management parity. The same teams who currently govern BigFix will manage Jamf.
How does Jamf work?
When a device enrolls with Jamf@Stanford, it uses the Apple Push Notification service (APNs) to communicate directly with the Jamf MDM instance in the cloud to receive configurations. The experience between a device and IT changes as new opportunities are available. As the Stanford Jamf system matures, setup can begin when a device comes out of the box (known as zero-touch deployment) without a technical consultant's physical interaction. A client can decide what applications and settings they want from the application catalog (coming later) while essential updates install in the background without downtime. Learn more about Jamf and its security.
What information does Jamf collect?

We've customized our implementation to collect only the data needed to support Stanford Mac devices and keep our networks and data safe. Jamf can:

  • View model, serial number, and operating system
  • Identify your device by name
  • Reset lost or stolen device to factory settings
  • View disk encryption status
  • View information for installed applications (e.g. log files, plist settings files)

For a complete list of attributes, Jamf can view for a computer, review the Managing Computers > Inventory for Computers > Computer Inventory Information Reference section of the latest version at the Jamf Pro Administrator’s Guide.

What information does Jamf NOT collect?

Jamf does not collect personal information, such as the contents or names of individual files (documents, email, etc.) or any browsing history. Jamf can't:

  • View browsing history on this device
  • See your personal emails, documents, contacts, or calendar
  • Access your passwords
  • View, edit, or delete your photos
  • View frequency of application usage
  • See the location of a device
How will this data be used?

To confirm current device ownership and device enrollment information and to verify computer configuration.

Stanford is committed to championing privacy protections. Learn more about our privacy policies. Learn more about the full capabilities of Jamf.
Am I required to use Jamf?
Jamf will soon become required for macOS devices used for Stanford work. If your data risk classification is not High Risk, and you would not like to use Jamf, you may use VLRE (Very Lightweight Reporting Engine).
How do updates work?
Jamf’s software updates and patching will usually be invisible to you. Software updates download to your computer in the background at a speed that allows your computer tasks to proceed without interruption or delay. App Store updates are installed daily around midnight, where third-party apps might have their schedule. Microsoft apps are updated monthly and installed automatically if the programs are closed.
How is new software installed?
Jamf can silently deploy security software, keeping you safe while limiting interactions. Jamf also offers a catalog of applications for you to select from for installation.
Will I still have administrative access to my Mac?
There will be no automatic changes to the privileges of your device.

See also

Last modified June 7, 2021