With the recent release of Workspace ONE version 2111, VMware brings you Freestyle Orchestrator, our game-changing workflow automation engine set to revolutionize the way you manage your organization’s Windows and macOS endpoints. The result of countless man hours of legendary VMware innovation, Freestyle Orchestrator enables admins to automate specific tasks by applying designated resources to devices based on granular criteria.
That’s an accurate description of the technology, and it’s all well and good to say, but how exactly can a Mac administrator apply this revolutionary technology to make everyday life easier? How, in other words, does the rubber meet the road? We’ve created this blog to specifically call out a couple of ways – just starting examples – that admins can use Freestyle Orchestrator to better manage their Mac fleets. Again, this is simply a starting point to help you ideate scenarios within your own organization where this is a fit.
One of the most basic activities IT must deal with is, of course, onboarding new machines. And as much as we’ve done with Workspace ONE over the years to make this process as quick and easy as possible, it’s still one of the most routine and repeatable procedures admins must perform. This makes it the perfect candidate to be automated.
In this case, let’s assume you’re building a workflow for onboarding devices for Marketing personnel. You can open Freestyle Orchestrator and use the highly intuitive canvas UI that allows you to add different types of resources and conditions, arranging your workflow so that your operations initiate in the exact sequence required, which might look like this:
- Set the host name of the device using a script.
- Install necessary security apps to establish a baseline on the device.
- Install productivity apps like Microsoft Office 365 as well as other applications like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, and possibly Marketo or Eloqua, since we’re talking about the marketing ream.
- Additional operations can be added, for example, by creating conditions based on sensor data. (Sensors are used to obtain data about any system or app attribute directly from the device.)
- Run an exit script and let the user and admin know the process is finished.
It’s easy to update this or any workflow in the future by using the intuitive UI to add or eliminate resources or drag steps up or down to re-sequence them. It’s also easy to create multiple workflows to onboard machines in different ways based on the user’s role in the company.
Complex app installs
Another possible use for Freestyle involves complex application installations. For example, suppose your organization is switching anti-malware providers (perhaps you’re upgrading to the protection of VMware Carbon Black). In such a scenario, you may want to be prescriptive about the exact order of any uninstall, cleanup, and re-install steps. For example, you might use Freestyle to create a workflow that goes something like this:
- Run a script using hubcli to notify the user that the process is starting.
- Run an uninstall script to remove the anti-malware solution completely and cleanly.
- Run a script that uses hubcli to uninstall any configuration profile relating to the old anti-malware solution.
- Install a profile containing any configuration parameters relating to the new anti-malware solution.
- Install the new anti-malware application.
- Run a script that validates the installation and checks that signature files are up to date.
- Run a script using hubcli to notify the user that the process completed.
As you can see, Freestyle Orchestrator provides the necessary sequencing to ensure there are no application conflicts. Also, the flexibility of the workflow allows admins to provide transparency to the user about maintenance occurring on their devices. Taking this a step further, admins could also leverage a step-by-step workflow to deliver OS updates to devices (particularly Intel-based Macs).
Again, we’ve outlined just a couple of ways Mac admins can use Freestyle Orchestrator to automate typical tasks that would normally be time-consuming, leaving effective IT personnel free to be more tactical in their approach to IT management. This is the goal of this innovative new functionality – to free IT up to handle more complicated, more important things than onboarding devices or installing apps.
- Visit the Freestyle Orchestrator website
- Digital Workspace Tech Zone Podcast – What is Freestyle Orchestrator?
- What is Freestyle Orchestrator? – VMware Docs
- Freestyle Orchestrator Overview – YouTube Video
- VMworld 2020 Workspace ONE Freestyle Orchestrator Demo – YouTube Quick Demo Video
- Getting Started with Freestyle Orchestrator Tech Preview – TechZone
- Getting Started with Freestyle Orchestrator – VMware Docs
- Contact us about getting started with Freestyle Orchestrator