macOS & iOS IT Tool List

This list is based on questions that I have been asked by various IT admins.

It is more of a collection of tools (mainly software, but a few hardware tools too) that Enterprise IT Teams might find useful while supporting/managing Macs & iPhones in the enterprise. Some of the tools are free, while others are paid. Also, it is not necessary that all the tools will be required. Of course, some tools are not meant for troubleshooting but provide a service themselves.

The below list is not an endorsement or recommendation of any of the products mentioned. These are just some of the products I have come across. You may have to do your own research to see which tool fits your organisation’s needs. The author is not responsible for any damages or loss of data that might occur from usage of these tools.

*This list is not a complete list but an ongoing project. Feel free to share your comments on tools that you may have used & I will add them to this list.

DEPLOYMENT

DeployStudio

Munki

macOS Server – NetInstall Service. To be used along with System image Utility

PACKAGE MANAGEMENT

Iceberg

pkgbuild

Suspicious Package

REMOTE MANAGEMENT

RealVNC

TeamViewer

Apple Remote Desktop

LogMeIn

BACKUPS

macOS Server – Time Machine Service

Retrospect

Carbon Copy Cloner

Chronosync

Crash Plan

DEVICE MANAGEMENT

Centrify

JAMF Casper Suite

AirWatch

Mobile Iron

macOS Server – Profile Manager Service

Apple Configurator 2

Heat LANRev

Cisco Meraki

filewave

Absolute Software

BoxTone

Maas 360 – IBM

Tangoe

Lightspeed Systems

VIRTUALIZATION

Parallels Desktop

VMWare Fusion

Oracle VirtualBox

DISK MANAGEMENT

Tuxera

Disk Drill

APPLE APPLICATIONS FOR THIRD PARTY OS

iTunes

iCloud Control Panel

Move to iOS from Android

Migration Assistant

AUTOMATION

Workflow for iOS

Automator – Built in app for creating Workflows.

AppleScript

Command Line Script

NETWORK TROUBLESHOOTING

iNetTools

Network Diagnostics

Network Ping

Wireshark

DISPLAY

Air Squirrel

SYSTEM TROUBLESHOOTING

Install Disk – I will be talking about how to create a multi-OS install disk in a later article.

SOFTWARE MANAGEMENT

macOS Server – Caching Service

Reposado

AutoPKG

Munki

HARDWARE

Thunderbolt 1,2,3 Cables
Thunderbolt 1,2
USB-C Cable

FireWire 400/800 Cables

Portable disk with macOS installed on it. Not the same as install disk. Its an external bootable hard drive with the OS installed on it. You can plug this into any Mac & boot from the external HDD.

VGA to MiniDisplay adapter

HDMI to HDMI Cable

Thunderbolt Ethernet Bridge

USB Ethernet Bridge

Adapters for the different ports supported by Macs & iPhones

Lightning Cables

OS X and iOS troubleshooters toolkit

This article covers some of the things troubleshooters would need during their everyday work. I’ve also listed links to some products and applications as an example. It is by no means an endorsement of the same.

OS X Install Disk: This is probably one of the most important tool that a troubleshooter must carry around with him/her. Ideally it would be one disk with multiple versions, each corresponding to a specific version of the OS. Exactly how many versions depends on the situation, for example one can have all instances of the present and previous 2 versions of the OS (For example OS X Mavericks 10.9, 10.9.1, 10.9.2, 10.9.3, 10.9.4, 10.9.5 OS X Yosemite 10.10, 10.10.1, 10.10.2, 10.10.3, 10.10.4, 10.10.5 OS X El Capitan 10.11, 10.11.1)

Thunderbolt & FireWire Cables: These come in handy when it comes to transferring data. These cables  are necessary when you wish to  perform target disk mode troubleshooting. Make sure you have the correct version of the cable.

http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MD862LL/A/apple-thunderbolt-cable-05-m

Portable Storage Device: Along with the cables mentioned earlier having a portable storage device with a large capacity is useful. Mainly when it comes to taking a back up. The user may or may not have a storage device available for this. (Ideally, taking a backup of the data should be done by the user on his/her own storage device.)

http://www.lacie.com/as/en/products/mobile-storage/rugged-thunderbolt/

http://www.apple.com/shop/product/HE154VC/A/promise-pegasus2-r8-24tb-8-by-3tb-thunderbolt-2-raid-system

http://www.promise.com/Products/Pegasus

Internet access via USB Dongle: Yet another important tool. Application & OS upgrades require internet access. This will also come in handy when you are trying to perform network troubleshooting. Make sure there is sufficient data available for upload/download. Optionally one can carry multiple Internet dongles from different vendors.

Portable Power Bank: This is more useful for portable devices. Carry one with a large capacity, enough for multiple recharges or charging multiple devices.

Display adapters: Necessary to troubleshoot when the main display isn’t working or to heck the display ports. Carry all combinations HDMI to VGA, MiniDisplay to VGA, MiniDisplay to HDMI, HDMI to HDMI and any others depending on the device to be connected to.

http://www.apple.com/shop/product/H9139VC/B/kanex-atv-pro-x-hdmi-to-vga-adapter-with-audio-support

http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MB572Z/B/mini-displayport-to-vga-adapter

Secondary Display: This might not be practical as displays tend to be very large and not necessarily portable. However, one can carry a small pocket projector. A secondary display is always handy as it reduces dependency on the user/client to provide one.

Power adapters: Not strictly required but can come in handy. Useful for checking if the user’s power cord is functioning properly. Make sure you carry all the different versions of the power cords.

Lightning & 30 pin cables: Again not strictly necessary but would be useful for checking if the user’s power cord is functioning properly. Make sure you carry all the different versions of the power cords.

MacBook Pro &/or iPad: Carrying your own Mac & iPhone/iPad is very important. Load these devices with various tools required to diagnose and/or fix issues.

https://itunes.apple.com/in/app/inettools-network-diagnose/id561659975?mt=8

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/inet-network-scanner/id340793353?mt=8

Disk Drill: http://data-recovery-software-review.toptenreviews.com/mac-recovery-software/mobile/disk-drill-pro-review.html

Airport Utility: https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1664

Airport Utility: AirPort Utility by Apple

https://appsto.re/in/YJ7Dz.i