While historically considered a more consumer-focused solution, Mac hardware has been gaining traction in the enterprise. A primary reason has been the rise of employee device choice in the workplace.
Windows-based business-critical applications, peripherals and web applications that previously blocked the uptake of Mac hardware are now easily accessible thanks to technologies such as VMware Fusion®. For department-based deployments of Macs, employee- and contractor-owned Macs, and even Apple Employee Choice, deploying Windows on a Mac with Fusion opens the door to an easier, less complex way of delivering your existing Windows application portfolio to macOS.
But there also exists the use case of web and mobile application developers, who typically need access to platform-specific development tools. In the case of Apple platforms (iOS, tvOS and macOS), most of the development tools only run within macOS and can only be tested on macOS. As Apple’s EULA requires virtual instances of macOS (which can be used for one-off testing) to run on Apple hardware, Fusion can provide a critical virtualization capability for efficient dev/test workflows and Microsoft application compatibility (such as Visual Studio and Office Add-ins) without the need for multiple devices.
Employees new to the workforce have put pressure on hiring organizations to offer Mac hardware in place of traditional Windowsbased hardware. As a result, some organizations have looked to virtualization—running Windows on a Mac—to solve application compatibility challenges.
Software deployment challenges
The mass deployment of a fully configured operating system (OS) image was historically a difficult task. Image testing and creation take a great deal of time, and the image gets quickly outdated as software and configuration setting standards change. From this perspective, Apple made a shift away from supporting monolithic imaging workflows toward advocating modern management using a build-ondemand workflow.
In a modern management workflow, administrators start with a vanilla (unmodified) OS delivered from the factory or recovery partition, then transform the OS to the current standard after enrollment with a device management system, such as VMware Workspace ONE®. In the modern management age, the components supporting virtualization on macOS become just another component delivered to the device as part of the deployment workflow.
This guide focuses on tools and management systems used for mass deploying an application in macOS. It then moves on to explain how to deploy VMware Fusion with VMware Workspace ONE Unified Endpoint Management (UEM), followed by a brief explanation on how to deploy a Windows-based virtual machine (VM) and various aspects used to manage the actual VM. Finally, the appendix covers a broad blueprint that an administrator could use to help build a deployment workflow in a non-VMware device management tool.