What is the Mac Evaluation Utility tool?

Mac Evaluation Utility is an application Apple built to help organizations integrate Macs more effectively within existing environments.

array of Apple devices

The Mac Evaluation Utility is an Apple tool most people never experience, but it is very useful for IT teams, making it a lot easier to see what they must do with their existing deployments to bring their equipment into compliance.

What is the Mac Evaluation Utility?

Available only to bona fide enterprise IT professionals, Mac Evaluation Utility is an application Apple built to help organizations integrate Macs more effectively within existing environments.

The utility is based on what Apple has learned working with enterprise customers who have deployed large numbers of Macs. Those customers are likely to include IBM, Cisco, SAP, and all the other corporations deploying many thousands of Macs across their business. Apple continues to explore new partnerships and services to extend its reach into these markets.

Who can get the Mac Evaluation Utility?

Apple doesn’t make the utility freely available. To get hold of it you/your company/your solutions integrator must have access to AppleSeed for IT. If you lack access, your Apple reseller should be able to help you get and install it.

What is AppleSeed for IT?

Apple explains that AppleSeed for IT “provides IT professionals and technology managers an opportunity to evaluate pre-release software in your unique work environments.”

The scheme offers approved members access to pre-release Apple software for testing against existing infrastructure. It also offers useful apps, including the always essential Apple Configurator app. To join AppleSeed for IT, you must sign in using your Managed Apple ID from Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager.

What does Mac Evaluation Utility do?

With the help of the app, IT can generate an in-depth report into existing Mac deployment processes. That report explores hundreds of attributes to generate useful insight into what is working and what can be improved. It will check for everything from FileVault status on deployed Macs to network-related tasks, such as ensuring your network is set up to communicate with Apple hosts and servers.

Ensuring your enterprise network does not prevent traffic with Apple’s extensive collection of bona-fide Apple servers — such as those for device activation, time and data, device enrolment, and a host of additional key services — is essential if you’re trying to update Macs within your network security perimeter.

What kind of information can it gather?

Among other things you can learn how to:

  • Optimize network configuration and test Bonjour services.
  • Gain detailed insight into VPNs.
  • Build a device management strategy relevant to your enterprise.
  • Optimize Mac configurations deployed across remote teams.
  • Analyze app security and figure out device integration and user roles.

Why is this information useful?

At its simplest, the utility will help you figure out how your Mac deployments are being used and managed now, how to optimize such use, and also gain insight into where in your company a Mac might make a difference and how to approach mass deployment.

The report helps shed light on current and potential problems, exposes potential benefits, and helps recognize and optimize existing Mac deployments across your business. It’s a complex report that is best considered with help from an experienced Apple solutions provider, whom you may already be working with to run the utility in the first place. The utility will generate a PDF report gathering its insights.

What can I do with this information?

The idea is that generating the report helps IT improve Mac deployments. That’s helpful because getting the deployment process right early is essential to successfully manage larger scale deployments later.

It is important to note that the utility doesn’t actually make any changes itself — it simply highlights areas in which you can improve deployment — but the information it brings can dramatically accelerate even the most complex Mac integration projects.

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Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

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