GUI Interfaces for ASR Multicast
For administrators who prefer GUI management tools to the command line, there are two free options for ASR's multicast functions. The first, Proton Pack Server, was developed by Scott Barber, an engineer at Apple. It acts as a front-end for the Mac hosting the image being deployed. Proton Pack generates a temporary configuration file on the fly, allowing administrators to simply drag a scanned ASR image into the application, select the bandwidth of their network, and easily start and stop the multicast session. Proton Pack does not address workstations to which the image will be deployed, however.
The second option is feature-rich NetRestore by Mike Bombich. Net Restore has been a widely used front-end to ASR since Mac OS X 10.2 was released and provides a GUI front-end for the computer on which the image will be deployed. NetRestore also includes features for processing post-deployment actions, including the ability to designate computer names and to run post-deployment scripts automatically. Also included is NetRestore Helper, a tool for automatically booting Macs from a NetInstall image specially designed to run NetRestore without needing to boot to an external hard drive, install CD/DVD, or full NetBoot image.