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I am the go-to support for whole lot of iOS devices in my family and have previously used Apple Configurator to apply new settings (such as VPN, email accounts, certificates) to new and existing devices.

I find this very cumbersome as it requires me to physically connect to each device and add/replace a profile. Therefore I want to replace my current solution and of course I thought of OSX Server (Server.app) first. Unfortunately the only "stationary computer" I could run an MDM solution on is a FreeNAS system – only mobile Macs here.

So the first question is, whether or not it is advisable to run Server's Profile Manager from a MacBook that is not always used from inside the same network, which has basically been answered as "not advisable" by this SX answer.

From that derives the second question: What is the easiest-to-handle MDM solution for managing not hundreds but tens of iOS devices? I figure that most MDM software is highly focused on enterprise-grade device numbers and management necessities. The only features I actually need is pushing profiles containing VPN, Email account and certificate.


tl;dr: What is the easiest-to-handle MDM solution for managing a bunch of iOS devices without using Apple Configurator?

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Okay by now I figured out a way around the issue. My solution is to rebuild my FreeNAS server into an ESXi Hypervisor, which is capable of running OSX Server in a virtual machine. IMHO that creates quite a big overhead over running an MDM solution from a FreeBSD jail but it gives me a "native" Apple MDM, and the added ability to run other OSes in top of the ESXi aswell.

I see that this is not a generally applicable solution as it requires a server machine capable of running ESXi and a little bit of luck to get OSX to run on virtualized non-Mac hardware. But it works here so I mark this one answered.

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