Tag: MAU Caching Server

Cleanup options added to MAUCacheAdmin

Microsoft AutoUpdate 4For years I have been manually cleaning up old packages on my Microsoft AutoUpdate caching server. Since I was having to manually move around collateral files for the Manifest Server component each month it wasn’t much extra work.

However now that I have switched from a custom Manifest Server to Microsoft’s official curated deferral channels, I wanted to configure my caching server to be completely hands-off.

Spurred on by a request on GitHub I decided to finally write some code to automate the cleanup process. The changes were merged into MAUCacheAdmin back on November 30. Read on for the details.

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Microsoft now provides curated deferral channels for AutoUpdate

Microsoft’s Paul Bowden announced on Tuesday at Virtual JNUC 2021 that the company is now providing additional update channels that support deferring updates for periods of time and even pausing updates on specific versions of Microsoft Office for Mac.

While these new options were announced at JNUC and Jamf Pro has native support for configuring them, MacAdmins who use a different MDM can also utilize them with custom configuration profiles right away.

I reached out to Paul for more details and clarification on these exciting new options. Read on for the details.

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MAUCacheAdmin has been updated to version 3.0

MAUCacheAdmin was updated to version 3.0 this afternoon to account for a change in the CDN infrastructure that serves Microsoft Office for Mac updates. As was reported in the #microsoft-autoupdate channel of the MacAdmins Slack yesterday, version 2.9 was marking every package as corrupt and re-downloading them all on each run.

From Paul Bowden’s commit notes:

In the October 2021 update, Microsoft moved to a new CDN namespace (officecdnmac.microsoft.com) which supports HTTP/2

However, the previous version of MAUCacheAdmin relied on the HTTP/1.1 ‘Content-Length’ header – which is all lowercase in HTTP/2

1. Changed awk search to grep -i as it’s still possible for the new CDN to emit a HTTP/1.1 response in some cases
2. Changed main URL definitions to new namespace of officecdnmac.microsoft.com

Also fixed up a few other problems:
* Removed MAU 3.x definition
* Added 365/2021 to existing 2019 title (visual change only)
* Updated copyright year

MacAdmins who run a MAU Manifest and/or Caching server should update to the latest version of the code to prevent these looping downloads.

Microsoft Teams notifications from MAU Caching Server

Back in February I wrote about Automating MAU Caching Server with Slack Notifications and it has been working great. Earlier this week a request was made on Github to add support for sending notifications to Microsoft Teams.

We don’t use Teams here at work but a quick search showed it supports messages via an incoming webhook, just like Slack, so I decided it give it a try. It didn’t take long to adjust the code and after realizing I could create a Teams workspace for free I got it tested in short order.

Paul Bowden merged my pull request so if you’d like to take advantage just grab version 2.6 of the MAUCacheAdmin script. If you are interested in the details read on.

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Automating MAU Caching Server with Slack Notifications

SlackIn the past I have always run MAUCacheAdmin manually. Microsoft Office updates are usually only released once per month so it is easy to know when another run is needed. Plus with no built-in way to move collateral files into the appropriate place automated downloads won’t automatically make updates available for clients.

However with more and more applications becoming Microsoft AutoUpdate (MAU) aware, and out-of-bound patches being released, I decided it was time to automate the checks and downloads to my MAU Caching Server. This is easy enough to accomplish with a LaunchDaemon but I still needed a way to be notified when MAUCacheAdmin found updated packages to download so that I could move the collateral files into place.

I decided to see if I could add Slack notifications and when I began to dig in was pleasantly surprised to see that Microsoft’s Paul Bowden had already coded HipChat notifications. Using that as a base it turned out to be much simpler than I expected to get it working with Slack. Read on for the details.

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Customizing Microsoft Office versions served by an MAU Caching Server

I have been running a Microsoft AutoUpdate (MAU) Caching Server for a couple years now and have always allowed it to download and serve everything, even applications we don’t use. My thinking was that I’d rather have something and not need it, than need it and not have it.

This has never been an issue for older products like Office 2011 and Lync (or even current products like Company Portal and Skype for Business) because combined they are only around 500 MB. The fact that Office 2011 and Lync are no longer receiving updates means the bits on disk haven’t changed in over a year and don’t need to be downloaded with each run of MAUCacheAdmin.

However things changed with the release of Office 2019 last fall. While Office 2011 is no longer being maintained, Office 2016 will continue receiving security updates until October 2020. If you have already transitioned to Office 2019 this means that MAUCacheAdmin will continue to download almost 6 GB of installers and updaters every month that you don’t need.

Thankfully it is easy to customize this behavior so read on if you’d like the details.

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A hybrid approach to managing Microsoft Office updates

Most MacAdmins take an either/or approach to managing updates for Microsoft Office on macOS, utilizing either Microsoft AutoUpdate (MAU) or Munki. However I’ve found that a hybrid approach using both works best for us.

I’ve shared my setup severals times on the MacAdmins Slack, most recently in a direct message, so I wanted to provide more details here. Read on if you are interested in how I’m keeping Office up-to-date and providing for new installs.

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Microsoft AutoUpdate Caching Server Options & Behavior

I’ve been using an internal Microsoft AutoUpdate (MAU) Caching Server here at the newspaper since shortly after it was announced by Paul Bowden last year. I helped explain the various configuration options available last night in the #microsoft-office channel of the MacAdmins Slack and wanted to expand on them with a more detailed article.

There are three different ways the MAU Caching Server can be configured. If you are interested in learning the differences of those options please read on.

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