Auth Mac® Systems with Azure® AD

Written by Ryan Squires on April 21, 2019

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How do you auth Mac® systems with Azure® AD? Well, you could configure multiple software solutions together to reach the desired goal. Thankfully, however, there is a next-generation cloud identity provider that is making it easy to use one set of credentials for both Azure® AD and your Mac®. If that sounds like something you want to do, keep reading to find out how.

Azure AD: Made by and for Microsoft

Azure Active Directory was created as a complement to the on-prem Microsoft® Active Directory® platform. As Microsoft built their cloud infrastructure service, Azure, a core part of the platform was a user management system to manage identities and access their library of cloud services like Office 365™. Of course, Microsoft wanted to integrate this with their on-prem identity provider, Active Directory, to make it easier on their customers.

So, while their goal was to make it easier to manage identities for Microsoft-centric products, they weren’t focused on extending that ability to non-Windows® IT resources. Why would they want customers to leverage non-Microsoft solutions, after all?

Rather, Microsoft would shift many of their on-prem customers to cloud solutions such as Office 365™ and Azure, and their cloud identity management solution was created to help them accomplish that mission. But, for IT organizations that are running mixed-platform environments with macOS® and Linux systems®, AWS® cloud servers, DevOps applications (LDAP authentication) and web applications, non-Windows file servers, and more, the all-Microsoft identity and access management approach became limiting.

Trouble with Mac Auth and Azure AD

As it pertains to Macs, not only have IT organizations struggled with Active Directory, but they are now struggling with Azure AD as well. Managing Mac user accounts, authentication, and the systems themselves has traditionally been challenging with Active Directory and is even harder with Azure Active Directory because it isn’t a full-fledged directory service, but rather a user management platform for Azure. What IT organizations really need is an open directory service that connects to a wider range of IT resources.

The result is that for organizations that have mixed-platform environments, a new generation of identity provider called Directory-as-a-Service® is enabling end users to use one set of credentials for Azure AD and their Macs alongside their other IT resources regardless of platform, protocol, and location. That means Windows, macOS®, and Linux® systems, web applications on-prem and in the cloud, virtual and on-prem file servers, cloud infrastructure via SSH keys, and networks via RADIUS are all accessible with one set of credentials.

Learn More About JumpCloud®

If you’re stuck trying to auth Macs with Azure AD and are looking for a solution that can support all of you non-Windows devices, sign up for a JumpCloud account today. When you sign up for the free version of our account you get instant access to the entirety of JumpCloud. Plus, we throw in the ability to manage up to 10 users at no cost to you—ever. If you need some assistance getting your account up and running, contact a product expert today or visit our Knowledge Base.

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