Cloud Hosted Mac® Management

By Natalie Bluhm Posted May 27, 2018

Cloud Hosted Mac Management

The time has come for IT admins to adopt cloud hosted Mac® management solutions. Why? Because Mac systems are flooding the enterprise in droves, with many Fortune 500 companies deploying thousands. Using any old Mac management solution isn’t enough, though. It needs to be hosted in the cloud because IT organizations want to take advantage of the cost savings, productivity, and efficiencies that the cloud has to offer.

The good news is that a cloud hosted Mac management solution exists, and it’s called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®. In fact, JumpCloud’s system management capabilities rival what many are used to with Windows systems and legacy solutions like Microsoft® Active Directory® and System Center Configuration Manager® (SCCM). So, let’s examine these rival solutions a little bit more closely before we discuss JumpCloud any further. Doing so will illuminate their weaknesses and the benefits IT admins gain by leveraging Mac management from the cloud with our cloud-based directory service.

The Start of System Management

old office

As most in IT know, Macs actually have a notorious reputation for being difficult to manage. However, this is largely due to the leading system and user management platforms in place at most organizations – Active Directory and SCCM.

When both of these solutions emerged in the 1990’s, Microsoft Windows® was, of course, the most dominant desktop operating system (OS) and platform in the 1990s and 2000s. Microsoft wanted to keep their dominance in the desktop OS market, so they built AD and SCCM to work best with Windows systems. These IT tools worked very well, and when it came to managing fleets of Windows machines, Active Directory and SCCM made life a whole lot easier for IT admins.

As a result, IT admins encouraged (or even required) end users to use Windows machines and applications. Fast forward to the mid 2000’s and most companies were using almost all Windows products with Active Directory and SCCM managing them in the background.  

Mac Resurgence Introduces Challenges

Mac worker

But, over time, Macs started to become more popular. We can attribute the resurgence to form factor, design, ease of use, and the iPhone. All of these factors helped Macs infiltrate the enterprise. Microsoft didn’t create their solutions to work well with competing platforms, so when Macs initially entered organizations, IT admins just let them be. End users were responsible for managing their systems. Macs weren’t connected to the domain or Active Directory, and they weren’t a part of any management solution. All of this meant that the end user was in charge of making sure it was up-to-date and secure.

Now, with Macs making up a large percentage of the overall IT infrastructure, the BYOD or unmanaged approach doesn’t work. IT admins want to actively manage and control their Mac fleet. Unfortunately, the most popular IT management tools such as AD and SCCM aren’t really tailored to Macs. So, finding Mac management solutions became important. But, it’s no longer enough to have one tool managing Macs, another to manage Windows, and a third to manage Linux systems. IT admins want a cloud hosted IT management solution that solves the problem for Macs, Windows, and Linux® all in one platform. A cross platform system management solution only solves half of IT’s problems. Any cloud hosted solution also needs to centralize user management across all IT resources.  

JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service happens to offer a solution just like that. Think of JumpCloud as a a reimagination of Active Directory for the cloud era and a cross-platform world.

Use JumpCloud for Cloud Hosted Mac Management

mac management jumpcloud

JumpCloud integrates with virtually all of your IT resources, regardless of where they are, who they’re from, and what protocol and platforms they leverage. With one cloud identity management solution, IT organizations can provide users with a single identity that grants them access to systems (Windows, Mac, Linux), legacy and web-based applications, on-prem and virtual file storage, and wired and wireless networks.

Additionally, this cloud hosted Mac management solution provides IT admins with cross platform GPO-like capabilities with features like JumpCloud Commands and Policy Management. The former requires some scripting knowledge, whereas the latter is a point-and-click solution. These features enable IT admins to enforce security policies across their fleet of not just Windows systems, but also Mac and Linux.

Lastly, JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service is completely cloud-based. IT organizations no longer have to be burdened with maintaining, managing, and configuring directory service hardware or software. Instead, they’ll be able to dedicate more time to higher value tasks.

With a modern, heterogenous directory service, IT admins can empower their end users by providing them with access to the best IT resources without sacrificing control, security, and their own productivity.

Next Steps

Learn more about cloud hosted Mac management with JumpCloud by dropping us a note. You can also start testing the cloud based system and user management system by signing up for a free account. Your first ten users are even free forever.

Natalie Bluhm

Natalie is a writer for JumpCloud, an Identity and Access Management solution designed for the cloud era. Natalie graduated with a degree in professional and technical writing, and she loves learning about cloud infrastructure, identity security, and IT protocols.

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