Data Telemetry Across Mac, Windows, & Linux

By Zach DeMeyer Posted January 27, 2020

Data is one of the most important resources for modern enterprises. With the proper data, organizations can make informed decisions and advance their company goals. For IT departments, having the right data points could mean the difference between smooth sailing and a security breach. That’s why IT admins should seek out a solution to reap data telemetry across Mac®, Windows®, and Linux®.

Why Cross-OS System Data is Important

Modern IT is fast moving, everchanging, and heterogenous. Few of today’s offices consist of clunky Windows desktops in cramped cubicles. Instead, the average office features laptops with a blend of operating systems, usable anywhere with a WiFi network. In fact, many organizations have global employee bases, and the number of remote workers is at an all-time high.

Regardless of an employee’s location, however, one thing is certain: the system is an employee’s gateway to all of their IT resources. Although much of today’s work can be web-based, everyone still needs their workstation to access a web browser. As such, monitoring that system’s operation is key to both security and productivity. This practice includes tracking system performance, battery life, OS version, browser stats, etc.

So, with that in mind, let’s evaluate cross-OS system data telemetry solutions.

Finding the Right Solution

There are several options that IT organizations can consider for acquiring system telemetry data across all three major OSs.

Manual Management

With physical access to a system, IT admins can manually monitor individual systems to find out crucial operations information. This practice is clearly time consuming and tedious, especially for large organizations with hundreds to thousands of systems. But, for IT departments that only have a handful of computers to keep track of, manual management is the cheapest option.

SIEM

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solutions are fully comprehensive enterprise data acquisition tools. SIEM suites are often split into smaller parts, including data aggregators, analysis tooling, and a reporting module to deliver precisely what information an admin or CISO needs. As such, SIEM solutions are often convenient to use since many of their actions are automated. Organizations can monitor most of the information they need with just a few clicks in the SIEM console.

In order to acquire data telemetry for systems, however, a SIEM solution requires some form of agent or other daemon installed directly onto the endpoint to collect data to send to the SIEM’s aggregators. Some SIEMs feature their own proprietary agents, but others require additional tooling, such as a configuration management or endpoint protection solution.

Although SIEMs provide a wealth of data to an organization, they often come with steeper costs than other solutions. For large enterprises, these costs are probably well worth the return of functionality and time savings compared to other methods. Smaller organizations, on the other hand, will need to find another option.

Cloud Directory Service

A cloud directory service provides complete cloud-based identity management. It securely connects user identities to virtually all of their IT resources, including Mac, Windows, and Linux systems. Organizations can use a cloud directory service to collect key system data across their system fleets, regardless of their OS.

This feature, called System Insights™, enables IT admins to query their systems for dozens of critical data points, finding OS versions, browser extensions, battery life, storage space, and more with just a few clicks. That way, IT organizations of all sizes can gain insight into their cross-OS systems’ operation, efficiency, and security, all from a single cloud console.

Try System Insights

If you need data telemetry across your Mac, Windows, and Linux fleets, check out System Insights today. Interested in learning more? Our System Insights blog features a run down of what all System Insights can do for your organization.

Zach DeMeyer

Zach is a writer and researcher for JumpCloud with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He loves being on the cutting edge of new technology, and when he's not working, he enjoys all things outdoors, making music, and soccer.

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