One of the handiest tools in the IT administrator’s tool belt for Windows systems is the group policy object (GPO). Admins can apply GPOs to their system fleets to manage configurations and security settings en masse. Unfortunately, creating new GPOs can sometimes be tedious and time consuming, making them difficult to incorporate into a fast-paced environment. That’s why the concept of point-and-click GPOs provides benefits to IT organizations.
Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD) GPOs provide essential Windows system management properties to the organizations that use them and have for decades. Unfortunately, it seems like Microsoft has yet to bring the technology up to the standards of the modern era.
For starters, AD GPOs are generally limited to Windows systems. As today’s organizations continue to adopt Mac®, Linux®, and mobile devices, admins need to purchase and implement extra tooling to manage them. These solutions create quite a barrier for entry compared to just using AD to do the trick, requiring additional configuration and vendor relations to ensure that systems are supported and secured.
In addition to limited OS support, admins must manage their AD GPOs through the outdated GPO Editor. For reference, the editor’s UI looks like this:
Although familiar for some admins, the GPO Editor can be technically demanding for those that haven’t used the tool before. Unlike many of the SaaS-based management tools offered today, GPO Editor lacks a slick, user-forward interface that admins can click through with ease.
If you struggle to easily apply GPOs across a heterogeneous system fleet, now is the time to reconsider your options. Organizations can leverage pre-configured Policies through a cloud directory service to remotely manage Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. These point-and-click, GPO-like alternatives rely on the cloud to control:
These are only a selection of JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® Policies; see them all here.
Beyond Policies, admins can use Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS) to push commands to remote systems as well, either using premade and customizable scripts or instead writing their own scripts to fine-tune system control. Additionally, the JumpCloud PowerShell Module and API provide even more flexibility into how admins control their cloud directory service.
Directory-as-a-Service provides centralized identity access control and device management from one platform in the cloud. Give DaaS a try for free, with up to 10 users and systems at your disposal, and ten days of premium implementation support to get you started.