The Great Linux Management Myth

Written by Rajat Bhargava on June 10, 2016

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Linux devices need to be managed as closely as other platforms. Too often, Linux management falls to the wayside because of the incorrect assumption that they “aren’t really part of the ‘IT network’.” It is true that Linux machines are used in a relatively unique way. Developers and people working on production infrastructure use them. It is false, however, to assume that because of this it is unnecessary to rotate log files or patch systems. As with any other device, ensuring proper authorization and system functionality is critical.

Linux Devices – Estranged From The Herd

Frequently, organizations choose to manage their Linux devices separately. Because these machines are leveraged for specific back-end purposes, it is widely believed that they should be handled differently. Cron is an oft-used utility in the Linux environment. Linux devices are so flexible that some IT admins feel that they can just script a solution to virtually any problem that arises. Linux device management can be done easily via Cron. IT admins are facing serious problems as the above described practice persists within a number of organizations.  And it turns out, Cron is difficult to use, troubleshoot, and to report on.

When developers manage their own Linux devices, the IT organization will be unable to access those devices. Similarly, devices in production environments typically are managed by ops who do a considerable amount of scripting and programming. Again, in these situations, the IT organization does not have access as the ops frequently leverage configuration management solutions like Chef or Puppet. In either case, there is no central system for managing the Linux devices alongside the Windows and Mac machines in the rest of the organization’s infrastructure.

Playing Well With Others

Device management begins with user access and Linux devices are no exception. In the case of  IT or ops controlling user access, systems can be put in place with less scripting and be monitored more easily. The results, too, can be reported much more efficiently and easily than with the use of Cron.

JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service® is fundamentally a Linux user authentication and device management platform. DaaS controls who can access to your Linux devices and how – whether they need SSH keys, have psuedo access, or any other credentials.

Through a low-impact client on each device, JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service can execute tasks and commands on each  device with relative ease. Tasks can be written in any language supported by the Linux device and JumpCloud’s command execution framework provides full audit reporting and logging of the tasks.

Like A Boss

If you would like to manage your Linux devices much like you have control over your Windows or Mac devices, check out JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service solution. You can give it a try for free. Your first ten users are free as well!

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