By Rajat Bhargava Posted April 23, 2015
We at JumpCloud know how difficult it can be to manage users in a large organization. Issues arise when adding and removing accounts, controlling who can get to what, and with the day-to-day maintenance of your users’ accounts.
SysAdmins who work for colleges have an especially complicated task. Nowhere else are these issues as compounded as they are in the realm of higher-education.
Provisioning and Deprovisioning
The world is always spinning and so inevitably new users come in and leave. But for most SysAdmins, it is on a relatively infrequent basis. You expect turnover in the single digits monthly, so you might need to add a new user every few days.
A SysAdmin in the college realm, however, sees these accounts come in floods. Every semester you can expect to turn over about 25% of your accounts — both adding new ones and deleting old ones. Oh and by the way, this is all concentrated in just a few days time.
Controlling User Access
In a normal industry, you expect your users to maintain about the same access across the entire time they’re with you. A developer needs access to certain machines, your HR reps have a different set of access rights, and so on. Some change occurs, sure, but it’s minimal.
A student’s needs vary wildly from semester to semester. They take writing courses one semester, so they need access to your liberal arts’ computer lab. The next, they’re in a computer science course, so they require unix cluster access. Every semester they need to have new rights added and old rights removed.
Managing Individual Accounts
Students are notoriously bad at managing their own passwords. With a large student base, do you want them to have to come to your office and have their passwords reset manually? This just doesn’t scale well.
An already inefficient system will be exacerbated because students’ issues tend to cluster toward the end of the semester and in the middle of the night. These are problems your peers at enterprise companies just don’t face.