By Vince Lujan Posted March 23, 2018
Macs® have become a popular enterprise system alternative in recent years. Whether that be from BYOD policies, ease of use, or any other reason – the fact is that Macs are here to stay. The challenge is that IT admins have been sorely lacking effective enterprise Mac management tools. Fortunately, the JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® platform has emerged to change that. First, however, we should talk about the traditional challenges with Mac management.
Mac Management Challenges
To fully manage a fleet of Macs, IT admins need complete control for both Mac users and systems. The issue is that, as mentioned, traditional Mac management tools have been sorely lacking. Of course, there are a number of reasons why this is the case, but it really comes down to the fact that managing Mac users and systems have historically required separate solutions that are often adjunct to an on-prem identity management system.
For example, some players in the field have focused on Mac system management, but left the user management issue to be solved by another solution. Other solutions such as Apple Open Directory handle the user management piece, but leave the system management piece to be solved by another solution. Some Mac management solutions are even designed to complement Microsoft® management platforms like Active Directory® (AD).
As you can see, there are a number of issues to consider when thinking about Mac management. To add fuel to the fire, most organizations are also not completely Mac, but have Windows® and Linux® systems too. So, even if there was a standard Mac management solution, it would still only solve part of the problem for IT admins managing modern system environments.
Modern Mac Management Requirements
All of the issues previously noted are important for IT admins to consider. However, it is perhaps even more important to consider how the solution will fit into your overall environment now and into the future. A list of requirements for Mac management capabilities for modern IT networks might look like the following:
- Cloud-delivered – most IT organizations are moving their IT management tools to the cloud. As more of an organization’s infrastructure moves to the cloud, building more capabilities on-prem doesn’t make a lot of sense.
- User management – perhaps the most forgotten area of Mac management, but one of the most critical. As IT admins move away from Active Directory and Apple Open Directory becomes obsolete, this is an important area to consider.
- Systems management –Mac automation and security is critical, so a centralized approach to managing the entire fleet is critical. Issues to manage include ensuring security settings, automating control, and executing tasks on the Mac.
- Cross-platform – while the focus is Mac management, most IT organizations have more than Macs to manage. A solution that can manage all three major platforms is critical.
The good news is that a new generation of Mac management tools is available that fits the bill. This solution is the reimagination of Active Directory for the modern era, which includes managing Mac users and the systems themselves. This solution, called JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service, is delivered from the cloud and manages more than just Macs.
Mac Management and More
JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service is a next-generation cloud directory services platform that securely manages and connects users to their systems, applications, files, and networks. Mac management is a core feature of the JumpCloud platform, which enables IT admins to manage Mac users and systems from one central location in the cloud. The JumpCloud platform even goes so far as to provide group-based policy management capabilities that enable IT admins to manage system policies in cross-platform environments (e.g., Mac, Linux, Windows) with JumpCloud Policies. The end result is a dream come true for IT admins. In other words, they can finally leverage one solution that can not only manage Mac users and systems, but connect users to virtually any IT resource from one pane of glass. Sound too good to be true?
Learn More About Mac Management with JumpCloud
Check out our whiteboard presentation for more information about managing systems with JumpCloud. You can also contact JumpCloud, schedule a demo, or sign up for a Directory-as-a-Service account to learn more about Mac management and to discover additional use cases. Your first ten users are free forever to help you explore the full functionality of our platform for as long as you see fit. We don’t even require a credit card to get started. Check out the JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service platform today!