By Jon Griffin Posted November 9, 2017
Many IT management solutions are shifting to the as a service model. You can see this change in the ever-rising popularity of solutions of G Suite, Salesforce, Dropbox, and AWS. But the SaaS model continues to expand to new IT resources. Event management, logging, security, and others are gaining a foothold in the as a service realm. One area that has lagged in this trend however has been directory services. Only recently have cloud IAM solutions that can act as a unified directory started to appear – and these tools essentially offer a platform for Mac user management as a service.
The Old Directory Solution
Traditionally, directory services solutions have been delivered on-prem and controlled by internal IT teams. The level of effort it can take to securely manage identities in a complex IT environment though can be significant. There is hardware and software to manage. Security and high availability are critical to operations. There is also the manual management of the software and the day-to-day work of connecting users to systems, applications, file servers, networks, and much more. It’s certainly no small feat.
In this old, on-prem world, the directory services solution of choice was a Microsoft Windows-based solution called Active Directory®. AD became hugely popular in the 2000s due to the control it offered over the office for on-prem and Microsoft specific solutions. At a time when everything in the office fit that description, it made sense. As time has gone on, AD has continued its dominance despite weak support of non-Windows platforms such as Mac and Linux. Because AD is an on-prem solution, it also struggles with cloud infrastructure. With both cross platform environments and cloud infrastructure taking off in the enterprise, this problem will only get worse.
Addressing the Challenges of AD
With the challenges of cross platform and cloud infrastructure, makeshift solutions that fill in the gaps for Active Directory have appeared. Many services have created tools and solutions that help IT admins solve some of these challenges. For example, one tool that started to appear on the market was the directory extension. These on-prem solutions could extend Active Directory to Mac and Linux devices, allowing IT to gain a little bit more control over the enterprise. The challenge, of course, was that IT now had to handle yet another set of IT management solutions.
With the move to the cloud and SaaS-based solutions in a number of categories, IT admins started to yearn for a complete identity management as a service solution. Recently, an innovative cloud identity management platform called Directory-as-a-Service® (DaaS) has started to do exactly that – provide identity-as-a-service from the cloud. Directory-as-a-Service is the first fully-featured cloud directory, which of course includes Mac user and system management, delivered as a service. Traditionally, IDaaS platforms have only focused on web applications, essentially just making them SSO providers. But this modern IDaaS platform is a much broader solution. As a virtual identity provider, DaaS securely manages and connects user identities to the IT resources those users need regardless of platform, protocol, provider, or location. More specifically, the next generation directory service seamlessly manages user access on Mac devices.
Mac User Management as a Service
With a cloud-based directory that is built for the cross platform IT environment, managing Macs (and Linux machines) truly becomes a much easier process. If you would like to learn more about how you can simplify your workflows with Mac user management as a service, reach out to us. We would be happy to answer any questions on the topic. Alternatively, you can try our innovative centralized directory for yourself. That way, you can see for yourself how easy Mac user management can be. Sign up for a free account today!