macOS® Endpoint Management

Written by Ryan Squires on October 4, 2018

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As macOS systems make tremendous inroads into organizations of all sizes, IT admins are wondering what the best ways to manage those users and systems are. Traditionally, endpoint management systems have focused on the Microsoft® Windows® platform, but with more and more macOS systems making their way into organizations, is there a macOS endpoint management solution worth using?

Macs in a Windows World

apple vs microsoft

Historically, IT admins have leveraged the Microsoft IT management solutions Active Directory and SCCM. Of course, these solutions were tuned for the Microsoft Windows platform. As the IT landscape began to shift and more Mac systems made their way into the enterprise, the sudden deluge of macOS systems made it difficult for IT admins to manage these new systems. Especially when you consider that the tools that admins have traditionally been using for system management have typically been Windows-centric.

New Systems, Lackluster Support

Mac and Linux device management

Of course, there are Apple-only solutions, but, you won’t find much support by way of Apple. That’s because macOS server has dropped support for a lot of features that help to manage Macs, including RADIUS support. Check out Apple’s macOS server service migration document to get an idea of exactly which services Apple is cutting.

Also, while Macs have become more prominent in the enterprise, they aren’t the only new systems in the environment. Alongside Macs, Linux systems have become much more prevalent due to their usage as server endpoints.

With the ability to install Ubuntu on systems for free, only paying for support, Linux-based systems are nudging their way into the environment with greater frequency as well. With this knowledge, it is important to be able to manage all three major operating systems in your environment instead of cobbling together a strategy that works for one OS, but perhaps not another.

What’s Next for Endpoint Management?

Cloud Solutions

In the midst of these accelerated systems introductions, many IT organizations are looking to shift their IT management tools infrastructure to the cloud rather than on-prem. So, with a desire to go all cloud and a need to manage users and systems in a cross-platform environment, IT organizations have been turning to JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service®.

A Platform Agnostic, Third-Party Solution Emerges

Reset your Mac password with JumpCloud system app

JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service enables IT admins to manage all of the new IT resources that have sprung into the IT environment as well as legacy applications and on-prem infrastructure. JumpCloud supports new resources like web apps (Salesforce®, Slack, and DocuSign®cloud infrastructure (AWS®, GCE™, and Azure®) and cloud file storage (Box™ and Dropbox™). Legacy applications that make use of the LDAP protocol, including OpenVPN™, and Jira®  as well as non-legacy LDAP applications like Jenkins, are covered by JumpCloud. Also, you’ll be able to securely connect users to wired and WiFi networks via RADIUS. Further, users can access all of these services using one set of credentials.

For Mac users specifically, we have a piece of software called the System App that allows users to self-service their password changes. And, if you really want to ramp up security, MFA can be implemented so that a specific smartphone-generated code (TOTP) must be leveraged to unlock the system itself. Say goodbye to fears over losing a Macbook®. Finally, because IT environments these days are rarely homogeneous fleets of systems, JumpCloud allows admins to execute Policies that work across all systems, including Windows, Linux and of course, Mac.

Learn More About JumpCloud

If you’re ready to learn more about macOS endpoint management, please do not hesitate to contact us today. If you’re ready to dig in, consider viewing the videos below or sign up for a free account. Your first ten users are free forever, no credit card required. 

Ryan Squires

Ryan Squires is a content writer at JumpCloud, a company dedicated to connecting users to the IT resources they need securely and efficiently. He has a degree in Journalism and Media Communication from Colorado State University.

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