Outsourced Device Management

Written by Jon Griffin on December 26, 2017

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The new era of IT is an interesting one when it comes to device management. We no longer see as many IT environments that are solely Microsoft Windows-based. Mac and Linux devices have become much more prevalent. While this has been a boon for user productivity, these cross platform environments make device management more difficult for sysadmins. In response, a new generation of outsourced device management is emerging, and it is changing the game for IT admins.

Why are Mac and Linux Challenges to Manage?

Outsourced Device Management wasn't available in the past

There’s a reason that many admins have tried, without much success as of late, to keep Mac and Linux machines out of the office. It’s because of the complexity those machines add to their current setups. This isn’t due to the machines being hard to manage though. It’s due to Microsoft’s push against them.

Historically, the IT network has been largely Windows based. During this time, Microsoft made it easy to manage their OS and application stack by introducing tools like Active Directory® and SMS (now called SCCM). These tools enabled admins to easily manage Windows users and devices, and became quite popular with enterprises. Active Directory would go on to be the most popular directory service for user management, and its Group Policy Objects (GPOs) enabled IT admins to seamlessly manage their Windows device fleet. This all worked fine for a while, but as more non-Microsoft systems and applications entered the market, so too did complexity.

Needing A New Device Management Solution

Outsourced Device Management offers cross-platform system management

With this increased complexity, the challenge for IT admins to keep device management in check grew. Mac and Linux devices infiltrated the infrastructure, and soon became more popular than Windows devices for many different subsets of users.

IT admins were left with IT management tools such as Active Directory and SCCM, but a network that consisted of Mac, Linux, and Windows on the systems side. Of course, because AD was designed to manage Windows machines only, it wasn’t able to solve this problem for admins alone. There were some third party options, but that increased security risks and increased complexity even more. If that wasn’t enough, IT organizations started to make the leap to the cloud, pulling themselves even further from the on-prem Active Directory management. It soon became clear that a Windows-based, on-prem device management focused solution was far from ideal.

Outsourced Device Management?

Outsourced Device Management with JumpCloud

As a result of these challenges, a more modern approach to device management started to become the preferred option for IT organizations. This outsourced device management approach could enable IT admins to securely manage their Windows, Mac, and Linux devices, regardless of their location. This meant that Linux AWS cloud servers would be able to be managed just as easily as on-prem Windows devices. Plus, tasks such as setting password policies, enforcing screen lock, and locking USB ports are all easy and quick with a cloud-based device management platform.

The name of this solution is Directory-as-a-Service®. This cloud-based directory is built for the modern IT environment, offering easy device management of all major platforms all from the cloud. No longer will admins need to deal with the workarounds and complexity that AD presents in today’s world. Cloud applications and infrastructure are easy to connect to. Remote workers with varying machines can be managed easily with Policies and Commands that function similarly to GPOs. Even access to on-premise storage devices like Samba or NAS can be provisioned via JumpCloud. Essentially, all of your IT resources, whether cloud or on-prem, can be connected to end users with one credential from one location.

If you would like to learn more about the outsourced device management like solution Directory-as-a-Service, make sure you reach out to us. We would be happy to answer any questions that you might have on the topic, and can set up a demo if you would like to see it. Alternatively, if you would like to try the centralized directory out for yourself, you can also sign up for a free account. We offer 10 users free forever, with no credit card information required, so there’s no reason not to give it a shot. Then, you can truly see how the platform will work for you. Check JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service out today!

Jon Griffin

Jon Griffin works as a writer for JumpCloud, an organization focused on bringing centralized IT to the modern organization. He graduated with a degree in Professional and Technical Writing from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and is an avid learner of new technology from cloud-based innovations to VR and more.

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