Serverless System Management

By Ryan Squires Posted April 9, 2019

System management used to be a fairly straight-forward aspect for most IT admins. The majority of IT organizations would employ a tool like Microsoft® Active Directory® and leverage its group policy objects (GPOs) functionality to control individual Windows systems or groups of them. If admins had to go deeper, they could utilize the System Center Configuration Manager (or SCCM or ConfigMgr). Either way, these solutions made a great deal of sense when you consider that most IT environments of the past were Windows®-based. But, in a changing IT landscape, is there a better alternative—perhaps a serverless system management approach?

New Systems and Cloud Infrastructure

The challenge that sysadmins are confronted with today has to do with the fact that the IT environment of yesterday doesn’t exist in our cloud-forward modern reality. Much of the infrastructure has changed. No longer is the network entirely Windows-based and located on-prem. Modern IT networks are full of Mac® and Linux® endpoints as well as Infrastructure-as-a-Service solutions (IaaS) such as Amazon Web Services® (AWS®) and the IaaS component of Google® Cloud, called Google Compute Engine (GCE). With infrastructure in the cloud, that means remote system management is much harder due to the fact that the traditional tools (Active Directory and SCCM) simply were not designed for these new advancements.

Piecing Together System Management

Until recently, most IT organizations would be forced to purchase additional on-prem, enterprise-class tools to manage Mac and Linux machines, or they would deploy configuration management solutions for their server infrastructure. The result was a mixed-bag of solutions that required a great deal of additional time and money to configure correctly. On top of time and financial concerns, when you’re building solutions on top of each other, if one were to fail it would have consequences that trickle down to the add-ons, which would negatively impact system management.

Why Serverless (AKA Cloud-Based)?

Server failure is just one reason to look at moving your IT infrastructure, namely your directory solution, to the cloud. With more and more IT infrastructure moving away from the traditional, Windows-based approach, many IT organizations have been searching for a system management solution that matches the shift cloudward. IT organizations figure that if the majority of their resources and IT management solutions are moving to the cloud, why can’t the directory service and/or the system management function as well? What would that even look like?

A serverless system management solution that can handle all three major platforms—Windows, macOS®, and Linux—regardless of where the system is—on-prem, in the cloud, or remote— would greatly assist IT admins in their efforts to secure, control, and maintain their infrastructure. IT admins need to possess full control over the systems in their fleet so that they can easily troubleshoot any issues that arise and help the user get back to work as soon as possible Plus, robust system management increases security and can put IT admins’ minds at ease. The serverless system management tool that can control systems regardless of platform, enable access to remote servers, manage all three major systems platforms with GPO-like policies, execute remote commands to one system or 5,000+, and implement two-factor authentication (2FA) on Mac and Linux is JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®.

Give JumpCloud A Shot

As a serverless system management tool designed for our modern IT environments, JumpCloud can connect users to just about any IT resource in your stable, regardless of platform, protocol, provider, or location. Please, give us a shout if you have any additional questions about what JumpCloud can do for you. Additionally, check out our Policies page, and sign up for a free account to see how you can manage systems, regardless of platform, from a single pane of glass. Our free account is fully featured and enables IT admins to manage up to 10 users at no cost—for as long as you like.

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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