Mac or PC? It’s a common question for new hires at many corporations. For the IT admins at those companies, however, it can be a source of consternation. It used to be that Microsoft® Windows® dominated the network, but today, Mac® and Linux® are becoming quite popular. Additionally, networks have become much more complex with cloud infrastructure and remote users. All of these challenges are putting pressure on IT admins to find the right system management tool to manage the infrastructure.
Early System Management Tools
In the early days of IT, managing users’ devices was fairly simple. Microsoft® Windows® dominated the platform game, and system management tools like Active Directory® and SCCM® (formerly SMS) were logical choices because networks were virtually all Windows-based. IT admins could manage users with AD while also executing policies via GPOs to manage the Windows fleet. Issues such as password complexity, rotation, security settings, mapping drives and printers, and a wide variety of other things were managed through the system management functionality within Active Directory and SCCM.
This approach worked well for IT admins for quite a few years. The IT scene began to shift, however, and challenges started to arise when end users started to want Mac systems and the shift to cloud infrastructure introduced more Linux systems than ever. Each of these platforms was challenging for Active Directory to manage and control. Often, Macs would go unmanaged, while a fleet of Linux systems might be managed by the ops group via scripts or configuration management tools. Both of these approaches left a great deal to be desired and introduced more security risk.
The Need for Something New
Over time, IT organizations realized that this shift to a mixed platform environment was permanent. They needed to figure out a different system management tool set that would work more effectively than Active Directory and SCCM. At the same time, while heterogeneity was useful, so was the concept of having the IT management infrastructure driven from the cloud. No longer was an organization’s network just contained on-prem. AWS®, G Suite™, Office 365™, and much more shifted the entire landscape to the cloud. Employee populations weren’t constrained by geographic locale, but rather by skill sets and internet connectivity. In other words, the workforce went global.
All of these changes meant that a reimagination of Active Directory and SCCM for the cloud era was in the cards. The good news is that a solution called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® has made this a reality, and is not only a cross-platform user management solution, but a system management tool for Windows, Mac, and Linux, as well. With JumpCloud, an IT organization can provide a True Single Sign-On™ experience for their users as well as centrally manage their Mac, Windows, and Linux systems. Users only need to remember a single set of credentials to login into not only their systems and servers, but also their on-prem and web-based applications, physical and virtual file storage, and RADIUS protocol networks. IT admins can remotely control their entire fleet of systems without hassle. You get all this and more from just one identity management solution that’s based entirely in the cloud.
To learn more about how JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service is a system management tool for the cloud era, watch the video above or request a demo of the product. You can also try JumpCloud for free for ten users, or if you have any questions, contact our support team.