Best System Management for Modern IT Networks

Written by Vince Lujan on March 8, 2018

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IT admins are well aware of the fact that the ability to manage systems is critical in the enterprise space. The challenge is finding the best system management solution for heterogeneous IT networks.

Fortunately, a new solution called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® has come to market that offers cross-platform system management capabilities from the cloud. The question is whether the JumpCloud platform is the best system management solution for modern IT networks.

The short answer is yes. But first, we should discuss how IT admins have traditionally approached system management. Alternatively, you can also check out the following whiteboard presentation to learn more about managing systems with JumpCloud.

Traditional System Management Tools

System management in the past

The system management category has produced a number of fascinating solutions through the years. Some of these solutions date back to the client/server era, such as Tivoli, HP OpenView, and BigFix. However, many of the traditional enterprise system management tools in use today are Microsoft® offerings.

System Management Server

One of Microsoft’s first attempts at system management was with the System Management Server (SMS) solution. SMS was introduced in 1994 to help IT admins manage groups of systems running early versions of the Windows® operating system, such as Windows NT and Windows Embedded (Wikipedia).

SMS enabled IT admins to manage network access, deploy software updates, and control a variety of policies for Windows-based systems from a central location. Not surprisingly, it was a huge hit with IT admins, especially due to the fact that Windows-based systems were already dominating the enterprise PC market.

SMS became the System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) in 2007 and remains a popular system management tool for modern IT networks.

Active Directory

Active Directory is Microsoft’s on-prem directory service platform. AD was released in 1999, and has since become the most dominant directory service platform in IT organizations.

Active Directory was one of the first solutions to offer both user and system management capabilities (for Windows-based systems) in one solution. AD also took the concept of system management a step further than SMS with the Group Policy functionality.

Group Policy refers to the ability for IT admins to manage groups of Windows-based systems at once. IT admins can deploy templated commands and scripts, called Group Policy Objects (GPOs), with the purpose of controlling Windows system groups.

The idea behind GPOs was to give IT admins a way to remotely and centrally manage their Windows fleet with security policies, task execution, and virtual system management. The end result was a streamlined approach to system management for Windows system groups.

Issues with Microsoft System Management Software

Active Directory fails in the cloud

While Microsoft solutions like SCCM and AD were certainly powerful tools, they have a number of drawbacks by modern standards that cannot be ignored.

Issues by Modern Standards

  • AD and SCCM have historically been on-prem implementations with a reputation for a poor user experience.
  • The native functionality of Microsoft tools are effectively limited to Windows-based systems and IT resources.
  • Third party add-ons (i.e., first generation Identity-as-a-Service) only add complexity and cost, not to mention they are designed to work with an existing on-prem AD instance.

Modern IT admins have had enough.

The Next Generation – The Best System Management Solution for Modern IT Networks

The Best System Management Solution for Modern IT Networks

Fortunately, a next generation directory services platform has emerged that can not only provide cross-platform system management with GPO-like capabilities, but can also securely manage and connect users to their applications, files, and networks. The same solution can also give IT organizations the option to eliminate the majority of their on-prem IT infrastructure in favor of a comprehensive cloud alternative.

In doing so, IT admins are empowered to choose the best IT resources for the organization, regardless of platform, provider, protocol, or location. Admins can also rest assured knowing they can manage all of the systems in their environment from one central management platform. Sound too good to be true? Check out the JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service platform today.

Learn More About System Management Tools

Get Started and Learn more about JumpCloud, The Best System Management Solution for Modern IT Networks

Contact JumpCloud for more information about our modern system management solution. You can also schedule a demo, or sign up for a JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service account to see the best system management solution for modern IT networks in action. Your first ten users are free forever and we don’t require a credit card to sign up.

Vince Lujan

Vince is a writer and video specialist at JumpCloud. Originally from the horse capital of New Mexico, Corrales, he has lived in Boulder, Colorado for three years. When Vince is not developing content for JumpCloud, he can usually be found at the Boulder Creek.

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