Active Directory® as a Service & Linux Device Management

Linux systems are now the most popular platform in the data center – whether that is your own data center or cloud infrastructure such as AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Digital Ocean, and many others. The question for many IT organizations is how to manage Linux users and devices. Or, said another way, is there a concept of Active Directory® as a service and Linux device management?

Of course, Active Directory has the concept of GPOs (Group Policy Objects) which help manage Windows devices. But, AD doesn’t have an analogous concept to manage Mac or Linux devices. In fact, user and device management for non-Windows platforms can be quite painful with Active Directory. So let’s take a look at how the IAM space has shifted in the last decade, some of the options that exist for managing Linux and Mac systems in an AD environment, and how a new emerging solution can optimize Linux device management in your IT environment.

Active Directory Prevails over the IAM Market

Microsoft Active Directory

Historically, the IAM (identity and access management) space has been dominated by Active Directory, populated by Microsoft resources like Windows Server, and hosted on-prem. This setup created an environment that was easy to manage and secure with features like GPO’s. So, Microsoft ecosystems became a popular choice for many organizations.

A Changing IT World and a Resistant Active Directory

Cloud Services

Life with Active Directory was good until the mid 2000’s when the IT landscape significantly changed. Web-based applications, the rise of Mac and Linux, and cloud-based data centers transformed the office. Data centers are making such a big impact, in fact, that in 2017 IDC predicted that 60.5% of spending on infrastructure would go towards cloud data centers. Many other IT resources like applications and storage have also been adapted for a cloud-based IT world, and the entire public cloud services market is expected to be worth $246.8 billion by the end of 2017 (Gartner).

While these new IT resources have seen tremendous market growth in the last decade, they undermined Microsoft’s monolithic presence in the workplace. In a (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from JumpCloud authored by Natalie Bluhm. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/active-directory-service-linux-management/

Natalie Bluhm

Natalie is a writer for JumpCloud, an Identity and Access Management solution designed for the cloud era. Natalie graduated with a degree in professional and technical writing, and she loves learning about cloud infrastructure, identity security, and IT protocols.

natalie-bluhm has 181 posts and counting.See all posts by natalie-bluhm