The IT landscape has undergone a major overhaul since the turn of the century. It used to be that Microsoft® Windows® based systems were the vast majority in IT networks and they were all managed by Active Directory® (AD) on-prem. Today, Windows PCs are the minority in most IT organizations, Mac and Linux are more popular than ever, and many IT organizations are interested in an outsourced system management solution as an alternative to AD on-prem.
The good news is that a new generation of outsourced system management platform called Directory-as-a-Service® can make system management from the cloud a breeze. In order to understand how, let’s first outline the traditional approach to system management in order to see what’s new with outsourced system management.
On-Prem System Management
The concept of system management was very different around the turn of the century. Back then, Windows was the platform of choice and virtually all of an organization’s IT resources were on-prem.
In order to retain this status quo, Microsoft made some brilliant moves to lock-in their customers to Windows – namely, their suite of management tools including Active Directory and SCCM (previously called SMS).
AD and SCCM were great solutions at the time in that they provided management capabilities for Windows-based environments. For example, AD’s Group Policy Objects (GPOs) were a huge hit because they enabled IT admins to manage their fleet of Windows machines via the automation of routine tasks like the configuration of security settings, mapping drives and printers, and more.
In fact, AD and SCCM were so powerful that IT admins would require end users to use Windows PCs rather than other platforms because of AD’s lack of management capabilities for non-Windows systems (i.e., Mac & Linux).
However, things started to change in the mid-2000’s as Mac and Linux based systems began to break into the enterprise workstation market. Suddenly, IT networks were no longer homogenous and IT admins were left wondering how to address system management for these non-Windows devices.
The most common approach was to use third party add-on solutions that could be layered on (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from JumpCloud authored by Vince Lujan. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/outsourced-system-management/