GPOs (Group Policy Objects) have become an invaluable part of the Microsoft Active Directory® (AD) platform. Using GPOs, IT admins have been able to manage their Windows fleet with policies that cover security settings, connecting to internal file servers and printers, configuration settings, and more. The limitation of these GPOs though is that they are only really functional for on-prem Windows devices. This is in stark contrast with the current trend of moving everything to the cloud and allowing employees to use Mac and Linux devices. As a result, many admins are searching for a new solution. With the world shifting to the cloud, is there a managed GPO (Group Policy Objects) solution that supports cross-platform environments and is delivered from the cloud?
Understanding the Limitations of GPOs
Before looking into cloud-based solutions, we should start by examining more closely why many admins are moving away from GPOs. The main reason is the simple fact that GPOs are native to Active Directory and are a proprietary Microsoft construct. When Microsoft introduced AD and GPOs back in 1999, they were implemented into an entirely Microsoft environment. This made it easy for them to connect with all of the other Microsoft IT resources in the office. As time went on and other companies began providing competing solutions, Microsoft did not adapt to them. Instead of creating new ways to help manage the Mac and Linux systems and web applications being introduced to the environment, AD remained closed off and focused on Microsoft solutions.
In order to work within the limitations of Active Directory, admins pushed to keep their organizations as Microsoft centric as possible. This became known as the Microsoft lock-in strategy. However, admins could not fight off the end users forever. Today you see companies with a large percentage of users on either Mac or Linux systems, not to mention the web applications and cloud infrastructure that nearly every organization employs. Many solutions have emerged to help connect some of these tools back to AD, but with each one came another product that had to be purchased, set up, (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from JumpCloud authored by Jon Griffin. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/managed-gpos-group-policy-objects/