GPOs from the Cloud

GPOs from the Cloud

The cloud era has brought about a number of changes with IT management infrastructure. One area in flux is the system management arena. Why, you ask? IT admins have traditionally leveraged Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD) to manage systems via Group Policy Objects (GPOs). However, as more organizations move to Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) solutions, IT admins can’t help but wonder if they can deploy GPOs from the cloud.

The good news is that JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® offers cross-platform GPO-like capabilities from the cloud. We call them JumpCloud Policies. We’ll dive into the benefits of JumpCloud Policies in this blog, but first, we should talk about GPOs from a high level.

The Origins of Group Based Policy Management

IT admins have Microsoft to thank for the modern concept of group based policy management. This concept is referred to as Group Policy within the Active Directory platform. Group Policy Objects are the manifestation of this concept.

What are GPOs?

Why GPOs from the Cloud are needed

GPOs are basically templated scripts and commands that control Windows system behaviors.

IT admins use them to configure system policies like screen lock timeout, USB port functionality, and a lot more.

One of the key benefits of GPOs is that IT admins can remotely configure a wide array of Windows based system behaviors.

Yet, perhaps the greatest benefit is that GPOs can be applied to fleets of Windows systems from one central management platform (e.g., AD).

Limitations of GPOs

The issue with GPOs is they are effectively limited to Windows-based systems, that is, without the help of third party directory extensions (i.e., Identity-as-a-Service).

Another issue is inherent to the Microsoft platform itself in that AD requires a wealth of on-prem IT infrastructure that must be managed in house.

To be fair, these examples weren’t always considered issues. After all, this sector has historically been on-prem and Windows-based as well.

Nevertheless, as modern IT resources move away from an on-prem Microsoft foundation, there is a growing need for cross-platform GPOs from the cloud.

The bottom line is that modern system environments are heterogeneous. Therefore, any solution (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from JumpCloud authored by Vince Lujan. Read the original post at:

Vince Lujan

Vince is a documentation and blog writer at JumpCloud, the world’s first cloud-based directory service. Vince recently graduated with a degree in professional and technical writing from the University of New Mexico, and enjoys researching new innovations in cloud architecture and infrastructure.

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