Outsourced endpoint management solutions have drawn a lot of attention in recent years. The challenge for IT admins is to find one that is akin to Microsoft® Active Directory® in the cloud, but that also natively supports cross-platform system environments and non-Windows IT resources. At least, that was the challenge before the JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® platform came to market. We’ll discuss how the JumpCloud platform is disrupting the status quo in endpoint management, but we should offer some context before we dive in.
Intro to Endpoint Management
Endpoint management refers to the ability to administer enterprise systems and users. In the old days, circa 1999, this meant the ability to manage Windows® based systems with on-prem identity management platforms like Microsoft Active Directory or SCCM (formerly SMS).
Microsoft tools such as these enabled IT admins to manage fleets of Windows-based systems from one central management platform. This was primarily achieved by deploying prescribed commands, scripts, and policy templates called Group Policy Objects (GPOs).
GPOs were used to configure screen lock timeout, control USB port functionality, manage guest access, and define a wide variety of Windows system behaviors. The key advantage was they could be applied to groups of domain bound systems running Windows at once. As a result, AD and SCCM were basically the only identity management tools IT admins needed, given that IT networks effectively revolved around the Windows operating system at the turn of the century. For better or worse, it wasn’t meant to last.
Modern Endpoint Management
IT networks started to change in the mid-2000s as Mac® and Linux® systems were introduced into the enterprise, along with cloud apps and infrastructure. Mac user endpoints have only increased in popularity since then. Linux endpoints have gained ground too, which have become the preferred option in the data center. While this heterogeneous approach offered a variety of benefits for IT organizations, the trouble was (and still is) that endpoint management became a nightmare for IT admins.
There were essentially two undesirable options for IT admins. The first option was to (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by Vince Lujan. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/outsourced-endpoint-management/