System management refers to the process of administering devices such as laptops, desktops, servers and potentially other IT components. It is a foundational concept in any IT environment. The trouble is that traditional system management solutions have primarily focused on supporting the Microsoft® Windows® operating system (OS) and Windows-based systems. So, as more macOS® and Linux® systems are added to enterprise networks, more IT admins have come to realize that a cross-platform system management solution would be quite useful.
Traditional System Management Solutions
Historically, most IT environments were on-prem and Windows-based. In fact, it was once common for all of the systems, applications, files, and networks in a given environment to revolve around the Windows OS. This Windows-centric approach enabled IT organizations to leverage traditional Microsoft tools such as SCCM® (formerly SMS) and Active Directory® (AD) to manage all of the Windows users and systems in their environment. These platforms also introduced an interesting system management concept that enabled IT admins to manage groups of Windows-based systems all at once. Microsoft refers to this system management concept as Group Policy, which is applied to systems via Group Policy Objects (GPOs).
GPOs are effectively prescribed commands and scripts that execute tasks on Windows systems. They are generally used to control a wide variety of Windows system policies, such as configuring screen-lock timeout, disabling USB ports, managing guest access, and more. The key advantage is that IT admins can configure system policies for groups of Windows systems at once from one centralized location via AD. This unified approach saves IT admins a huge amount of time and effort compared to configuring system policies granularly, especially for larger organizations with a fleet of Windows systems. The trouble was (and still is) that AD’s powerful system management capabilities only work for Windows-based systems.
Traditional System Management Challenges
As Mac and Linux became popular Windows alternatives, IT admins found that Active Directory did not offer the same level of support for these non-Windows platforms. Initially, the lack of support meant that IT admins were forced to manage Mac (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/cross-platform-system-management/