Using Active Directory® for macOS® Environments

Using Active Directory® for macOS® Environments

Today’s modern IT environment is filled with Mac® endpoints. Some shops now leverage solely macOS® systems. The problem that many IT admins are faced with is just how to manage all of these Mac systems. Because most IT networks in the past used to be on-prem and Windows®-based, many IT admins are quick to wonder whether using Active Directory® for macOS® environments is a feasible option.

An Active Directory Past

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Perhaps because of the dominance that Microsoft® has enjoyed with their Active Directory platform, AD is the default directory that sysadmins think of. And that makes a lot of sense. When Microsoft Active Directory was designed over two decades ago, the IT infrastructure it was intended to control was largely Windows-based and on-prem. We have to remember that the vast majority of systems some twenty plus years ago were desktops—large, beige desktops.

Because of this early arrangement, the view was that Microsoft could lock-in their customers to high-margin solutions such as Windows® and Office™ and tie it all together via Active Directory . With all this context, it is easy to understand that AD is optimized for Windows. Microsoft has never really had an incentive to introduce support for competing endpoints. They want their customers to remain cuffed to Microsoft solutions.

macOS Enters the Fray

The problem for IT admins though, is that over the past decade Apple’s Mac platform has made tremendous inroads into enterprises. People simply want to use them. A recent survey indicates that when given the choice, 72% of enterprise employees would choose a Mac system. The problem is, Microsoft doesn’t care much for accommodating those requests. Perhaps that’s why only about half of enterprises allow their employees to make that choice. Nonetheless, IT organizations and their admins are struggling to manage the Mac platform. Those with Active Directory in place have generally been left with two options to manage macOS environments: invest in add-on solutions like an identity bridge or leave Mac systems unmanaged. Both options are far from ideal.

The problem with identity bridges is that (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by Ryan Squires. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/active-directory-macos-environments/