IT organizations are adopting more Mac®systems than ever before. In fact, IT admins are leveraging a wide range of non-Windows® solutions such as G Suite™, Amazon Web Services® (AWS®), Linux®-based remote servers, and more. Historically, the IT network was connected together via the legacy identity provider (IdP), Microsoft® Active Directory® (MAD or AD). Think of AD as the central nervous system, controlling both systems and users within a given IT environment. But, with so many changes to the modern IT infrastructure, is implementing Active Directory for Mac® and other non-Windows IT resources the right decision?
Active Directory for Windows
When IT organizations first began adopting AD, the IT landscape was very different from the one we recognize today. Virtually all of the infrastructure in an IT network was on-prem and based on the Windows operating system. The result was that IT organizations quickly adopted Active Directory as their identity management system to tie users to their windows-based IT resources. But, as we know in IT, the only constant is change.
Active Directory, Mac and New Additions
As Macs began to emerge in organizations they presented a great deal of problems for IT admins. Active Directory struggled with managing users on any operating system that wasn’t Windows, including Macs, and there was not a GPO-equivalent for Mac endpoints. As a result, IT admins started to search for add-ons to Active Directory to help manage Macs. Soon, a cadre of enterprise-class identity bridges began showing up as tacked on solutions to AD to help solve the challenge of Mac management. These add-ons were necessary because even one unmanaged Mac presents a security risk that sysadmins simply can’t afford to ignore.
Unfortunately for IT admins, the changes to the IT network didn’t just stop with the addition of Macs. Linux systems started to become more popular in both traditional IT environments as well as DevOps outfits. The on-prem data center and colocation facilities shifted to AWS®, Google Cloud™, and other Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) providers. Web applications like Salesforce® and Slack (Read more...)