Introducing Pulse DMS – the new way to secure and manage devices online
PowerON has previously discussed Windows Analytics and Windows Autopilot and how these tools help IT organisations get the most from Windows 10. This blog is going to introduce something new from PowerON, specifically aimed at device and security management for both end user devices and servers.
23 Nov 2017
Pulse Device Management and Security
Pulse Device Management and Security or more commonly known Pulse DMS, is a secure online management service that can manage devices directly from the internet, yet still deliver powerful Operating System Deployment (OSD), software distribution and enterprise-grade security & policy management.
Essentially, PowerON has taken a leading management platform and made it scalable and secure with Azure, enabled a web-based management portal, accelerated the bandwidth technology and added some secret PowerON sauce!
Our online service requires zero on-premise infrastructure or distribution points, has Azure-level security and redundancy and easily manages remote workers. It supports the migration to Windows 10 whilst managing OS versions from Windows 7 upwards, but can also be used to turn on all the enhanced security features of Windows 10 such as Advanced Threat Protection (ATP). As a pre-provisioned service, provisioning is as simple as installing a client. Pulse DMS can quickly be configured to manage an entire estate, and even use Intune to deploy the client and increase the speed for remote workers.
Why is PowerON Pulse DMS so relevant in today’s market?
Online Service Growth
It’s fair to say there is an increasing growth in the online services market; Azure, O365, Dynamics 365 etc are all examples of Microsoft online products. O365 has simplified the delivery of end user productivity, helping organisations provide powerful productivity tools to their employees, regardless of their location. With Exchange Online, IT could deliver enterprise-class messaging and archiving solutions to the business without localised infrastructure, complex upgrade & ongoing maintenance needs, with increased availability & security by default. These increase IT capabilities combined with a flexible, per user subscription model has made it easy for many organisations to adopt.
What about Systems Management?
Good question to ask. System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) has continued to evolve since its launch in 1994 and combined with Microsoft Intune, Windows Analytics & Windows 10 the future looks bright.
However, when we look at the modern management vision from Microsoft there is an increase in online solutions to help secure and manage devices such as Windows 10. So where do you start?
It is worth noting that there is an identified gap from Microsoft’s ‘Classic’ management and ‘Hybrid’ (co-management) options to the Modern and Future options. Microsoft themselves have identified this gap and the challenges organisations should address.
How do I find the right mix?
Most organisations we speak to are at this stage. Enterprise-class management tools such as SCCM are used for OSD, patch management, software distribution, policy & configuration management, the list could go on. These are powerful tools that require skilled staff and are traditionally installed with on-premise infrastructure and deliver great service.
These tools are Windows 10 ready, enable the Windows as a Service (WaaS) update model so why would you need anything else?
You might not, depending on how good your SCCM environment is, but our experience tells us that organisations whose remote workers are not connected to the organisational network for long periods of time will really struggle to manage them. Since Wannacry earlier this year, even patch management has become an increased area of focus. Furthermore, we are aware of the cost and resources required for distributed on-premise infrastructure (distribution points), server infrastructure cost & maintenance (hardware & software) not to mention staff skills and time required to water-and-feed these systems. (This reminds me of exchange…)
What is Hybrid about?
Here enters the Cloud cousin of SCCM, Microsoft Intune. With an increasing ability to work with SCCM (called co-management), Intune is a key part of the Microsoft Modern Management story. Intune helps us to remotely secure and manage part of our device estate or even partly manage devices straight from the Cloud, whilst interfacing nicely with our existing SCCM environment tool.
So what are the gaps with this option?
Depending on your needs it still may not support your remote workers properly, and you will still be limited in the ability to remotely deploy software and reimage remote workers who need help. Oh, and you are still running all that on-premise stuff…
What about Modern mix?
Here we are largely talking about using Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory (AAD) first. Driving towards Windows 10 estates and increased use of SaaS solutions for business apps with an increase in Windows Store apps and a reduction in Win32 traditional apps. If you are a new business great, if not – this is where the challenge is.
Where am I going with this?
Traditional management tools provide us with great capability for management and security, but are bound by internal networks (as they have been for 20 years). Microsoft Intune helps us immensely but still has limitations to deliver the enterprise functionality we need, and fundamentally we like the subscription model where we don’t have to worry about the infrastructure.
So is there a way to bridge the Microsoft management gap, get enterprise systems management as an online service, and still enable the future management capabilities?
Yes, It’s called Pulse Device Management and Security (DMS).
Where can I find out more?
Note: While we use the term “SCCM” as this is what most people recognise, the official acronym is “ConfigMgr”, just before anyone comments (Looking at you Steve Beaumont!)
If you are looking for managed IT support and think you could benefit from PowerON’s consultancy services and solutions, please get in touch on +44800 302 9280.