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Windows 10 and the Cloud | How Windows 10 Accelerates Cloud Dreams

windows-10-and-the-cloudBusiness needs continue to evolve, and Windows continues to evolve with those needs. Microsoft is constantly looking to add new Windows features capabilities, and in some cases entirely new scenarios, for managing Windows. As a result, Windows 10 and the Cloud have a comprehensive set of management choices, so regardless what your specific scenario is, the solution will adapt to your needs. Some of these business changes we’re speaking of that have made remote IT management difficult without Windows 10 in place include the shift towards a mobile workplace, bring and/or choose your own device scenarios, the cloud, and more.

To speak about management at a high level, your organization has two main choices:  Traditional management, with Group Policy, System Center, and related components or Mobile Device Management (MDM), which Microsoft continues to enhance with Windows 10, including consistent device implementation capabilities and supporting third-party solutions. In this article, we will further discuss your management options, Windows 10 management features, Mobile Device Management, and Windows 10 Identity Choices to convey to you exactly how Windows 10 and the Cloud will accelerate your cloud dreams!

Windows 10 and the Cloud: Accelerating Your Cloud Dreams

Management Choices

There is more to management than just the tool you use. For identity, Microsoft and Windows 10 will continue supporting Active Directory (AD) and domain-joined computers, while also directly supporting Azure AD and cloud login. In addition, Group Policy and Configuration Manager will continue to provide the greatest functionality, while Intune and third-party MDM services will provide a simpler option for managing Windows devices in appropriate scenarios.

In regards to end user updates, Windows automatic device updates and the System Center Configuration Management will still be in place where your administrators can control when updates are deployed. But, in addition, Windows 10 adds new Mobile Device Management capabilities for additional control over the updating process. The management choices you make should directly reflect the type of infrastructure you use to manage devices. At the end of the day, Microsoft knows your business is unique and is giving you these management options and more so you can decide on a management combination that makes sense for the device usage in your business.

Windows 10 Management Features

When you take a look at the Windows 10 features that support the above management scenarios, you will find that Microsoft builds many into Windows itself, which have been continuously enhanced in Windows 10. In addition, Windows leverages features from Windows Server, System Center, and MDOP to provide complete on-premises management if you’re not in the cloud. Windows 10 fully embraces cloud services, beyond just Intune and MDM, with built-in support for Windows Azure Active Directory, Azure RMS, and more.

In the case of your organization having on-premises infrastructure, it’s ensured that your existing infrastructure won’t require any major upgrades to support Windows 10; the existing System Center and Windows Server versions will fully support the management and deployment of Windows 10. In addition, Windows 10 has newer capabilities related to Windows Server and the Configuration Manager. These significant investments enhance IT management processes.

Mobile Device Management

With Windows 10, Microsoft has greatly expanded Mobile Device Management to provide much more robust capabilities. It’s important to note that they did not just recreate the 3,600 group policy settings that previous versions of Windows had, but instead provide an appropriate set of high-level capabilities.

Windows 10 is more fun on mobile devices with touchscreens compared to PCs. Nevertheless, it promises to provide a good experience on all type of devices using its auto-detection capabilities and thereby restricting or increasing the number of features available for a device. Not all the features in a full-fledged computer will be available on lower configuration machines such as phones and tablet. There will be one Windows 10 version that will adapt itself to the device being used.

Enterprise mobile device management policies in Windows 10 include multiple user management, extent of control over Windows store to specific user groups, management of VPNs and so on which are available via the Configuration Service Provider, an interface to control configuration settings on difference device. This will not only help in configuring the devices better, it will also save on resources of the device in question.

Windows 10 Identity Managemenet

Let’s talk more about the Identify management choices. This conversation of course starts by talking about Active Directory, which is used by almost all businesses today to provide identity, security, and more, so it’s no surprise Windows 10 will continue to support AD. However, Windows 10 will also fully support Azure Active Directory (the cloud), meaning that it will be fully aware of Azure Active Directory accounts and services; this can be leveraged in several ways. For organizations with existing AD domains, you can use these together to provide additional capabilities.

Here comes the real value: after synchronizing your Active Directory domain with Azure Active Directory, there are additional Single Sign On benefits. First, Microsoft automatically recognizes the association between the AD and Azure AD accounts, which enables Active Directory users to seamlessly access cloud-based services without having to provide their credentials again, and Azure AD users can access on-premises services without needing to do anything else.

For personally-owned devices, Microsoft will also support “device registration” to register a personal device.  Once registered, you can rely on an additional level of trust: having the user’s credentials by themselves might not be good enough (because someone might have been able to obtain their password), but if they are using a trusted device, then access would be allowed.

This ability to facility identity management with Windows 10 and the cloud is huge for it’s users and can really provide productivity, security, and management enhancements for your organization.

Need to discuss Windows 10 and the cloud further with an Microsoft partner, to find out exactly how Windows 10 can benefit your unique business? Need help getting ready for your migration to Windows 10 by setting up AD, thinking about mobile device needs and scenario-based management? Request your free consultation with us today!

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