Friday, August 29, 2014

Begin Synergy: Suite 2014.1 is here!

I'm very excited about the new update to Centrify Suite 2014.  This is a maintenance update that brings in support for RHEL7 and Debian 7.5, 7.6 and derivatives of these popular platforms. It includes additional updates, but what really makes it exciting to me is a feature available in the agent for Mac OS X called Combo Join.

Combo join marks an interesting milestone that affects this blog.  The merging of Centrify on-premise and Cloud offerings.  Combo join addresses the needs of employees with the top-of-line AD integration and Bring Your Own Mac Scenarios for third parties (like contractors or partners).

A simple check-box = more management capabilities

Combo-join means having the ability to register a Mac both as an AD domain member and with the Centrify Cloud Service.  This allows for two management possibilities:

  • The AD Group Policy-based Centrify agent GPOs (400+)
  • The Centrify Cloud Service policies that can be delivered via GPOs or via the cloud.
Architecturally they are different, one uses the mappers and the other users profile manager.  Combo join is a simple check-box that extends the AD Join assistant:

Once joined to the cloud service, a profile is delivered that permits management via the cloud:

This means that now both IT and end-users (via the Centrify User Portal) can perform device management along with their iOS and Android devices and IT will be able to deliver configuration management in a different vehicle without requiring a hard domain join.

Users will be able to perform self-service device management
IT will have more flexibility delivering configuration management

Why is this a game changer?

From this point on, we need to include Centrify User Suite content in this blog and if I'm correct, this is just the beginning.  Part of the reason why Centrify solutions are so easy to implement and are so cohesive is because they are developed in-house.  Not having to deal with Frankenstein-like solution packages like some of the traditional vendors translates into faster deployments and an easier learning curve.
Expect a Cloud section with info about Server Suite plus sections on synergy between Mac, Server and User Suites.

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