Intune: Plan a Transition to Modern Endpoint Management with Hybrid setup
In this rapidly digitalizing world, businesses need to leverage powerful tools like Intune, Azure Active Directory (AD), and on-prem AD for robust endpoint management. Today, we will dive into these technologies, demystifying the process of transitioning to modern endpoint management.
Endpoint management is a crucial business function that involves managing and securing endpoints or entry points of end-user devices like laptops, desktops, and mobile devices. This is where Microsoft Intune shines. Intune is a cloud-based service in the enterprise mobility management (EMM) space that helps organizations manage and secure their devices.
Furthermore, Azure AD is a comprehensive identity and access management cloud solution that provides a robust set of capabilities to manage users and groups. It helps secure access to on-premises and cloud applications, including Microsoft's web-based services.
Lastly, On-premises Active Directory (on-prem AD), the established identity provider for enterprises, ensures secure interactions between users, devices, and data. Transitioning from an on-premises environment to the cloud can be complex, but it's worthwhile. This blog will serve as a guide to plan this transition effectively.
Why Transition to Modern Endpoint Management?
Efficiency and Scalability: Cloud-based solutions like Intune and Azure AD can be scaled up or down based on your needs, thus saving resources.
Security: These tools offer advanced security features, including threat detection, device and data protection, and identity management.
Remote Work Enablement: With cloud-based management, remote work becomes more manageable and secure.
Cost-Effectiveness: Reduce hardware costs and manpower required for maintaining on-prem infrastructure.
Planning the Transition
Step 1: Understand Your Current Setup
The first step in planning the transition to modern endpoint management is understanding your existing setup. This involves:
Inventory of Devices: Catalogue all your devices.
Existing Policies and Procedures: Examine current policies for device management and user access.
User Identification: Understand how users are currently identified and authenticated.
Infrastructure Analysis: Inspect the current state of your on-prem AD and networking setup.
Step 2: Plan Your Azure AD and Intune Implementation
Before moving forward, plan your Azure AD and Intune setup by considering:
Azure AD Configuration: Determine whether you'll use Azure AD solely or in hybrid mode with on-prem AD.
User Identity Migration: Decide on the method for user identity migration to Azure AD—manual provisioning, CSV import, or directory synchronization.
Device Management Strategy: Identify which devices will be managed by Intune, and define your strategy for device enrollment.
Security Policies: Define your security policies for device compliance, conditional access, and threat protection.
Step 3: Implement Azure AD and Intune
The next step is implementing Azure AD and Intune. Here's a general workflow:
Setup Azure AD: Create an Azure AD tenant, configure necessary settings, and integrate it with your existing applications.
Migrate User Identities: Migrate your user identities from the on-prem AD to Azure AD using your chosen method.
Setup Intune: Set up an Intune subscription and configure the necessary settings.
Enroll Devices: Begin enrolling/upload your devices into Intune.
To complete this process using Intune, use the following procedure:
In Microsoft Intune admin center, navigate to Devices > Enroll Devices > Devices. Select Import.
Browse and locate your CSV file.
Import the file.
After import is complete, select Device enrollment, select Windows enrollment, select Windows Autopilot, select Devices and then select Sync.
Refresh the view to see the new devices.
Diagram of Autopilot device ID process: Vendor or Customer uploads IDs, creates profile, and employee self-deploys after unboxing device.
Step 4: Monitor and Maintain Your Setup
Post-implementation, monitor your setup regularly to ensure everything runs smoothly. Use Azure AD's and Intune's analytics and reporting features for this purpose. Regularly update your security policies and stay informed about new features and updates from Microsoft.
Transitioning from On-Prem AD to Azure AD
Azure AD Connect is a tool that bridges your on-prem AD and Azure AD. It allows for coexistence, enabling your users to have a common identity for Office 365, Azure, and any applications connected to Azure AD. This step is optional if you're moving fully to Azure AD, but it's necessary for hybrid scenarios.
To use Azure AD Connect, you'll need to install it on your on-prem server, then configure it. During configuration, you can select various options based on your needs, such as password hash synchronization, pass-through authentication, or federation.
Planning and transitioning to modern endpoint management using Intune, Azure AD, and on-prem AD setup may initially seem daunting. However, with the right plan and approach, it can be accomplished effectively, leading to improved efficiency, scalability, and security for your business operations. Remember that every organization's journey is unique, so tailor these guidelines to suit your needs for a smooth and efficient transition.