Ok, before you get too excited, lets start with a bit of a disclaimer. This opinion is targeted at the 1000’s of companies with 1000’s of devices that are now sitting unmanaged and exposed beyond their corporate firewalls. If you are part of a company with these challenges, read on, if not, you may find this interesting anyway!
As the world becomes increasingly remote-first, endpoint management has just become business critical. Without happy, healthy employees with happy, healthy devices in their home offices, companies will struggle to perform and function in what is now the new normal. However, adapting to this enterprise-wide remote working has created some significant new challenges for both IT and employees alike.
From and endpoint and user perspective, some, but not all of these new challenges include:
- A compliance drift minefield with thousands of endpoint devices, be they corporate or BYOD (is that now YOD?), that are off premise
- Delivering an office like experience for the home user
- Addressing a rapid increase in service desk tickets
- Staying current with Windows 10
- Constrained VPN infrastructure and poorly connected devices (3G/ADSL/LTE)
- Security posture and compliancy or the thousands of devices outside of your control
- Visibility and patch compliance of these devices
- Deploying software and updates
- An increased attack surface with these devices beyond the corporate firewall. How will we remediate when the next WannaCry or NotPetya hits?
The reality is that some of these challenges are keeping some very senior people up at night. Addressing these challenges is becoming more and more of a priority, we cannot wait until we have a problem. Every organisation needs a very clear and more importantly, agile strategy, to deliver the same or better service to their remote workforce.
Solution and inherent challenges
The recommended approach to addressing remote working is adopting a cloud-based strategy for remote device management, I endorse that for obvious reasons. In particular adopting Azure AD and Microsoft Endpoint Manager, be that Intune or a ConfigMgr/Intune hybrid approach.
There are however some challenges with this strategy which need to be addressed to deliver on the new normal’s business requirements. In particular, doing things at speed and getting status back in real-time from endpoints beyond the corporate firewall is extremely important. At some point in the near future, this is going to be critical in keeping your business’ lights on.
Historically, Microsoft has not done speed very well (read ConfigMgr) and even with their cloud solutions, doing things in “hours” is just not going to be good enough. This is not to bash Microsoft, we all love their technology. But augmentation to get it working on steroids is why many MS partners exist. And we need steroids and lots of them in this new way of working.
What a Microsoft only strategy does not deal with is the following:
- The ability to rapidly respond to individual requests and any unplanned events
- Identifying responsiveness of endpoints which impacts employee experience
- Resolving user and endpoint issues immediately and at scale
- Providing a remote user experience as if in the office or better
- Getting large content to stay current with Windows to poorly connected devices
- Application management and deployment to all endpoints at speed and at scale
- Patching and reporting on success at speed to 100% of the estate, however they are connected
- Simple, immediate and constant security compliance and posturing that is not reliant on GPO or ADMX or being domain joined
- Control configuration drift to reduce failures when off premise and not domain joined
- Service desk and task automation to address rapidly increasing tickets with the same or fewer resources
How 1E’s Tachyon addresses this at speed and at scale
Tachyon is an agent-based solution which provides a real time conversation with connected devices, scaling to 250 000 concurrent devices on a single server. A single environment can support 6 servers so you will have no problem using this in your business!. It uses a single packet exchange for most IT operations, ensuring speed and resilience and works across any network without any reliance on being domain joined. As long as a device has an internet connection, it can be managed using Tachyon.
To dive under the covers a bit, Tachyon uses its own language called SCALE to issue instructions to devices. Responses and remediations of 1000’s of devices can be achieved in a matter of minutes, providing instant visibility and control for the IT department. There is no database to query, Tachyon asks a device a question, or tells it to do something, and it responds back in seconds. This is the killer app for remote workers and it can literally do anything. Its like having an engineer sitting at the command prompt of thousands of devices all at the same time.
Tachyon augments a traditional cloud-based management approach with the following abilities to list but a fraction:
- Proactively identifying problems within the entire estate in real time, wherever they are
- Immediately remediating issues at scale and reporting success or failure within seconds
- Automation of remediations to prevent future trouble tickets, eg check and fix scenarios through self-healing
- Instant visibility and control of all connected endpoints, irrespective of where they are and how they are connected
- Delivering large content across poorly connected devices without user impact and with “restart from point of failure” functionality. This enables staying current with Windows 10 and application installations/updates
- Deploying software, drivers and updates at scale and at speed with immediate reporting on status
- Compliance and configuration management, which is local to the device, even when not internet connected
- Management and reporting on patch and AV status in minutes
- Report on and continually posture security compliance
- Complete flexibility to script specific client requirements in minutes
The key takeaway here is the ability to query and remediate all devices, anywhere, no matter how they are connected at real time and at scale. That is a bold statement but I know Tachyon can deliver on this because I have seen it in real life scenarios at my clients.
Quite simply, you need this!