How to Manage Endpoints with Microsoft 365 and Azure

4 min read

 

As regular readers of this blog are no doubt aware, companies of all sizes and in all industries are moving their applications, data storage, and compute resources to the cloud, motivated by the numerous well-known advantages of cloud computing.

What’s sometimes forgotten in all the attention on the cloud side of things is that users still need devices to take advantage of all those cloud benefits. These devices, collectively known by the somewhat geeky term “endpoints,” come in all shapes and sizes and can include desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones, not to mention on-premise servers, virtual machines, and innumerable internet-of-things (IoT) devices.

The traditional IT view of endpoints is that they are a necessary evil, and the evil is increased by the proliferation of device types and the growing use of personal devices in the workplace. Endpoint procurement, configuration, deployment, maintenance, security, and eventual decommissioning are major, expensive IT headaches.

The Cloud’s Silver Lining for Endpoints

The good news is that the cloud has advantages for endpoint management as well. The most important might be that enterprises can standardize on a small set of inexpensive devices, rather than the vast array of devices that IT teams have to manage now, with their various specifications, configurations, and price points.

Furthermore, In the case of Microsoft 365 and Azure, Microsoft has built an array of endpoint management tools and strategies to ease and simplify the burden of endpoint management. In this article, we discuss some of these tools and ideas.

Microsoft Cloud Endpoint Management Tools

Some of the tools that Microsoft provides related to endpoint management include:

  • Microsoft Endpoint Manager: This collection of tools provides IT staff with remote control of device hardware, operating system, and application settings for Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS devices, whether those devices are on the company’s local network or dispersed across the internet. Endpoint Manager also includes analytical tools that provide IT staff with visibility to configuration and performance issues.
  • Microsoft OneDrive: The well-known cloud storage service also includes tools that provide users with seamless integration between their local devices and OneDrive. Local folders and file shares can be mapped in the background to OneDrive folders so that the endpoint’s storage is merely a local cache for offline use rather than the user’s primary file storage location.
  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint: One of the Microsoft 365 cloud security suite components, Defender for Endpoint, provides cyber attack detection and response capabilities for endpoint devices and generates alerts for security analysts to act on. When all endpoints are reporting potential attacks in real-time, analysts can see the big picture and take appropriate action.

Endpoint Management Strategies

Microsoft has also developed a set of endpoint management strategies that enterprises of all sizes can implement, in part or whole, depending on their particular situations. This holistic set of strategies covers device standardization, update management, security, and more.

360 Visibility and Endpoint Management

At 360 Visibility, we have been performing endpoint management tasks for our clients for many years, and we are excited about Microsoft’s new cloud-based endpoint management tools and capabilities. To learn more about how we can simplify endpoint management for your organization, contact us today.

Jason Meilleur
Jason Meilleur
As the Senior Manager of Cloud Solutions at 360 Visibility, Jason has combined his technical and business development backgrounds to expand cloud based services and the company’s infrastructure customer base. Having a long standing family history of hard working entrepreneurs, Jason has developed a strong desire for business growth.
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