Managing Mac policies using Workgroup Manager and Active Directory
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Managing Mac policies using Workgroup Manager and Active Directory

There is. The Mac Workgroup Manager is a powerful tool to centrally manage users and computers across your organization. It lets you specify standard configuration information that applies to particular computers or users. It is also easily extendable by ISVs to support application-specific settings. Moreover, Apple has done a great job of keeping it up-to-date with OS releases.

Unfortunately, unless you’re running Mac OS X Server, it’s unlikely that you’re using it to manage the Macs in your company. Without OS X server it’s possible that you might not have even heard of Workgroup Manager.

Mac Workgroup Manager requires a central place to store its settings. It can store settings in Mac OS X server or in any LDAP server. At many companies, the main LDAP server is Microsoft’s Active Directory (AD) server. Organizations that run Windows computers in significant numbers likely use AD to authenticate Windows users. Unfortunately, storing data in that LDAP server is not trivial. The prescribed way of storing Workgroup Manager data in AD requires schema changes to the directory.

Many organizations are reluctant to make schema changes for any reason and unlikely to want to make them for reasons particular to the Mac. At many companies, Active Directory is administered by Windows-folk who may know little about Macs and who may be disinclined to make changes to AD to adapt it for the Mac. Schema changes are virtually un-doable. Once made, reversing them is difficult.

Convincing an organization to deploy Mac OS X servers solely to support Mac Workgroup manager may also be difficult if your company uses Macs only as desktops or laptop computers.

Integrating Workgroup Manager and Active Directory

Apple and other vendors supply software to integrate Macs with AD. The Apple Active Directory Plug-In allows Macs to authenticate users with AD. Other vendors supply similar functionality as well as providing “group policy” features that provide functionality similar to that of Mac Workgroup Manager. Likewise Software, however, provides authentication functionality and the ability to integrate Workgroup Manager with AD group policy. Let’s see how this works.

First, the Likewise Enterprise product, integrates user authentication with Active Directory in a fashion similar to that of the Mac Active Directory Plug-In. Users can log into their Macs using the same username and password that they use on Windows computers. Second, Likewise provides a mechanism that allows Workgroup Manager settings to be stored in AD Group Policy Objects (GPOs).

Group policy is the Microsoft mechanism for centralized configuration of user and computer settings. Group policy objects are stored in Active Directory and polled by Microsoft Windows computers that detect and apply policy changes as necessary. In AD, GPOs are associated with organizational units (OUs) and GPO settings are applied to the computers and users that are contained in those units.

In Figure 1, an OU called Marketing has been defined. Two computers have been added, or joined, to the OU and two users have been created in the OU. Any GPOs associated with the Marketing OU will be applied to the two computers and the two users in the OU.

Likewise Enterprise contains a utility to join Macs (and other non-Windows computers) to Active Directory. Once a computer is joined to AD, it can participate in AD-based user authentication and in group policy processing. In figure 1, this utility has been used to join Mary Smith’s Mac to the Marketing OU.

image

Part 2 continued >>

 
AAPL
$94.02
Apple Inc.
-2.58
GOOG
$683.57
Alphabet Inc.
-24.44
MSFT
$50.16
Microsoft Corporation
-1.84
MacNews Search:
Community Search:
view counter

view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter

SoundPrism Link Edition (Music)
SoundPrism Link Edition 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ***Introductory price for a the first few days after launch - if you're reading this, get it while it's fresh out of the oven!*** | Read more »
Pre-register now for hack and slasher An...
Fincon, which won Facebook's Studio to Watch award in 2015, has announced that pre-registration is now open for the massive 3.0 update for its award-winning hack and slasher Angel Stone. Angel Stone is a post-apocalyptic action RPG in which the angels have fallen and you have to join The Resistance and face-off against hordes of demons trying to... | Read more »
Google has named Piano Tiles 2 as its Be...
Google has named Piano Tiles 2, which launched back in August last year, as its Best Game of 2015. If you're yet to play it, now's a good time to do so. It's a sequel to the hugely successful viral hit Piano Tiles (Don't Tap the White Tile) but includes all new gameplay, enhanced visuals, a huge variety of new songs, and improved sound quality. [... | Read more »
Sago Mini Trucks and Diggers (Education...
Sago Mini Trucks and Diggers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Drive a dump truck with Rosie the hamster! Pile dirt high and dig deep in the ground with diggers, cranes and bulldozers. Build a home for a new friend! Choose a barn, a castle or even a cupcake-house. Don’t... | Read more »
Day One 2 Journal + Notes (Lifestyle)
Day One 2 Journal + Notes 2.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Lifestyle Price: $4.99, Version: 2.0 (iTunes) Description: **New Release Sale—50% off for a Limited Time!**Capture life as you live it. From once-in-a-lifetime events to everyday moments, Day One's elegant interface makes journaling about your life a simple pleasure. | Read more »
Pull My Tongue (Games)
Pull My Tongue 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Meet Greg. A hungry little chameleon that loves popcorn! Help feed Greg by pulling his tongue through a series of fun puzzles that include, zappers, spikes, chewing gum, balloons and more!Key Features:- 5 worlds with 90 levels-... | Read more »
Adventures of Mana (Games)
Adventures of Mana 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $13.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Relive the excitement of Final Fantasy Adventure―a timeless classic remastered for a new generation.■STORY | Read more »
Puzzle Strike (Games)
Puzzle Strike 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Puzzle Strike is a deckbuilding puzzle game played amongst Fantasy Strike characters. It's inspired by puzzle games such as Puzzle Fighter. Gems fall into each player's gem pile every turn, and whoever's gem pile fills up first... | Read more »
Tsuro (Entertainment)
Tsuro 1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Entertainment Price: $3.99, Version: 1 (iTunes) Description: The award-wining puzzle strategy game, now for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.LAUNCH SALE - 20% OFF!To celebrate our launch, and to thank you for your support, you can get Tsuro at a special, discount price until the end of the week! | Read more »
Away ~ Meditation & mindfulness to s...
Away ~ Meditation & mindfulness to sleep, relax, focus, breathe 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Healthcare & Fitness Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: Get Away from stress. Enjoy relaxing nature sounds & music. Day & night, morning & evening. Pick your favorite listening spot within this... | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.