With the prevailing global situation requiring more and more people to work from home, businesses need to ensure that productivity does not suffer. And to do that, you need to effectively manage remote devices. Hence the need for technology such as the Cloud Management Gateway (CMG).
By utilizing the CMG, your business has an alternative to IBCM that most would consider a significant upgrade. This creates a favorable environment that allows your organization to eliminate the obstacles of having a remote workforce. Needless to say but the CMG can play a massive role in your organization and its importance is certainly worth discussing.
Before you can use the Cloud Management Gateway you need to meet the following requirements:
- An Azure subscription to host the CMG,
- You need a Full administrator or Infrastructure administrator user account in Configuration Manager,
- During the initial creation of certain components, the participation of an Azure admin is needed,
- You need at least one on-premises Windows server to host the CMG connection point,
- A server authentication certificate for the CMG,
- There needs to be an integration of the site with Azure AD to deploy the service with Azure Resource Manager,
- Depending on your client OS version and authentication model, other certificates may be required,
- Clients are required to use IPv4.
When is it useful?
There are several scenarios where the CMG could come in handy and they include the following:
- For management of traditional Windows 10 clients using modern identity which can either be hybrid or pure cloud domain-joined with Azure AD.
- For management of traditional Windows clients with Active Directory domain-joined identity. The clients included are Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
- For installation of the Configuration Manager client on Windows 10 devices over the internet.
- For new device provisioning with co-management.
Benefits to your business
CMG enables your Enterprise admins to perform several actions. Among the things they can do, they can manage the following over the internet:
- Push software updates and enable endpoint protection,
- Inventory and client status,
- Compliance settings,
- Software distribution,
- Windows 10 in-place upgrades,
- Manage branch office devices over less expensive internet instead of across expensive WAN or VPN connections.
Although Internet-based client management (IBCM) has been around for years, a lot of users tend to find it complicated. CMG aims to be a simpler solution. It is an Azure-hosted service that manages internet-based clients through a new role called the cloud management gateway connector point.
By adding the CMG to your environment, you’ll get an intermediary cloud solution. And this can be your bridge to a full cloud management solution of your Windows 10 devices through Microsoft Intune.
Also, your organization doesn’t need to expose on-premises infrastructure to the internet and neither will you require additional infrastructure. So by using the CMG, you get rid of a lot of what users don’t like about IBCM.
Manage internet clients
Cloud Management Gateway helps you to easily and effectively manage clients that are on the internet. Often, there are going to be events in your environment that will require a swift response.
However, previously this was problematic for clients that would not be currently on-premises. By leveraging the CMG, you can manage clients all over the world as long as they have an internet connection.
Furthermore, it doesn’t require you to buy any additional IT infrastructure. So unlike IBCM that would need additional hardware that you need to maintain, for the CMG you just need to have Azure.
Strengthen your security
The moment you have systems that are not directly connected to your IT infrastructure, your data security is at an increased risk. This is particularly evident with remote work.
Although a lot of businesses have responded by using VPNs, you cannot adequately protect workstations through VPN channels. Hence the importance of the Cloud Management Gateway.
With it, you can better manage devices connected to the Internet and thus improve your corporate security posture. This is further enhanced by the fact that you can leverage Microsoft Azure services so that there is no need to expose your infrastructure to the internet.
Whenever you use cloud services, you will incur costs associated with your usage. And the Cloud Management Gateway is no exception. Fortunately for clients, Microsoft intends to help you to keep those costs under control. You can do this through client settings, for instance, where you can determine which clients can access the CMG.
Another feature you can leverage is virtual machine configuration. The latter enables you to choose between 1 and 16 virtual machines per instance of Cloud Management Gateway. Also, if you want to, you can stop the CMG so that it’s no longer serving clients.
Therefore, to optimize user experience for all clients, the CMG helps to reduce the unavoidable costs that come with cloud services.
Another reason why the CMG is so important is how the technology is constantly evolving. There has been a lot of innovation taking place such as the ability to automatically do a client install through the CMG.
This is a great option to have because it eliminates the need for the client to be on the intranet. In addition, the platform is adaptable to your organization’s needs. So it can handle several scenarios such as:
- Traditional PC management (Windows 7, 8.1, 10),
- Modern PC management (Windows 10 with modern identity),
- Internet client installs.
Every organization should be looking for ways to make the most of its IT investments. Thus from the information available, we can see that every environment that uses ConfigMgr can benefit from using the Cloud Management Gateway. And you can leverage the CMG for clients all across the globe. The convenience that this provides you cannot be overstated. As the world changes and technology evolves, we need platforms that can help organizations to become more efficient and enhance productivity.