Gold images save you time and keep your environment consistent. From desktop imaging to virtual machines, being able to use your gold image(s) is a godsend. However, maintaining the gold images is getting more challenging.
When IT more or less had control over the infrastructure, creating and maintaining gold images was not too difficult. Most of your environment was on-premise and easy enough to maintain. Even your virtual devices could be managed without too much fuss through older tools such as Symantec Ghost.
In today’s modern infrastructures, the ability to maintain gold images as part of your configuration management has become increasingly difficult. The growth of SaaS applications allows end users to download software to their devices without IT’s knowledge. The lack of communication between expanding IT departments, including operations, devops, and secops, means that environments are often updated on the fly without departmental alignment.
Further complicating the issue is the number of different images, or configurations, you need to keep current. The accounting team is going to have a different configuration set up than the sales team. Additionally, different offices will have different needs as well. Quickly a single gold image can become hundreds if you are part of a large company. Keeping all of your configurations current and consistent is a full time job.
If you are primarily a Windows environment, you’re most likely using SCCM to manage your bare metal configurations and imaging. You have your bare bones gold image that works for everyone and a number of task sequences that tailor each configuration for different departments, locations, etc…. You may also look at adding Intune to SCCM further adding to the cost and complexity of your solution.
And if you’re also managing a number of Mac devices, it gets even messier. You can use SCCM or even Puppet, though neither of which are simple or intuitive to set up and manage. There are also paid options for Mac OS X configuration management, but those don’t handle Microsoft devices and may require a Windows server to operate.
Automox can eliminate the confusing and complicated task of managing multiple gold images/configurations. As a cloud based endpoint management solution, once the agent is deployed across your infrastructure, you have full visibility of every endpoint and its configuration. This includes remote endpoints. As long as they are online, they can be managed.
The backbone of the Automox platform is the powerful policy engine. You can manage required software, blacklist software, enforce password settings, lock down USB access, and more with a simple policy. You can also quickly and easily create groups based on your company needs – by department, geography, or security level.
Assigning policies to groups is as simple as one click.
And each policy has its own “self healing” schedule. Each time it runs, it enforces what you have required. For example, removing blacklisted software that’s been downloaded or reloading required software that’s been deleted. Now your gold images, no matter how many you have, are updated and maintained daily with little to no resource requirements from your team.