“I’m old, not obsolete!”
For the literary-minded among you, it’s clear that the subtitle is a blatant play on words from the famous old poem Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor (1834). We’ve all heard of the concept of, “…having an Albatross hanging around your neck”. (See the link for the metaphor)
I’ve been in and around the Configuration Manager Admin role since 1999. This began with the v2.0 RTM release of SMS. I think that probably makes me “ancient” as a Configuration Manager Admin today by any standards. (In fact, at 70 years old, I’m probably ancient by many other standards, but as Pops stated in Terminator Genisys, “I’m old, not obsolete”.) Even so, I find that for me it is occasionally difficult to adjust to a lot of things happening today in a rapidly changing technology world.
Much of this evolving technology can be found in this systems management space. The rapid adoption of cloud technologies in many areas is among the most dramatic of them all. Who today isn’t using OneDrive, iCloud, or other solution as a storage drive to hold important data? Those use cases are pretty simple, easy to implement, and arguably obvious.
The systems management space has historically been an on-premises implementation secured and bounded by the datacenter. As we are seeing today in the Microsoft Configuration Manager world, with the advent of Intune, this model is rapidly changing. That evolution has been a difficult concept for me to absorb. I’m old school in this respect. I believe there may be others far younger than me who may also be experiencing this same resistance to change. For me, and the struggle I’ve had getting to the acceptance of this paradigm change, I sometimes think of my struggle with Intune as my Albatross! I tried shooting it with my own metaphorical cross-bow, but it just won’t go away. It’s time to change.
That said, as a 13 year MVP in what is now the Enterprise Client Management space, I find myself confronted with the necessity of getting serious with trying to understand this cloud business that is surely coming, or has actually arrived. I decided to get serious and actually look at Microsoft Intune, which is packaged as one element of Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility & Security (EMS) offering, and try to get my head around what it is, what it is intended to accomplish, and how to get started.
I plan on documenting this self-education process in a series of blog posts that follow my journey.
My hope is that this effort will aid those among you who are in a similar situation of knowing that this is coming to your own workplace but are finding it hard to know where to start. One thing is for sure: Microsoft is doing a seriously great job of producing tons of excellent content – so much so that I find it hard to know where to even begin. Whenever I get into that situation, I ask somebody else smarter than me for help! Consequently, I was directed to this excellent blog post as that starting point: Introduction to Microsoft Intune, by Linda Avraamides. This document is my first in a series that resulted from that effort.
My overall goals in this series are to
- Gain a basic understanding of Intune
- Look at the underlying architecture that makes it work by building on the basics
- Take a test drive using a cloud-based lab environment for some hands-on experience
I don’t have any devices lying around to throw into the mix. and I don’t have the time to build up my own lab. I won’t be doing any device enrollment, and I will rely upon lab resources that are available to me via working for a Microsoft Partner, and my MVP status, and various device emulator technology. After that, who knows where this journey will take us. Regardless, I hope that some of you at least will find this exercise useful when your CxO begins to start talking about this new cloud management thing.
My next post will explore the elements that make up Intune, including how to get it, what it does, and problems solved. I will also provide several interesting “scenarios” that nicely explain some of the how-to.