Published: 07 November 2012
What is Windows Intune ?
Are you still not sure what Windows Intune is ? Here is an easy way for you to understand what Windows Intune is. I recently presented an online web cast at the MCT & Readiness Virtual Summit and the presentation was also about Windows Intune. The feedback i received from the summit community prompted me to write this article , which will explain WIndows Intune in a serious of questions and answers.
1) What is Windows Intune ?
- The Windows Intune is cloud service helps you centrally manage and secure your PCs through a simple web-based console.
- Doesn't matter if your IT staff or end users are in the main office, at a branch office, or on the road, domain or non-domain joined, Windows Intune will provide the functionality you need.
With Windows Intune you can :
1 . Help Protect PCs from malware with centralized protection built on the Microsoft Malware Protection Engine. This leverages the same trusted technologies as Forefront Endpoint Protection and Microsoft Security Essentials.
2. Centrally manage the deployment of Microsoft updates and service packs to all your PCs.
3. Proactively monitor PCs with alerts on updates and threats so that they can identify and resolve issues before they significantly impact productivity
4. With remote assistance included, IT can deliver remote management and protection to keep both IT and end-users productive from virtually anywhere.
5. Track hardware and software inventory to help customers in IT planning and asset management purposes.
6. Set security policies. Centrally manage update, firewall, and malware protection settings across all PCs, even on remote machines outside the corporate network.
3. What is Windows Intune 2.0 , what are the changes ?
This is an upgraded version of the first edition of Windows Intune. The core features remains unchanged, but Microsoft made significant usability improvements. Each new update builds upon the prior version, so regardless of when Windows Intune customers purchase the service, they will automatically get the latest and greatest features available.
•Software Distribution: Now beside Microsoft software, we can even distribute 3rd party, or line of business applications and updates to Windows Intune managed clients anywhere, through the cloud.
•Remote Tasks: Remotely perform “ Full scan, Quick scan, Restart, Update Malware Definitions “ tasks, from the Admin Console. For instance, if there is an alert for a malware threat that has been blocked, you can run a scan remotely from the administration console on the affected PC. Which is giving us the chance to run a scan whenever YOU think, its necessary . This way we don't have to wait the Remote user to send us a Remote Assistance Request as well.
•Read-only Access: These service administrators have read-only rights and cannot modify data in the console; they can only view data in the console and run reports.
•Robust license management: Licencing , can be a nightmare. Specially if you don’t have a central place to manage them. This section is designed to track and monitor licenses for Microsoft Retail Licenses, Microsoft OEM Licenses, and third-party software licenses in addition to Microsoft VL Agreements.
•Enhanced Reporting: Create your own way to select which reports to run. Windows Intune has many inbuilt filters to give you the option to run any report that you need
•Alerts & Monitoring: Configure alert types to be reported according to a specified threshold, frequency, or number or percent of computers affected. This helps IT pros be as proactive as they would like about potential issues and provides them insight into the magnitude of the issue.
•Numerous usability and UI enhancements: Windows Intune 2.0 has read-only access and new context menus, copy and paste, drag and drop, search, filter, and improved organization capabilities throughout the product and Microsoft continues to evolve Windows Intune…
4. How is the Windows Intune Architecture build ?
There are three main technology components to the Windows Intune solution :
1) The first component is the Windows Intune service itself, which has been designed from the ground up as a highly scalable and reliable cloud-based service. The design of the Windows Intune service was based on the work that was done for the Microsoft® Update Service (the world’s largest cloud-based service). The geographically dispersed data centers that support this service are enterprise-class, redundant systems that support millions of customers every day.
2. Windows Intune client agents, which handle the communications from the PC to the Windows Intune service. All of these communications are secured and encrypted by using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). These communications are initiated from the client over Port 80 or Port 443, both of which tend to work with most organizations’ firewalls without additional configuration.
3. Windows Intune administrator console, which accesses this data from the managed computers. This console is also secured and encrypted by using SSL. Only a Windows Live™ ID that has specifically been granted administrative rights to the account may access the Windows Intune administrator console.
5.) Where are the Windows Intune Datacentre's located ( The Windows Intune Cloud)
The service status option will show the Datacentres current status and if any the scheduled maintenance date & time.
6.) How can you subscribe to Windows Intune ?
- Go to your favourite web browser , which is at least Silverlight 3.0 Compatible
- Type www.microsoft.com/WindowsIntune
- Select either 30 days trial or full subscription
6. ) What are the benefits of Windows Intune ?
Manage and Secure Windows PCs Anywhere
The Windows Intune cloud service helps you manage and secure your customers’ PCs through a simple Web-based console, whether your IT staff or end users are in the main office, at a customer branch office, or on the road.
The Best Windows Experience
The Windows Intune solution includes license rights to upgrade any business edition of a Windows® operating system to Windows 7 Enterprise. This enables you to provide a better experience for your customers that is easier to manage by standardizing your PC environment.
The Key benefits of Windows Intune are :
Windows Intune combines cloud services for update management, protection against malicious software, reporting, and asset inventory—all in a single license.
Microsoft Forefront® Endpoint Protection 2010 is the security-specific product that unifies protection against malicious software for business desktops and portable computers, but also protects server operating systems.
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 is the solution to comprehensively assess, deploy, and update your servers, clients, and devices—across physical, virtual, distributed, and mobile environments. Optimized for Windows and extensible beyond, it is a great choice for gaining enhanced insight into, and control over, your IT systems.
Microsoft System Center Essentials combines both physical and virtual solutions for IT management for organizations that have up to 500 PCs.
Windows Intune manages Microsoft updates and service packs without the need for—and cost of—added infrastructure. Comparatively, enterprise-class solutions such as System Center Configuration Manager 2007 have premium software update capabilities, but also require additional server investment. Using Windows Intune,
7.) What about Windows 8, should I wait before I subscribe to Windows Intune ?
Windows Intune comes with Software Assurance, which means you will keep up to date with all next versions of your Windows. And there is no minimum seat subscription requirements for you to be Software Assurance eligible.
8. ) Which O/S ‘s are supported by Windows Intune?
The Windows Intune service will work on any business edition of Windows from Windows XP Service Pack 2 or later. Yes, this means no Windows Server support :(
9.) What do I need to buy & run Windows Intune ?
A Microsoft live ID to be able to subscribe to the Windows Intune Service. And a Internet browser which supports Microsoft Silverlight v3 and up.
System Requirements for Windows Intune are:
The computer must be able to connect to the Internet and have a minimum of 500 megahertz of CPU clock speed, 256 megabytes of RAM, and 200 megabytes of disk space. Most modern computers will easily meet these standards.
10.) What is the Windows Intune Work Space?
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11.) How can Windows Intune help IT Pro’s and End Users to be more productive ?
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