We are well aware that today’s business world relies heavily on remote working. Whether one considers dispersed teams working from home or field teams working from various remote locations, technology plays a critical role in streamline remote operations. Flexibility in the workplace has become mainstream and cloud-based deployments are the new normal. Considering the wide range of benefits that the cloud platform offers its users, companies around the world prefer cloud-based deployments.
However, even though the majority of the processes are taken care of by the cloud, companies still have resources hosted on their internal servers, which are not openly available on the web. These resources, such as the Microsoft Office suite, are referred to as “on-premises” resources. How do companies that operate heavily in a cloud-based environment access their on-premises resources? The answer is, with an “on-premise connector”.
What is the On-Premises Connector (OPC)?
The on-premises connector is a medium that enables a secure connection between the MDM dashboard and the organization’s on-premises resources such as Microsoft Active Directory, MS Exchange, and more. With the rise of enterprise mobility, companies have shown an increase in the adoption of mobile device management (MDM) solutions. Scalefusion is one of those popular MDM solution which allows IT administrators to access an organization’s on-premises Microsoft Active Directory, directly through its dashboard with its “on-premises connector”.
Microsoft Active Directory is an on-premises tool that stores sensitive information about employees and is not accessible on the Internet. It helps a company’s IT administrators better manage permissions and streamline access to a company’s network resources such as user pools, hardware, applications, and more.
What is the Scalefusion on-site connector used for?
The Scalefusion On-Prem connector provides a simplified way to securely connect to an organization’s on-premises Active Directory. Let’s see some of the applications that can be realized with this connectivity.
- IT administrators can import AD users / user groups on Scalefusion Dashboard and enroll them to Scalefusion.
- IT administrators can configure AD-based access to Scalefusion Dashboard, which means administrators can log into Scalefusion Dashboard with AD credentials.
- Once users / groups are imported, their devices can be registered as BYOD on all platforms, to know. Android, Windows, iOS and Mac.
How does the Scalefusion On-Prem connector work?
For the on-premises connector to successfully connect and share information between the MDM dashboard and the on-premises connector instance, the connection request must be made from the Scalefusion dashboard. This creates an authorized connection to access Microsoft Active Directory on-premises.
The OPC acts as a mediator between the Scalefusion dashboard and the on-site resource to relay the necessary information in both directions. In addition, the transferred data remains fully secure and encrypted with session keys, which ensures that sensitive information is not disclosed.
However, at set up the OPC With Scalefusion, IT administrators need to meet some basic prerequisites such as; have a Scalefusion Enterprise license, a regular Scalefusion account (neither a G-suite nor an Office 365 account) and write access with ownership / co-ownership of the account.
Communication between Scalefusion and the on-site connector takes place in two ways; either through a reverse proxy or directly.
- By reverse proxy: The web server / reverse proxy must have a valid public DNS name with a valid TLS / SSL certificate issued by a public trusted certification authority. The diagram below explains this diagram.
- One of the Scalefusion dashboard servers initiates a secure HTTPS connection on port 443 to the on-premises URL.
- The request is then received by the onsite web server / reverse proxy
- The on-premises web server / reverse proxy forwards the request using a standard HTTP connection on port 28767 to the machine that hosts the on-premises connector.
The on-premises connector uses the LDAP connection through port 389 (configurable) to MS Active Directory.
2. Direct connection with OPC: The machine hosting the on-premises connector must have a static public IP address or a public DNS name. The diagram below explains this diagram.
- One of the Scalefusion dashboard servers initiates a regular HTTP connection on port 28767 to the machine that hosts the on-premises connector.
- The on-premises connector uses the LDAP connection through port 389 (configurable) to MS Active Directory.
While the corporate world is geared towards a cloud-based environment, most of the tools and resources used by employees in organizations are available on the internet. However, the Scale The on-premises connector is the ideal way to access the on-premises MS Active Directory which contains sensitive company and employee information in an encrypted manner.
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