Choose a device management solution for System Center Configuration Manager

Applies to: System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch)

System Center Configuration Manager (also known as ConfgMgr or SCCM) offers different solutions for managing PCs, servers, and devices. You can choose the solution that's right for you, based on the device platforms you need to manage and the management functionality you need.

Overview of device management solutions

This article covers four device management solutions: the Configuration Manager client application, on-premises Configuration Manager infrastructure, Microsoft Intune, and Exchange. The article concludes with two tables that compare the management solutions, one based on supported mobile device platforms, and one based on management functionality.

Manage devices with the Configuration Manager client

This option, which requires installation of the Configuration Manager client application on the devices, provides the most features for managing PCs, servers, and other devices in your environment. For more information, see Client installation methods in System Center Configuration Manager.

Manage devices with on-premises Configuration Manager infrastructure

This option uses the device management capabilities built into the operating systems of some device platforms. While not as full-featured as the client-based management, on-premises mobile device management provides a lighter touch approach to management by using on-premises Configuration Manager resources to reach and manage devices. Note that this option is currently supported only for Windows 10 PCs and Windows 10 Mobile devices.

For more information, see Manage mobile devices with on-premises infrastructure in System Center Configuration Manager.

Manage devices with Microsoft Intune (hybrid)

This option uses Microsoft Intune to enroll and manage devices, instead of using Configuration Manager on-premises resources. Even though Intune manages the devices, you access your management tasks in the Configuration Manager console. This option supports all major mobile device operating systems, including Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Phone, iOS, Mac OS X, and Android. It also provides management for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 computers in your organization.

For more information, see Hybrid mobile device management (MDM) with System Center Configuration Manager and Microsoft Intune.

Manage devices with Microsoft Exchange

This option uses the Exchange Server connector to connect multiple Exchange servers to Configuration Manager. This centralizes management of devices that can connect to Exchange ActiveSync. You can configure Exchange mobile device management features, such as remote device wipe and the settings control for multiple Exchange servers, from the Configuration Manager console.

For more information, see Manage mobile devices with System Center Configuration Manager and Exchange.

You can use these device management solutions by themselves or in combination with each other. For example, you can use the client-based management approach to manage the computers and servers in your organization, and also use Intune to manage mobile devices. By combining approaches this way, you can cover all of your device management needs from the Configuration Manager console.

Compare device management solutions based on supported mobile device platforms

Platform With the Configuration Manager client Configuration Manager with Microsoft Intune (hybrid) On-premises mobile device management Configuration Manager with Exchange
Android Yes Yes
iOS Yes Yes
Mac OS X Yes Yes
UNIX/Linux Yes Yes
Windows 10 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows 10 Mobile Yes Yes Yes
Windows (previous versions) Yes Yes Yes
Windows CE Yes (with mobile device legacy client) Yes
Windows Embedded Yes
Windows Phone Yes Yes
Windows Server Yes Yes

For a complete list of supported platforms, see Supported operating systems for clients and devices for System Center Configuration Manager.

Compare mobile device management solutions based on management functionality

Management functionality With the Configuration Manager client Configuration Manager with Microsoft Intune (hybrid) On-premises mobile device management Configuration Manager with Exchange
Public key infrastructure (PKI) security between the mobile device and Configuration Manager (uses mutual authentication and SSL to encrypt data transfers) Yes Yes Yes
Client installation Yes
Support over the Internet Yes
Discovery Yes Yes
Hardware inventory Yes Yes Yes Yes
Software inventory Yes Yes
Settings Yes Yes Yes Yes
Software deployment Yes Yes Yes
Monitor with fallback status point Yes
Connections to management points Yes Yes
Connections to distribution points Yes Yes
Block from Configuration Manager Yes Yes Yes
Quarantine and block from Exchange Server (and Configuration Manager) Yes
Remote wipe Yes Yes Yes