Simeon Cloud and Microsoft 365 DSC: How to Find the Right Microsoft 365 Configuration Tool

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July 22, 2022

Ansible, Terraform, Chef — there are many configuration management tools to choose from. Unfortunately, most of them are built for infrastructure deployment, not Microsoft 365. If you’re a Microsoft 365 administrator looking for a way to automate configuration management across your organization, your choices are limited.

However, Microsoft 365 DSC is one clear contender that’s come up time and again in the relatively small list of M365 configuration tools. It’s free and open-source with everything you need to apply DevOps practices like continuous integration and continuous deployment to Microsoft 365. 

But, that’s not the only option. With dedicated technical support and a robust no-code interface, Simeon Cloud has been making waves as the new configuration management solution for M365. It’s faster, simpler, and easier to use — even if it’s a paid solution.

All of this begs the question, what’s the difference between the two platforms? Microsoft 365 DSC vs Simeon Cloud — find out which configuration management tool is right for you, whether you’re a large-scale enterprise or a managed service provider with multiple clients.

Microsoft 365 DSC vs Simeon Cloud: A Brief Overview

Before we jump into the details of each platform, let’s begin by talking about what they are and what they do.

Microsoft 365 DSC and Simeon Cloud are both configuration management tools for M365. That means they use automation to simplify the process of setting up and managing Microsoft 365 configurations. They eliminate  the cumbersome task of going through the same options over and over each time you want to create or update a Microsoft 365 tenant, making things much easier and less error-prone for engineers and operations managers. 

The difference, then, is in the way they each approach this problem. Microsoft 365 DSC, being open-source and community-maintained, is code-intensive and can be difficult for people who are not DevOps engineers or PowerShell users. Simeon Cloud works for users of all skill levels by using an intuitive, no-code management interface and providing support for paying users.

Choosing the right configuration management tool for you means assessing the needs of your organization to determine how much support and automation you need. Let’s explore the details of each platform to figure out which one’s right for you.

Simeon Cloud: The Best Configuration Management Tool for Microsoft 365

Let’s start with Simeon. Simeon Cloud is an all-in-one configuration management tool for Microsoft 365 for users of all skill levels. 

Microsoft 365 is a robust but complicated productivity platform that features thousands of configurations to help you create your ideal workplace setup for both data security and regulatory compliance. But managing these configurations can be a manual, tedious, and error-prone process.

Simeon helps you automate the process of creating and managing your Microsoft 365 configurations so you don’t have to spend hours going through each setting every time you want to deploy a new tenant or update an existing one.

With Simeon, you can manage multiple tenants while staying in full control of your application lifecycle. Every tenant configuration is backed up securely in the cloud with one-click restorability and detailed documentation for every change you make to your configurations.

Unlike other configuration-as-code platforms, Simeon uses an intuitive no-code interface that’s very easy to use. You can review changes, restore backups, and ensure compliance all without writing a single line of code. It saves hours of development time when all you have to do is click a button or two instead of writing complex scripts to automate your configuration management.

But that’s not all. Simeon Cloud also offers round-the-clock support for all users in case you run into any issues configuring your tenants. You also get access to an established baseline of configuration best practices as well as a host of resources to help you get started.

Moreover, Intune users also gain the ability to package applications and software with just one click. Simeon lets users manage, edit, and update Intune applications individually or in bulk across one or multiple tenants.

Simeon Cloud is the premium configuration management platform currently available for Microsoft 365. Interested in giving it a try? Request a demo today to get started!

Microsoft 365 DSC: Open-Source Configuration Management for DIY Users

So, what is Microsoft DSC? Microsoft 365 DSC is also a configuration management tool for Microsoft 365.

But, unlike Simeon, Microsoft 365 DSC is not a no-code platform. Rather, it is a module for PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC), a platform for testing and managing baseline configurations. Microsoft 365 DSC is available through the PowerShell Gallery and works with popular M365 solutions like SharePoint, Teams, Exchange Online, OneDrive, and Intune. 

Microsoft 365 DSC is an open-source configuration tool available for free on GitHub. However, it lacks the usability and accessibility of a no-code solution. The code it produces is verbose, making it unnecessarily complicated and hard-to-read. 

Microsoft 365 DSC lets you write your own baseline configuration using the PowerShell DSC syntax, but does not come with its own pre-established baseline. That means needing to have serious DevOps knowledge, which is not ideal for people from non-engineering backgrounds.

Similarly, Microsoft 365 DSC lets you take snapshots of an existing tenant for migration, but it doesn’t let you deploy tenants with one click. The only way to sync configurations between two tenants is to manually export the configuration of one tenant and then deploy it to another. To put that into perspective, exporting a configuration from one tenant to another can take hours with Microsoft 365 DSC versus only a few minutes with Simeon Cloud.

So, while it’s a tool coming straight from the engineers at Microsoft, Microsoft 365 DSC does require more micromanagement and technical skills. Unless you’re intimately familiar with PowerShell DSC, you’ll have to read through a lot of documentation to figure out how to set up your first tenant. 

Without a user interface or organizational system for storing configurations, it’s also harder to keep track of individual changes to multiple tenants. You can’t search for individual lines of code or document changes to your configuration on-the-fly, making it a hassle to administrate your tenants across Microsoft 365. 

How to Choose the Right Microsoft 365 Configuration Tool?

Let’s review our options one more time.

Microsoft 365 DSC, being free and open-source, requires complex coding and manual intervention on an ongoing basis. It also does not get you access to premium customer support when you need help. It is currently the only choice for users who don’t want to invest in a paid solution, but it’s far from perfect.

Simeon Cloud is a professionally-built, no-code solution. It fully automates M365 configuration management with cloud-based backups, one-click restore, detailed documentation, drift detection, tenant-to-tenant migration, and pre-established best practices baselines. Yes, it’s a paid tool. However, it comes with premium support aasnd offers more value to organizations looking for end-to-end configuration management.

Still need some help to decide? Request a free demo for Simeon Cloud today to see the platform in action.