Get More Out of Active Directory

By Megan Anderson Posted December 22, 2019

Get more out of Active Directory

We all want to get every bit out of what we pay for. Resourcefulness is one of humanity’s claims to success, after all. IT organizations are no different when it comes to their tech stack, often with Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD) at the core. 

Although it has served as a central resource in the industry for decades, admins are now finding they have to dig deeper into their budgets to support AD. To get more out of AD without emptying your pockets, restructure how you think of a directory service and what it can do for you.

Active Directory’s Diminishing Returns

Active Directory was once fundamental to managing all of an organization’s identity management needs, but in the age of cloud computing, remote and contract employees, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, and more sophisticated cyberattacks, IT organizations are starting to outgrow AD’s functionality. Admins often must patch over their directory’s missing coverage with third-party tools. These “add-ons” help to reconstruct AD in a way that better suits the modern world, but the costs associated with them add up.

For example, AD will connect on-prem users to on-prem applications, but not those in the cloud. Admins then may buy a single sign-on (SSO) tool that connects users to web applications, but then there’s more siloed identities to manage with limited coverage from AD. 

Remote users (or those who work remotely part-time) require access to on-prem resources as well, but in order to grant it to them, they need to implement for VPNs. Then there’s the matter of managing macOS® or Linux® devices outside of AD, requiring another supplemental tool.

Each add-on comes at a cost, both monetarily and implementation-wise. Some are harder to install than others, taking away time and energy from other projects. Attaching add-on after add-on leads to diminishing returns. The amount an organization pays for their overpatched AD instance quickly exceeds their gains.

Now we’re brought back to our original goal: to get more out of AD. Instead of a chain of add-ons serving AD more than its serving you, consider consolidating.

Active Directory Integration: Less is More

Count all of the add-ons you use to enhance Active Directory, then collapse them into a single, lightweight package. JumpCloud® AD Integration makes that possible.

With AD Integration, you can extend user identities to cloud applications, manage the top three major systems, enforce compliance and password policies, and allow users to self-service password resets/changes. You can provision to the user through AD and manage access to applications and files through JumpCloud, so there’s no need to learn a new software inside and out, and users experience little if any disruption. The only perceivable difference would be that their AD credentials grant them access to a wider range of systems, applications, and resources.

Alternatively, should you decide to retire AD and go full-cloud, you can migrate onto JumpCloud entirely. You receive all the benefits of a robust directory service minus the encumbrance of on-prem servers, Microsoft’s vendor lock-in, VPN tunneling, and such. Choosing the best approach ultimately depends on your organization’s existing infrastructure, unique needs, and long-term goals, but look to streamline processes wherever possible.

Learn More

To learn more about how JumpCloud can help you get more out of Active Directory, schedule a free demo or watch one of our video tutorials. If you’d like to experiment with it yourself, sign up for a free account –– no credit card required. 

Megan Anderson

Megan is a content writer at JumpCloud with a B.A. in English from MSU Denver. Colorado-born and raised, she enjoys hiking, skiing, and all manner of dogs.

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