About Active Directory Domain Services From the Cloud

Written by Natalie Bluhm on March 23, 2019

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Microsoft®’s Active Directory® Domain Services (AD DS) has proven to be extremely popular. In fact, most organizations have leveraged the legacy domain controller for their Windows®-based networks for the past two decades.

As IT networks change and morph, however, IT organizations and MSPs are looking for an AD DS from the cloud to better match recent changes in the IT landscape. So, how did on-prem AD DS go from the leading approach for user and system management to being replaced with AD DS from the cloud, if possible?

The Rise and Fall of AD DS

When Active Directory Domain Services was launched, most IT networks at the time were dominated by other Microsoft resources. And, for these Windows-based networks, the concept of the domain and the execution of the domain controller by Microsoft was nothing short of brilliant.

An end user would login to their Windows laptop or desktop and then have access to whatever Windows-based applications and servers they needed without having to re-login. Essentially, through the magic of the domain controller and the Kerberos protocol, Microsoft made it seamless for end users to get access to what they needed. As a Windows-centric solution in a Windows-centric IT world, AD DS worked very well.

Then the IT landscape changed: end users started to prefer macOS® and Linux® systems, data centers shifted to the cloud with AWS®, web applications became more popular, Windows File Servers changed to Samba file servers / NAS appliances, and WiFi networks overtook wired.

All of these new IT resources meant the concept of the domain completely changed. No longer were IT resources on-prem and Windows-based, which is what the domain controller preferred.

What’s an IT Admin to Do?

Well, many MSPs and IT admins started to search for an AD DS from the cloud. Of course, Microsoft’s Azure® AD DS platform immediately came to mind. As IT organizations quickly realized, though, Azure AD DS is really a solution to create a domain at Azure.

What IT organizations actually have in mind is a solution that can integrate with virtually any IT resource—whether it’s from the cloud or on-prem, from Apple®, Google, or Amazon, or uses LDAP, SAML, SSH, or RADIUS. If this sounds like what you’re looking for, JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® is the identity management platform for you.

JumpCloud securely authenticates users to systems, applications, file storage, and networks, regardless of location, protocol, platform, or provider. As a result, IT admins can once again provide their end uses with a seamless login experience while they achieve greater security, control, and efficiency.

Learn More About AD DS from the Cloud

Interested in more facts on AD DS from the cloud? Drop us a note. We’d be happy to walk you through how JumpCloud can elevate your IT environment. If you’re curious about how a cloud-based directory service functions, sign up for a free account. All of our features are available, and your first ten users are free forever. If you need help along the way, check out our video tutorial playlist or browse our Knowledge Base.

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