By Zach DeMeyer Posted October 25, 2018
Part of what makes the future so exciting is the rise of new technologies. When it comes to systems and cloud computing, each industry is embroiled in a tight competition among three different competitors. For systems, Windows®, Mac®, and Linux® are engaged in a neck-and-neck race for the top of the market share pile. In cloud computing, Google Cloud®, Azure®, and AWS® are battling for supremacy in their space. Regardless of the outcome, every solution touts their own benefits, making them appealing to innumerable organizations. For the IT department of these organizations, however, managing user identities and their access to these disparate resources is a constant struggle. Is there an adaptive directory that can manage every solution, regardless of its provider?
The Traditional Directory
By the nature of that question, you can infer that traditional directories are not adaptive. Used by most IT organizations, the industry standard directory service is Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD or MAD). Being a Microsoft product, AD is obviously best suited for Windows environments. Unfortunately, when it comes to Mac and Linux systems, AD is poorly suited to manage and authenticate them. AD requires identity bridges and other add-on software for heterogeneous fleets. Although it doesn’t seem like much of a big deal, adding this toll to admins’ time and budgets creates a point of pain for IT organizations.
When it comes to cloud infrastructure, the on-prem Active Directory is also limited in its capabilities. Of course, Active Directory and Azure can interact amicably, but AD struggles to connect to AWS and Google Cloud servers and solutions. Add on Samba file servers, NAS appliances, wireless network access, etc. and AD’s effectiveness begins to dwindle.
What an Adaptive Directory Looks Like
A truly adaptive directory shouldn’t require additional tools to properly function in the modern era. An adaptive directory can federate user access to IT resources without concern of which resource that user chooses to use. This freedom of choice includes LDAP and SAML-based applications, local and cloud servers, and more.
IT resources shouldn’t be the only aspect a directory should adapt to. Today’s workforce is one that is constantly on the move. Employees can work on the bus, in a coffee shop down the street, at home in bed, or anywhere they have access to a wireless network. While these employees may not be sitting at a desk in the office, they still need the same access to IT resources to get their jobs done. As long as there is internet access, an adaptive directory should be connecting users to their IT resources regardless of employee locale as well.
JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®: The Adaptive Directory
As a third party, cloud-based directory service, JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® is the adaptive directory for the modern era. Crafted for the heterogeneous IT environment, JumpCloud federates user access regardless of provider, platform, protocol or location. By leveraging the LDAP, SAML, and RADIUS protocols, endpoint-centric Directory-as-a-Service authenticates identities and provisions access to almost any resource an employee may need. Directory-as-a-Service is everready for a constantly changing IT scene, and is adapting to meet security needs with enforceable MFA, password complexity, and more.
To learn more about the adaptive directory, JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service, contact us today! Our expert support staff will be happy to help. By signing up for JumpCloud, you can try the adaptive directory for yourself completely free. Signing up includes ten free users forever to get you started.