Auth0 vs Azure AD

Written by Zach DeMeyer on August 17, 2019

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As the world continues to shift to the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model of application delivery, developers are starting to find ways to make their process more manageable. One such avenue is the use of customer identity and access management (IAM) solutions to off-load the chore of managing end user databases. In the era of microservices, developers look at these types of solutions as cloud user directory services for their applications. In this category, many are comparing Auth0® vs Azure® Active Directory®, and more specifically, the B2C (business-to-customer) version of the Microsoft® Azure product.

A Good Comparison

For application developers, this part of their web application or mobile app is not often a market differentiator, so offloading it to organizations like Auth0 or Azure Active Directory (AAD) B2C makes a lot of sense. Both Auth0 and Azure AD are effective at aiding DevOps organizations with simplifying the management of a customer user database. Beyond that, they can also help with all of the management of permissions, auditing, password resets, and everything else involved with this process. 

When it comes to actually comparing the two products, the general consensus is that the two are fairly neck and neck. Across many of today’s popular review platforms, both Auth0 and Azure AD B2C score around the same in most categories. A key differentiator between them is the fact that, as a Microsoft offering, Azure AD B2C is more inclined towards Azure-centric organizations (i.e. teams building applications on Azure). With many of today’s apps being designed in other IaaS platforms such as AWS® or GCP™, Auth0 might give a leg up in that regard.

Bigger Cloud IAM Needs

Of course, a major reason for the comparison of Auth0 vs. Azure AD B2C is the fact that much of today’s workloads are being moved to the cloud. Per the RightScale® 2019 State of the Cloud Report, respondents plan on spending 24% more on public cloud infrastructure than they did in 2018. Everything from applications to file servers are being offered from the cloud, and as organizations consider cloud IAM solutions, it’s only natural that their thoughts lean towards a cloud directory service for internal users (i.e. employees and contractors) as well.

Historically, the directory service most often used by organizations has been the on-prem, legacy identity provider, Microsoft Active Directory®. Similar to off-loading customer IAM, IT admins and DevOps engineers are looking for ways to manage their internal users and their access to all of their resources. What’s more, this method needs to be easy to use and effective regardless of platform, protocol, provider, and location

Unfortunately, while devoid of a Microsoft cloud analogue (Azure AD isn’t a replacement to AD), Active Directory is also mainly limited to on-prem, Windows resources. Today’s IT organizations need to control access to systems (Windows, Mac®, Linux®), cloud and on-prem servers (e.g. AWS, GCP), web and on-prem applications via SAML and LDAP, physical and virtual file servers such as Box™, G Drive™, and NAS appliances, and wired and WiFi networks through RADIUS. It’s a tough list for many directory service solutions, except for JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®.

What is JumpCloud?

JumpCloud is the modern reimagination of Active Directory, enabling IT admins to control internal users and their access to virtually all IT resources, no matter who offers them. IT admins can use JumpCloud to connect to their choice of practically any system, web app, cloud infrastructure, file server, and more. All of this functionality and more are available from the centralized Directory-as-a-Service web-browser admin console.

Learn More

If you want to learn more about how you can use JumpCloud as a cloud directory service to manage practically any resource, you can contact us with your questions and concerns. We’d be happy to share our perspectives with you. You can also see the JumpCloud product in action by scheduling a free personalized demo or watching a recorded walkthrough on our website.

Want to try JumpCloud for yourself? You can do so absolutely free by signing up for JumpCloud today. A free JumpCloud account gives you access to all of Directory-as-a-Service, with ten users included so you can sandbox your environment for free for as long as you need.

Zach DeMeyer

Zach is a Product Marketing Specialist at JumpCloud with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He loves being on the cutting edge of new technology, and when he's not working, he enjoys all things outdoors, music, and soccer.

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