AWS IAM and JumpCloud — Complementary Tools

Written by Rajat Bhargava on September 11, 2013

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One thing that we’re asked occasionally is “how can you expect to compete with AWS against their IAM?” This belies a pretty fundamental confusion about what IAM does versus what we do here at JumpCloud, SSH / privileged account management or more broadly Directory-as-a-Service®. As a cloud-based directory service, we are the central, authoritative user database that controls access to servers, desktops, LDAP-based applications, SAML web apps, WiFi, and more.

The AWS IAM product is built to control access to the infrastructure of your Amazon virtual machines: who can spin them up, who can make snapshots of them, etc. It’s analogous to controlling who has has keys to get into your data center or server room.

JumpCloud, on the other hand, controls who can get onto your machines or servers. It works at the operating system level, authenticating and authorizing users to the system. It’s analogous to your company’s operations group deciding who needs access to what system and propagating credentials out to those machines. Very similar to how people are using Active Directory or LDAP – in fact, JumpCloud is a great solution to replace both AD and LDAP for cloud servers and more broadly your directory services. Ideally, that’s exactly the scenario — we just make the entire process extremely simple for your DevOps or IT operations team. No need to manage your SSH keys, user accounts, LDAP server, etc.

AWS IAM and JumpCloud Enhance Each Other

The two technologies, IAM and JumpCloud, don’t really have any overlap in their functionality but rather strongly complement each other. Use IAM to control who can manage the infrastructure of your AWS servers, and use JumpCloud to manage who can login to those systems.

To learn more about how Directory-as-a-Service can help you, drop us a note. We’d be happy to walk you through the benefits of our identity management platform. Or try DaaS yourself. Your first 10 users are free forever.

Rajat Bhargava

Rajat Bhargava is co-founder and CEO of JumpCloud, the first Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS). JumpCloud securely connects and manages employees, their devices and IT applications. An MIT graduate with two decades of experience in industries including cloud, security, networking and IT, Rajat is an eight-time entrepreneur with five exits including two IPOs, three trade sales and three companies still private.

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