IT admins are often wondering what the best LDAP server to use is. There are a lot of variables for what best means here, and every IT organization has different priorities. With LDAP servers, the deciding factors could be performance, features, stability, ease of deployment, and many more.
There are also a number of different open source, commercial, and SaaS-based choices of LDAP servers. It’s a complex space. So let’s lay out your options.
Perhaps the most popular open source LDAP server today, OpenLDAP™ is a strong potential choice for those that want to host and maintain the server themselves. OpenLDAP has plenty of flexibility and is ideal for LDAP experts that want to work at the command line and with the code.
Apache Directory Server
A component of the Apache Directory Studio suite, the concept for Apache Directory Server on the LDAP side is to be a bit easier to manage with some strong features around the ability to manage the underlying database. It has the capacity to run stored procedures and triggers to make manipulation of the database and maintenance much easier.
389 Directory Server
A solid choice of a replacement for OpenLDAP, 389 Directory Server is easy to install and configure. It is based on the Berkeley database and should be reasonably high performance. It has a number of features that would be valuable to IT admins as well, including database control, access control, and security functionality.
Microsoft® Active Directory®
Organizations can use Microsoft® Active Directory® for LDAP authentication. It may be a little bit trickier since AD’s primary authentication approach is Kerberos. Most Microsoft Windows® systems and applications leverage the Kerberos approach. There are a number of documents and APIs that IT admins can leverage to connect their LDAP-based applications to AD.
Cloud, SaaS-based LDAP
JumpCloud’s approach to directory services is dramatically different than the others on this list. JumpCloud’s virtual identity provider supports LDAP. And it also supports a wide variety of other protocols, including native system APIs, SAML, RADIUS, SSH, and REST, among others. As a cloud-hosted LDAP platform, IT admins don’t need to worry about the installation, configuration, and ongoing maintenance of the SaaS-based LDAP service. JumpCloud leverages the standard OpenLDAP configuration and schema for greater compatibility.
Which is the Best LDAP Server for You?
Choosing the best LDAP server can be difficult. Each of the choices above can be an excellent approach depending upon the situation. Try to take some time to figure out what are the most critical requirements for your organization. You can then prioritize those requirements as you begin to look at what LDAP solution is best for you.