Centralized Control: Samba File Servers and NAS

Written by Vince Lujan on November 24, 2017

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Modern IT organizations can be complex. With cloud infrastructure, web apps, disparate operating systems, cloud and on-prem storage – it often isn’t as black and white as shifting everything to the cloud or keeping everything on-prem. In fact, hybrid situations are often the best option.

The challenge for IT admins is how to manage this complex infrastructure. Achieving centralized control means one place to manage access to systems, apps, networks, and even file servers. So how can your organization gain centralized control over access to Samba file servers and NAS appliances – along with everything else?

We’ll lay out a new approach that modern organizations are using to achieve centralized control over their hybrid environments, but before we do, it is important to explain why IT organizations use Samba file servers and NAS appliances in the first place.

Why Use Samba File Servers and NAS Appliances?

Having an easy to access yet secure place to store data is a critical challenge for most organizations. Of course, there are a variety of solutions both on-prem and in the cloud.

For example, cloud data storage solutions such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box are very popular. Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers such as AWS or GCP can also enable organizations to shift their entire data center to the cloud and leverage cloud storage solutions such as S3 for AWS and Google Cloud Storage.

While these are all great solutions for cloud storage, it’s not uncommon for IT organizations to take a hybrid approach to cloud and on-prem storage. On-prem storage solutions like Samba file servers and NAS appliances offer a number of advantages when compared to their cloud counterparts, including reduced cost, increased bandwidth and reliability, in addition to the sense of security that comes with knowing exactly where critical data is being stored.

Of course, cloud storage solutions have their advantages too, such as scaling automatically to suit an organization’s needs and being more readily available – but there’s no denying that on-prem Samba file servers and NAS appliances can still be the right fit even for cloud-forward organizations.

Managing Samba File Servers and NAS Appliances

In this complex, hybrid IT world, one of the key mechanisms to make things easier for IT admins is to find management tools that can cut across platforms, providers, and locations. That is why some of the most critical IT management tools are Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions.

These identity management solutions are critical because they tie all of the IT resources that an organization has to one identity that the user leverages. Unfortunately, while legacy IAM solutions such as Microsoft Active Directory® and OpenLDAP are excellent for Windows networks or resources that just leverage LDAP, IT admins know that modern infrastructures aren’t that simple.

Today’s modern IT environment is cross platform with Windows, Mac and Linux systems. LDAP is just one of the many authentication protocols in use with others including RADIUS, SAML, OAuth, and native authentication for each system platform. As a result, it is difficult to have centralized control over all of the IT resources from an identity management perspective with legacy identity providers.

Centralized Control with Directory-as-a-Service®

The good news is that advancements in the IAM space are enabling centralized control over a wide range of IT resources including systems, applications, data, and networks. For instance, a platform such as Directory-as-a-Service leverages a cloud LDAP feature to provide centralized control over Samba file servers and NAS appliances.

The ability to enable or disable access to Samba file servers and NAS appliances is available in the Directories tab in the JumpCloud administrative console as part of our LDAP integration functionality. Simply navigate to JumpCloud’s LDAP integration feature and click configure Samba authentication to enable or disable the functionality.

This enables IT admins to tightly control user access to directories and files from a cloud IAM platform. This is because the identity that the user leverages for access to their system is the same identity that the user leverages to access their Samba and NAS file servers.

The benefit with this approach is that IT admins leveraging Directory-as-a-Service can provision or block access to Samba file servers and NAS appliances with the click of a button.

Learn more about Centralized Control for Samba File Servers and NAS Appliances

Learn more about managing access to Samba File Servers and NAS Appliances with JumpCloud

Contact a member of our team to learn more about how to centralize control over Samba file servers and NAS appliances with Directory-as-a-Service,. You can also sign up for a Directory-as-a-Service account and connect your users to Samba file servers and NAS appliances today. Your first ten users are free so you can check out the full functionality of Directory-as-a-Service risk free.

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