One of the benefits that IT organizations look for when shifting to cloud solutions is cost savings. And for good reason, because studies such as this have shown that Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions end up saving organizations money over the long term when you compare them against on-prem implementations. As a result, organizations are wondering if a cloud Active Directory® pricing structure can help them save money and alleviate the stresses of setting up, configuring, and maintaining an on-prem Active Directory® (AD) implementation.
What is Needed of Cloud Active Directory?
The interesting part of the question above pertains to what exactly are IT organizations looking for in the first place. Do they value G Suite™ and/or O365 integration? Are they interested in leveraging a single set of credentials to log into a variety of on and off-prem resources? Are they simply weary of managing on-prem infrastructure when they could be dedicating more of their time to higher-value tasks? When we begin to understand that cloud-based directory services can do all that and more it is easy to see why many desire to shift to cloud identity management. That desire stems from the fact that the traditional identity provider (IdP) of choice, AD, hasn’t been a very flexible solution when it comes to connecting users to new cloud-based resources.
What About Azure® Active Directory?
So, many begin to wonder if Microsoft does indeed offer cloud Active Directory. After some research, they begin to look towards Azure® Active Directory and speculate that Azure AD represents the cloud replacement for on-prem AD. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Azure AD is a user management system for Azure – Microsoft’s cloud services platform – meaning it is not a replacement for on-prem AD. It works in tandem with AD; as confirmed by a Microsoft rep in this Spiceworks post. With this knowledge, Azure AD cannot be considered an outright replacement for on-prem AD and could actually end up incurring further costs.
While it may not seem like there is a good solution, a brighter future lies ahead for directory services. There is a third-party solution called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® that is reimagining Active Directory for the cloud era. This platform is taking directory services in a different direction by integrating user management, True Single Sign-On™ (which allows access to all IT resources with one set of credentials), cloud RADIUS, LDAP-as-a-Service, system management via Policies, multi-factor authentication (also called MFA, two-factor authentication, or 2FA) and more in one cloud identity provider. Further, because it’s a third party-solution, all of these capabilities are available on Windows®, Mac®, and Linux® systems.
From a pricing perspective, this cloud-based Active Directory alternative is cost effective and the pricing model is simple to understand. No longer will you need to discuss CALs (client and server), maintenance fees, sever licenses, and more. Just pay for the number of users you need to manage through Directory-as-a-Service with our Pro pricing that includes LDAP, SAML, and RADIUS protocols. Because the Pro version of Directory-as-a-Service includes all of these protocols, plus G Suite or Office 365 integration and AD Bridge, your users will be able to access all of their resources with a single set of credentials. As opposed to AD, which is primarily focused on access to Microsoft-centric tools, IT admins will be able to federate access to legacy applications like MySQL and Jira® via LDAP, web apps via SAML (Salesforce®, Dropbox™), cloud infrastructure from AWS®, GCE™, and even WiFi via RADIUS. In addition to all this, NAS devices and Samba file servers as well as their cloud counterparts (Dropbox, Box™) can all be accessed with our Pro version of Directory-as-a-Service.
Learn More About JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service
If you’re ready to learn more about an alternative to cloud Active Directory pricing and why our cloud directory service is reimagining AD, please drop us a line. Or, if you’re ready to jump in and start managing users, sign up for free account that allows 10 users free forever.