Cloud Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS)

Written by Rajat Bhargava on January 19, 2016

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The identity management landscape is moving to the cloud. Core identities, which are generally stored within a directory service, have historically been hosted on-prem. IT admins have been loath to move their core identity provider to the cloud due to security reasons. Recently, modern cloud Directory-as-a-Service platforms are changing that approach.

Core Identities are Secure on the Cloud

To what do we owe this transformation? It stems from fundamental changes in how IT organizations function. Today, IT organizations are leveraging multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Linux as well as mobile and tablet devices. Data centers and server infrastructures are moving from on-prem or collocated to virtual systems at Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers such as AWS or Google Compute Engine. Additionally, applications are now scattered between on-prem and in the cloud. Core productivity platforms, such as email, are now provided by Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365. Networks are no longer wired; they are now wireless instead. Let’s not forget that employees are currently working from just about anywhere in the world.

Losing Confidence in On-Prem Directory Services

All of these changes have put tremendous pressure on the legacy on-prem directory. Historically, Microsoft Active Directory and OpenLDAP have been the self-hosted solutions of choice. Unfortunately, with adjustments in the IT industry, an on-prem directory service is no longer as valuable as a modern cloud-based directory service. The reasons? Cloud Directory-as-a-Service offers ease of integration with additional IT resources and simplified networking.

Enjoy Safety and Flexibility with Cloud Directory-as-a-Service

A cloud Directory-as-a-Service platform connects users to the systems, applications, and networks that users need. There are many benefits of cloud DaaS. It is platform agnostic, location independent, and supports multiple protocols. Specifically, IT admins can manage not only Windows machines but also Mac and Linux devices. Cloud servers are even within the purview of the cloud management system. On-prem and cloud applications are both integrated into the DaaS platform. WiFi networks can be connected to the cloud-based identity provider without the need for LDAP or RADIUS infrastructure on-prem.

In fact, Directory-as-a-Service can support authentication via multiple protocols, including LDAP, RADIUS, SAML, and SSH. Similar to Active Directory, DaaS can manage Windows devices with policies comparable to GPOs.(link to yet published post Microsoft Group Policy Object (GPO) replacement) Unlike Active Directory, though, the cloud-based identity platform can also manage Mac and Linux machines. That, along with multi-factor authentication, are significant additional core capabilities. Traditional directories were created at a time when one platform (Windows) or one protocol (LDAP) defined the entire IT environment. This is no longer true, and a modern identity and access control platform is now necessary.

JumpCloud: Your Trusted DaaS Provider

If you would like to learn more about our cloud Directory-as-a-Service platform, drop us a note. We’d be happy to discuss it with you, or feel free to give it a try for yourself. Your first 10 users are free forever.

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