Cloud Identity Management Guide

Written by Vince Lujan on June 5, 2018

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Is there a cloud identity management system available that is designed to cut across modern IT networks? The short answer is, yes – it’s called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®. Why are traditional on-prem identity management systems no longer enough? Continue reading for the answer to this question, and to learn how the JumpCloud platform can provide next generation identity management capabilities as a cloud-based service. Let’s start with the essentials.

What is Identity Management and Why is it Important?

identity management

According to TechTarget, identity management describes the organizational process of managing user identities, and authenticating and authorizing user access to systems, applications, files, and networks. Identity management is critical for the modern enterprise as it enables IT to control who can access various IT resources throughout the network. In an era where 57 data records are lost or stolen every second, and 81% of breaches are related to stolen or weak passwords, it is clear that identity management should be a priority. Fortunately, identity management systems are here to help.

The Development of Identity Management Systems

The evolution of directory services

Modern Identity Management

The modern era of identity management dates back to the advent of LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol). Introduced in 1993 as a lightweight alternative to the X.500 directory service protocol, LDAP would become the internet standard for directory services in 1997, and subsequently inspire two powerful on-prem identity management systems: OpenLDAP™ and Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD). Of course, AD would quickly become the market share leader, primarily due to the dominance of the Microsoft Windows® platform around the turn of the century. In fact, this is the main reason why AD has remained the most popular on-prem identity management system to this day.

However, things started to change in the mid-2000s as all of the systems, applications, files, and networks started to diversify. Suddenly, networks weren’t all Windows, but also included macOS® and Linux®. The introduction of web applications like Salesforce® and G Suite™ (formerly Google Apps) meant that applications were no longer strictly on-prem or Windows-based either.

Windows File Servers could be replaced with on-prem Samba file servers and NAS appliances, and cloud storage alternatives (such as Box™ and Google Drive™). Cloud infrastructure providers like AWS® could even help IT organizations shift their entire data center to the cloud. With so much of the network shifting to the cloud, IT organizations began to wonder if their on-prem identity management system could be delivered as a cloud-based service as well. Fortunately, the market was listening, and the result was a next generation cloud identity management system called JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service.

Modern Cloud Identity Management System


JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service is the first cloud identity management system designed with a cross-platform, vendor-neutral, and protocol-driven approach to managing modern IT networks. In other words, the JumpCloud platform securely manages and connects users to virtually any IT resource, regardless of the platform, provider, protocol, or location.

This includes systems (Windows, macOS, Linux), web and on-prem applications (via SAML, LDAP), Samba file servers, NAS appliances, and even networks via RADIUS. In doing so, IT can centralize identity and access management across their infrastructure with one comprehensive cloud identity management system.

Learn More About Cloud Identity Management Systems

If you would like to see a cloud identity management system in action, sign up for a free account or schedule a demo. We offer 10 free users to help get you started, and the full functionality of the JumpCloud platform is available at no cost. Of course, you can also contact JumpCloud if you have any questions.

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