Comparing JumpCloud vs Azure AD and Intune

Written by Zach DeMeyer on August 11, 2020

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Microsoft® is making a steady push in identity and mobile device management with IT tools based in Azure®. A pair of solutions in consideration, especially among managed service providers, is Azure Active Directory® with Intune™. Another identity management and device management tool disrupting the market is JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®. As organizations consider cloud-based IT management tools, they compare JumpCloud to Azure AD with Intune as their preferred identity and system management option.

Comparing JumpCloud versus Azure AD with Intune

It’s a sound comparison to make, as it only makes sense for organizations to evaluate all of their cloud-based identity and system management options. Put simply, the comparison between JumpCloud and Azure AD with Intune is really about what platforms your organization already deploys and where you are going from a cloud perspective. Deciding between the two options boils down to your IT shop’s needs.

If you have an all-Windows® network, already implementing Azure with Active Directory® on-premises, then Azure AD and Intune could be a fair addition for your organization. Using tools created by Microsoft in a Windows environment simply makes sense. Mobile-heavy organizations may also find benefit in using Intune’s mobile device management (MDM) capabilities.

Many organizations also consider just Azure AD with Intune, but the challenge becomes having full control over identities and deep system management control. Azure AD was created as an adjunct to Active Directory — an extension to on-prem identities to control Azure resources and web applications. Intune, on the other hand, is a mobile device management solution focused primarily on iOS®, Android®, and Windows. While it extends to macOS and Linux, it struggles with all of what an IT administrator may want to do with those non-Windows platforms.

However, if your organization has macOS®, Linux®, AWS®, G Suite™, and other non-Windows platforms core parts of the infrastructure, then you will benefit by choosingJumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service. In fact, if you aren’t completely centered around Windows 10 with Microsoft’s business editions, you’ll struggle using Azure AD regardless.  

What’s Best for Your Shop?

So, when comparing JumpCloud vs Azure AD with Intune, the first place to start is to evaluate your current platforms, and where you believe you are headed. If you are locked in to Microsoft solutions, or if you have corporate owned iOS and Android mobile devices, then Azure solutions may be an acceptable fit. But, if you are invested in, or, at the very least, interested in other non-Windows platforms, then you’ll want to consider the alternative cloud directory service, JumpCloud. Here are some facts about JumpCloud that may influence your comparison:

As a cloud directory service first and foremost, JumpCloud centralizes user and system management, regardless of platform (Windows, Mac®, or Linux). This includes the Multi-Tenant Portal, designed specifically for MSPs to manage multiple client organizations from one pane of glass. JumpCloud offers cross-platform GPO-like capabilities to manage fleets of systems with Policies, including local admin system controls, full disk encryption with FileVault 2 and Bitlocker, screen lock regulations and more. Apple MDM capabilities are available for macOS machines, forexecution of security functions and distribution of configuration profiles. With Microsoft 365™/G Suite sync, organizations can access either productivity platform at will with JumpCloud credentials.

Also, when evaluating which identity management provider is right for you, you’ll want to consider your non-system needs. For instance, if you are interested in LDAP, RADIUS, Samba, SSH, and other protocol support, you might consider JumpCloud’s protocol level hosted services.

Another core issue for MSPs and IT organizations is vendor lock-in. Microsoft, while promoting diversity, is financially motivated to keep you on the Windows and Azure platform track. Often, you need a number of additional Microsoft tools on the Azure AD and Intune path. Most organizations with AAD also use AD on-prem, AAD Connect, AAD DS, and other third-party tools to create a holistic IAM and device management approach.

You may not want to be tied into solely Microsoft tools, preferring to choose the right IT solutions for your organization, regardless of their vendor. JumpCloud’s focus on protocol support and diverse platforms ensures that you choose the right technology for your end users and then subsequently manage it. 

The Choice is Yours

However you choose, either option presents benefits to an organization. Both choices can be used in tandem, for example, with JumpCloud instead of an on-prem Microsoft AD instance as the source of truth for Azure/Intune identities. To learn more about JumpCloud versus Azure AD with Intune, contact us.

As always, signing up for the JumpCloud platform is completely free, and includes 10 users and systems free forever to get you started. If you have any questions when using our platform, you get 10 days of premium 24×7 in-app chat support to help.

Zach DeMeyer

Zach is a Product Marketing Specialist at JumpCloud with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He loves being on the cutting edge of new technology, and when he's not working, he enjoys all things outdoors, music, and soccer.

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