The sleek metallic shell of Mac® systems is becoming a common sight in the average enterprise. Whatever the reason, be it usability, focus on design, or simply personal preference, more and more employees are opting towards Mac endpoints over Windows® machines. From an IT admin’s perspective, however, the shift towards Mac (and Linux®) systems is presenting a challenge to the Windows-centric, legacy directory service, Microsoft® Active Directory®. Thus, extending Active Directory (AD) identities to non-Windows resources has become a critical part of the identity management infrastructure over the last decade or so. Therefore, many IT admins are comparing JumpCloud® vs Centrify®.
Truthfully, though, comparing Centrify to JumpCloud is like comparing an apple to a fruit salad. The fact of the matter is that while Centrify is considered a upper tier identity bridging solution, JumpCloud is a full identity management suite that reimagines AD in the cloud era. Let’s dissect each solution to see what they bring to the IT admin’s table.
Centrify’s claim to fame has been their ability to be an identity bridge between AD and macOS and Linux systems. Over time, they have have expanded their offering to include first generation IDaaS capabilities in the form of web applications single sign-on (SSO). For large scale enterprises that have built their foundation on Active Directory, Centrify’s enterprise class software solution has been quite helpful.
Presently, Centrify is advertising themselves as primarily a zero trust security solution. While it may seem to be a different approach than their original identity bridge angle, Centrify’s security focus attempts to attract a larger audience to their product. At its core, admins can still use Centrify as an identity bridge.
In the case of JumpCloud, many IT organizations that either don’t have directory services or are looking to replace Active Directory find the cloud based directory service interesting. JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service® platform securely manages and connects users to IT resources including systems, applications, files, and networks regardless of platform, protocol, provider, and location.
While its primary purpose is to act as an AD replacement for the modern IT shop, JumpCloud also features an identity bridging functionality for organizations that are still AD-centric. Simply called AD Bridge, the feature can be used by admins to link their AD identities to all of the other cloud and on-prem resources their enterprise uses on a regular basis through JumpCloud. Organizations using the AD Bridge can link their G Suite™/Office 365™ accounts, SAML-based applications, and more to their AD identities in JumpCloud.
The primary difference to consider when comparing JumpCloud vs Centrify is whether you are tied to Active Directory and are interested in shifting to the cloud. JumpCloud’s cloud directory can be an alternative to AD or an extension to it by bridging identities to macOS® and Linux systems, AWS®, G Suite, Samba file servers/NAS appliances, WiFi via RADIUS, and much more. While Centrify can extend AD identities to the cloud, it isn’t focused on replacing Active Directory. Ultimately, the choice between the two solutions comes down to what your company’s needs are.
Regardless of how you choose, you should know that JumpCloud is completely free for your first ten users in the platform forever. You can take advantage of this by signing up for JumpCloud today. If you have any questions about the product, consider dropping us a line with questions, or checking out our YouTube channel for a wide range of educational content