Comparing JumpCloud® vs Okta®

Written by Zach DeMeyer on October 18, 2018

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As today’s IT organizations strive to find the best identity and access management (IAM) solution to suit their needs, IT admins are often comparing JumpCloud® vs Okta®. It is an interesting comparison because there is some overlap, but actually the two solutions are more complementary. The key piece about the comparison between JumpCloud and Okta is really about whether core directory services or web application single sign-on (SSO) are more important to you.

Comparing JumpCloud vs Okta

The key differences to consider between JumpCloud and Okta generally stem from control over system infrastructure (user and system management), and the support for non-SAML protocols such as LDAP, RADIUS, SSH, Samba, and others related to network infrastructure and cloud servers. In the long run, the consideration falls heavily on if your organization already has an identity provider in place or not. Let’s see what each solution brings to the table, and whether you need an SSO or a cloud directory.

Okta is primarily a web application single sign-on solution, also called first generation Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS). As such, Okta’s use case wheelhouse is fairly centered on extending Microsoft® Active Directory® (MAD or AD) to web applications, especially for larger-scale, enterprise-level organizations. Okta’s frequent competitors are Microsoft’s Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) solution, Microsoft Azure® Active Directory, or now players like Google and Amazon.

Meanwhile JumpCloud’s focus with the Directory-as-a-Service® product has been on providing a core directory service for heterogeneous environments that include macOS®, Windows®, and Linux® systems. JumpCloud also federates access to AWS®, GCP™, or Azure cloud infrastructure, G Suite™ and/or Office 365™ productivity platforms, on-prem and web applications via LDAP and SAML, file servers (Samba, NAS, Google Drive, etc.), and wired and WiFi networks through RADIUS. Since it is a core directory based in the cloud, JumpCloud is also remotely accessible and scales well with growing businesses.

The Decision

In deciding between JumpCloud and Okta, IT organizations should analyze their requirements for solutions from the IAM space, weighing the shape and size of their company against the features of the two solutions. If you are a large scale enterprise that’s heavily invested in Active Directory as your core identity provider, and need to extend those identities to web applications, Okta is an excellent solution to consider. If you are either without a directory service or are looking to move away from AD, then JumpCloud’s cloud directory service may be an excellent choice for you.

In either case, JumpCloud and Okta could be used in concert, with JumpCloud as the sole source of truth that Okta gleans off of to federate access to web applications. Why compare JumpCloud vs Okta when you could maybe just use both? Ultimately, that decision is up to what’s best for your organization.

If you feel that JumpCloud is the best fit for your organization’s IAM needs, then consider signing up for the Directory-as-a-Service product today. Signing up is completely free, and so are your first ten users in the platform to get you started. If you would like to see the product in action before you sign up, you can schedule a demo with one of our product experts. Questions or comments? Contact us.


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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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