By Ryan Squires Posted August 2, 2018
Comparing Ping Identity® and JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® isn’t really an apples to apples comparison. Each identity management solution has the ability to access different types of IT resources, so comparing them is not really giving you the best perspective on each one. Fundamentally, the comparison is between web application single sign-on (SSO) and cloud directory services, with Ping Identity being the SSO solution and JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service being the cloud directory services.
Deciphering Ping Identity and JumpCloud
Now, decoding what each of those terms mean can be a confounding task altogether. Identity management is a complex area now, and while it wasn’t always that way, there are now many more vendors and approaches to the market. This influx into identity management means that confusion is sure to play a role in IT decision making. But, a lot of IAM solutions can provide a great deal of benefit to IT organizations. Let’s find out where Ping Identity and JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service fit into the equation.
In order to understand the comparison of Ping Identity and JumpCloud, we need to hop into a time machine and go back to 1999. This was when Microsoft® introduced Active Directory® (MAD or AD), which has been the core of identity management for IT infrastructure for nearly 20 years. Active Directory is often referred to as an identity provider, and because organizations in 1999 were all Windows®-based and on-prem, AD was the perfect choice.
But, as web applications like Salesforce® and Google Apps (now called G Suite™) began to appear, Active Directory started to struggle because it couldn’t authenticate user access to these web applications. So, Ping Identity, now often referred to as Identity-as-a-Service or IDaaS, was quick to jump onto the idea of extending user access to web applications by federating Active Directory identities. In doing so, Ping Identity became one of the first web application single sign-on (SSO) platforms, and it leveraged Active Directory for its identity store.
Opening the Door for Ping Identity and JumpCloud
More changes were headed for the IT landscape, though. For example, the shift from on-prem infrastructure to cloud infrastructure utilizing AWS®. Another example is that Mac® and Linux® systems started appearing on the network. File storage transformed to Samba file servers, NAS appliance, and cloud file servers (eg. Box™, G Drive™), and WiFi became the de facto means of accessing the Internet. SSO solutions like Ping Identity couldn’t help with many IT resources such as these. Fortunately, this is where the Jumpcloud Directory-as-a-Service platform came in. As a reimagination of Active Directory and LDAP, JumpCloud is the core user store for organizations. This is because JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service is platform agnostic and has the ability to work with Windows, Mac, and Linux systems; you can authenticate against LDAP to legacy applications like MySQL, connect to WiFi and wired Internet through RADIUS, access files on NAS devices like Synology, FreeNas, and QNAP or Samba servers, and push GPO-like policies to the aforementioned non-windows systems. As a hosted directory service, it also is free from the constraints of an on-prem AD solution, so digital assets can be connected to from around the world by contractors, remote workers, and those on-the-go.
Essentially, Ping Identity (IDaaS) and JumpCloud (cloud directory services) are more akin to complementary platforms rather than competitive. With JumpCloud shifting AD and LDAP to the cloud, IT admins and their users no longer need to be tethered to an on-prem directory services implementation to access digital resources. Users can now quickly get to the IT resources they need from anywhere there is a network connection.
Learn More about JumpCloud
If you have further questions about whether Ping Identity or JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service is right for you, feel free to drop us a line or call one of our reps. Be sure to check out our YouTube channel for advice on best practices, whiteboard videos, and tutorials. If you’d like to try JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service today, you can sign up for a free account that is good for up to 10 users, forever.