Directory Services in the Cloud

Written by Rajat Bhargava on January 16, 2017

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Directory services has been dominated by on-prem, legacy solutions for the past two decades. Realistically, OpenLDAP and Microsoft Active Directory have been the only platforms available to IT admins.

Today, however, a new category of directory services is emerging in the cloud. This approach is being driven by JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service® platform.

Changing Views of Directory Services

The notion of directory services is changing. Historically, IT networks were mainly based on Microsoft Windows and were on-prem. The concept of a domain login was leveraged to create a True Single Sign-On approach. This made a great deal of sense at the time. It created a central identity provider and all of the IT resources within the organization would authenticate with it. Unfortunately, that world has long since passed.

Today’s IT environment is dramatically different with mixed, heterogeneous environments, cloud infrastructure, web applications, and WiFi networks. Not only are users located around the world, but they also may not even be your employees. Today’s infrastructure isn’t all Windows, and it uses a wide variety of authentication protocols, including LDAP, SAML, RADIUS, SSH, and much more. The challenge for IT admins is how to integrate all of these disparate IT resources to be controlled by the central, authoritative identity provider.

Customary Solutions Misfire

Active Directory has largely focused on Windows-based systems and applications on-prem. OpenLDAP leverages the LDAP protocol. However, it misses the other protocols necessary to centrally manage user access. Even Azure Active Directory is just a user management system for Azure and Office 365. All of these approaches fall far short of what IT admins are searching for in a cloud identity management platform.

JumpCloud® is Modern Directory Services in the Cloud

A cloud directory service changes the dynamic for IT organizations. Directory-as-a-Service securely manages and connects user identities to systems (Windows, Mac, and Linux), applications (cloud and on-prem), and networks. IT admins can manage users whether they are in the office, on the road, or in remote offices.

The virtual identity provider supports many different protocols, including LDAP, RADIUS, SAML, REST, and SSH, among others. As a cloud identity management platform, it takes directory services in the cloud to a new level. It is aimed at being the only identity and access management solution needed in a cloud-forward organization. It is the modern replacement to Active Directory and OpenLDAP.

If you would like to learn more about directory services in the cloud, drop us a note. And since your first 10 users are free forever, give Directory-as-a-Service a try today.

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