Domain Controller as a Service

By Jon Griffin Posted October 31, 2017

domain controller as a service

The IT world is moving to cloud hosted (as a service) solutions. Even categories and solutions that IT organizations have used on-prem for decades are shifting to be delivered as services. Take the domain controller as a service category. A few years ago nobody would have believed that the primary authentication and authorization platform for an organization would shift to the cloud. But it is, and it is being delivered by a non-Microsoft solution called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®.

So why should you consider a Domain Controller as a Service (DCaaS)? Well, let’s take a look at how the IT landscape has progressed over the last decade.

The Beginning of Domain Controller as a Service

server account management

About 20 years ago, the domain controller rose to the forefront of IT operations as part of the Microsoft® Active Directory® setup. This AD hardware component controlled a user’s authorization and authentication to systems, applications, networks, and servers. This provided users with a single sign-on experience as long as these resources were on-prem and Microsoft-based.

But during the mid 2000’s, the IT landscape experienced radical change. Microsoft was no longer the core operating system and application platform for organizations. The move to Mac® and Linux® devices had reached critical mass. G Suite™ (then known as Google Apps) and a wide range of web applications changed how employees worked. Meanwhile AWS® charged out to a dominating lead in the server infrastructure space, with Linux becoming the OS of choice.

With all of these changes, IT admins have started shifting more of their IT infrastructure and management tools to the cloud. The once-robust on-prem network has, in many cases, been reduced to WiFi access points and some NAS file servers. As a result, IT admins are starting to shift the domain controller to the cloud as well as their whole identity management system. Even more, IT organizations want their identity management delivered as a service rather than as a solution they need to manage and maintain.

What does a Domain Controller as a Service Offer?

Cloud Services

The concept of a domain controller as a service is incredibly appealing to IT organizations. Regardless of platform, protocol, provider, and location, IT organizations can securely manage and connect user identities to systems (Windows®, Mac, Linux), cloud and on-prem servers (AWS, GCP™, Azure®, on-prem), on-prem and cloud storage (e.g. Samba file servers, NAS appliances, Dropbox, Box, etc.), web and on-prem applications via LDAP and SAML, and wired and WiFi networks through RADIUS.

Never Buy a Domain Controller Again

JumpCloud directory-as-a-service

For more information on what it’s like to use a domain controller as a service, consider reading how Ace Payroll replaced Active Directory with our cloud-based IAM solution.

If you have any questions about a domain controller as a service, feel free to drop us a note. note. Interested in trying it out? Sign up for a free account. All of our features are available and your first ten users are free forever.

Jon Griffin

Jon Griffin works as a writer for JumpCloud, an organization focused on bringing centralized IT to the modern organization. He graduated with a degree in Professional and Technical Writing from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and is an avid learner of new technology from cloud-based innovations to VR and more.

Recent Posts