Eliminate Active Directory When You Move to O365

By Rajat Bhargava Posted September 8, 2016

If you are moving to the cloud, shouldn’t you be able to go all cloud and eliminate Active Directory®?

Having some of your infrastructure in the cloud and some on-prem is often called a hybrid cloud. While a hybrid is nice in theory, it sure is difficult to manage. It causes a cascade of extra work, including networking and security. Yet in some cases, it is truly unavoidable. There are critical applications or systems that must be kept on the premises, and there are security issues at play in other cases.

This is a critical thought process when considering a move to the cloud-hosted Microsoft Office 365™. The move to the cloud replaces the need to have a Microsoft Exchange server and gives you centralized licensing control over the Office suite. However, it doesn’t eliminate your on-prem Microsoft Active Directory server.

Multiple Directories Equates to Multiple Problems When Moving To O365


In fact, many IT organizations have asked us if they can eliminate Active Directory when they move to O365. The answer is yes, you can, but you won’t find that answer at Microsoft. You will either be tied to the on-prem AD server, or you will have to leverage that and another directory called Azure AD. Instead of simplifying your life, you’ve made it more complex. What you’ve got is a partial cloud directory and a legacy on-prem directory. Both need to be tied together in order to manage your O365 implementation.

Replace Active Directory, Solve Medley Of Hybrid Cloud Problems

Unfortunately, though, if you have more than O365 in the cloud and more than Windows on-prem, you are out of luck. You will be on the hook to either jump through configuration, security, and networking hoops, or you will need to purchase additional software solutions to integrate with AD. Either way, you are deepening your on-prem presence with AD rather than moving to the cloud. There is a better way to replace Active Directory while still taking advantage of the cloud-based O365. That solution is called a cloud-based directory service or Directory-as-a-Service®.


JumpCloud’s unified cloud directory platform is a cross-platform, multi-protocol, and location agnostic solution for centralized user management. Now, you can integrate tightly with O365 and provision, deprovision, and modify users from one centralized, cloud-hosted directory. There are no longer multiple directories on-prem and in the cloud, or partial solutions where you only manage a portion of your infrastructure. A modern Identity-as-a-Service platform solves the key problems plaguing IT organizations that are moving to the cloud – the ability to eliminate on-prem equipment and resources.

Directory-as-a-Service and O365 Perfectly Blend  

If you would like to learn more about how JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service platform can eliminate Active Directory when you move to O365, drop us a note. Or feel free to try it yourself. You can integrate with your O365 account and centrally control it from JumpCloud. See for yourself – your first 10 users are a free forever.

Rajat Bhargava

Rajat Bhargava is co-founder and CEO of JumpCloud, the first Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS). JumpCloud securely connects and manages employees, their devices and IT applications. An MIT graduate with two decades of experience in industries including cloud, security, networking and IT, Rajat is an eight-time entrepreneur with five exits including two IPOs, three trade sales and three companies still private.

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