Updated on August 20, 2021
With Okta®’s pricing rising to upwards of $25 per user per month and a laser focus on the largest companies in the world, many IT admins are asking whether there are free Okta alternatives worth considering. This is an especially important question for small to medium sized enterprises making the leap to the cloud. Of course, whether there are solid Okta alternatives depends upon the key capabilities that you are looking for and the problems you are trying to solve.
There is an Okta alternative worth considering that’s free for the first ten users and ten systems. Called JumpCloud Directory Platform, this modern cloud directory platform is securely managing and connecting end users to their IT resources including devices, applications, files, and networks regardless of platform, protocol, provider, and location. You could actually call JumpCloud an alternative to Microsoft® Active Directory®, though it does have web application single sign-on (SSO) and user lifecycle management capabilities in the same vein as Okta.
Before we dive into the JumpCloud directory platform, though, let’s talk about how Okta fits into today’s identity management scene.
IDaaS in IAM
The web application SSO market has become quite active over the last decade. Traditionally, IT organizations have leveraged Microsoft Active Directory as their core directory service, but as non-Windows® resources, such as web applications, appeared, new vendors such as Okta and OneLogin® extended AD identities to web applications. In fact, Microsoft also entered the fray with ADFS (AD Federation Services) and, more recently, Azure Active Directory, which is interestingly more of a competitor to Okta than an Active Directory replacement. The approach of extending AD with a web SSO solution worked well for a while, with SSO built on top of an existing identity and access management (IAM) solution and the relatively solid integration between the two.
The challenges started to appear as IT organizations started to leverage even more non-Windows solutions. Some of these include macOS® and Linux® systems, cloud servers from AWS® or Google Cloud Platform™, Google Workspace and Microsoft 365™, Samba file servers and NAS appliances for file storage, WiFi / VPN networks, and more. That challenge has been exacerbated by the shift to remote work models as well. The IAM approach of AD and added-on solutions, like Okta, struggled to manage this entire breadth of solution set. The result for many IT organizations was AD + SSO + MFA + PAM + IGA and more!
A Free Okta Alternative
With a growing list of tools required to manage user identities, authentication, and provisioning/deprovisioning, IT organizations started to seek out alternatives to the Active Directory-plus-IAM add-on tool stack. These included alternatives to solutions like Okta as well. And, of course, a large part of this deliberation is cost and integration time, so IT organizations have leaned more towards free alternatives.
When it comes to actually free SSO options, the choices are slim to none. And, of course, leveraging SSO (like Okta) requires a directory service instance, like Active Directory, to effectively operate. This means that, regardless of if there was a free SSO alternative, IT organizations would still need to pay for, and manage, their directory instance (as well as the long list of add-ons above). These organizations are up the proverbial creek, as it were, needing a cost-effective replacement for their entire IAM approach.
For many of these IT organizations, the cloud directory platform from JumpCloud® is an ideal fit. JumpCloud combines the core directory capabilities like a cross-platform Active Directory with the cloud-forward, single sign-on abilities of Okta, along with cross-platform system management (MDM and GPO-like features), multi-factor authentication (MFA), and network controls with RADIUS. What’s more, the entire platform is available for free for the first ten users and ten systems. Afterwards, organizations can scale their JumpCloud account to their workforce with an affordable pricing model.
Try JumpCloud Free
You can take advantage of your ten users and ten systems free today and find your AD and Okta replacements. Simply sign up for JumpCloud and you can explore the full capabilities of DaaS. If you need help with implementation, you can consult our Knowledge Base or schedule a demo of the product. Additionally, you can contact our Support experts with questions – your first 10 days include 24×7 Premium in-app chat support.