Hosted Identity Bridge

Written by Jon Griffin on December 29, 2017

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As the IT landscape becomes more complex, a new wave of management tools has emerged. One such tool is an identity bridge, which helps extend existing user identities to resources that are not within the purview of the existing IdP (Identity Provider). These bridges enable organizations to “bridge the gap” from the legacy, on-prem world, to the modern cloud era. While this type of identity and access management tool can be extremely useful, there is immense contrast between the original identity bridges and the more sophisticated, cloud-forward identity bridges available today. Identity bridges are still innovating, and the idea of a hosted identity bridge that can provision access to a wide variety of modern resources is the next step.

Why are Identity Bridges Needed?

Active Directory fails in the cloud

To understand how you can leverage modern IT platforms, it’s critical to understand where they are coming from. Historically, the IT network had been largely Microsoft Windows-based. That meant that the systems, applications, and IT management tools were all built with Windows. The result was a homogenous network that could be controlled by Microsoft Active Directory® and the domain controller. On top of that, this environment was largely on-prem as well. All of the computers, printers, storage, and more were all Microsoft based and on-prem. As a result, AD was built to manage on-prem Microsoft based resources. This solution made sense for a while. But as we all know with everything in technology, nothing stays the same for long.

As the IT landscape started to shift with web applications, cloud infrastructure, and non-Windows platforms such as Mac and Linux, the Microsoft-based management tools started to break down. IT admins couldn’t easily control users, systems, applications, and file servers that weren’t based on Windows. As a result, many admins started pushing back against the changes. But, the draw for their end users was compelling, and the changes gained traction and are still growing to this day.

This problem spawned the creation of the identity bridge. An identity bridge is a piece of software that extends Active Directory (the old) credentials to modern IT resources such as Mac and Linux systems, web applications, and AWS cloud server infrastructure (the new). This solution has worked well for admins, but it wasn’t entirely what admins wanted. Admins wanted to move this solution to the cloud, and for a while that wasn’t possible. However, a hosted identity bridge enables them to make that shift to the cloud.

Check out the Hosted Identity Bridge

For any organization that is using Active Directory and looking to modernize their IT infrastructure, a hosted identity bridge is a possible solution. You can find a solution like that within JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service®. While this platform can stand alone as a cloud-based directory, it can also act as a hosted identity bridge in conjunction with Active Directory. When used in this way, JumpCloud extends identities stored within AD to non-bound resources, such as web apps, cloud infrastructure, Mac, Linux, Samba file servers, NAS devices, WiFi, and more.

If you would like to learn more about how JumpCloud’s cloud-based directory can act like a hosted identity bridge, reach out to us. We would be happy to explain exactly how the process works. In addition, you can also sign up for a free account of the DaaS platform, where you can then see JumpCloud’s AD Integration feature for yourself. Your first 10 users are free forever – with no credit card required – so there’s no reason not to give it a shot. Sign up today!

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