How Directory-as-a-Service Works

Written by Greg Keller on March 25, 2015

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Directory-as-a-Service® (DaaS) is an innovative IT service for authenticating, authorizing, and managing users, devices, and applications. DaaS connects your on-premise devices such as laptops and desktops along with your cloud based infrastructure and applications to one central, authoritative user directory.

Historically, connecting all of an organization’s IT resources to an on-premise directory was rigid and simplistic. Organizations would purchase Microsoft Active Directory® and virtually all of their devices and applications would be Microsoft Windows centric. Connecting those Microsoft-based devices and applications to AD was straightforward.

As the IT landscape shifted to include non-Windows devices – i.e. Apple, Mac, and Linux machines – and cloud-based infrastructure such as AWS, GCE, SoftLayer, and others, Microsoft Active Directory no longer could connect and manage those non-Windows devices. If you added in SaaS-based applications such as Google Apps (now known as G Suite) and many others, the universe of non-AD connected devices and applications skyrocketed.

That’s when Directory-as-a-Service arrived to save the day. DaaS solutions have connected these disparate systems all across the Internet into one central cloud-based directory. It no longer matters which platforms are used, whether the device or applications are on-premises or in the cloud, or which protocol they favored. DaaS solutions are able to authenticate, authorize, and manage all of the devices and applications within an organization.

How Directory-as-a-Service Works

How Directory-as-a-Service works


JumpCloud can act as your directory of record or an extension of your existing directory. Requests to authenticate users are sent to JumpCloud via LDAP protocol or our REST API. The JumpCloud agent can also be deployed on your Windows, Mac, and Linux devices for task and policy management, survivability and security auditing.


JumpCloud is your authorization solution, ensuring that the right users have the right access to your IT resources. JumpCloud can manage group membership and sudo access. It can also execute a command when users are added to or removed from any device.


A critical part of a DaaS solution is the ability to manage Windows, Mac, and Linux devices at scale. DaaS simplifies task execution on devices including globally updating policy settings, modifying registry settings, applying patches, and changing system configurations. It ensures consistency across your environment, by allowing you to group like objects and apply the same policies and configurations across them.

Still Have Questions?

If you are interested in learning more about how Directory-as-a-Service works and even trying it out, drop us a note or setup a free account.

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