How Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) And Directory-as-a-Service™ (DaaS) Work Together

By Greg Keller Posted December 8, 2014

Work Together

In the modern era, cloud infrastructure is critical to organizations. With IT organizations searching for ways to move faster and more cost-effectively, Infrastructure-as-a-Service has been a game changer. No longer do IT organizations need to build data centers, purchase hardware, and manage on-going infrastructure operations. Companies simply purchase the compute and storage resources they need, and the rest operates virtually. One of the newest cloud-based infrastructure systems is a Directory-as-a-Service® (DaaS) solution, which manages a company’s directory service in the cloud. Let’s look how DaaS works in conjunction with other IaaS systems.

What Is DaaS?

Directory-as-a-Service is a cloud-based directory service that connects and manages users, devices, and IT applications. Delivered as a SaaS-based service, DaaS is the next generation of centralized user management. Cross-platform device management, control over remote cloud servers, multi-factor authentication, and single sign-on to Web applications are all parts of a cloud-based directory service. Users can be easily managed from a Web-based console and granted access to the IT resources they need. DaaS also provides sophisticated capabilities to manage devices (Windows, Mac, and Linux).

What Is the Relationship between DaaS and IaaS?

IaaS and Directory-as-a-Service have a lot in common and they work very well together. They are both delivered “as-a-service.” This means they’re both available “on-demand” and able to be increased and decreased as needed. On-demand services are cost-effective because companies only pay for what they use. In the case of IaaS, often by the hour. On the DaaS side, by the user. Organizations that using “as-a-service” solutions to save capital and resources by eliminating the need to purchase hardware, software, or the management of that infrastructure.

The beauty of these two critical infrastructure services is that they are complementary to each other. With IT organizations moving more of their infrastructure to the cloud, controlling user access to those devices becomes a challenge. Cloud servers are difficult to connect to an on-premise directory, and, as a result, there either needs to be a bridge to the on-premise directory service or a cloud-based directory service. An Identity-as-a-Service solution brings control over IaaS devices. Through an agent that is deployed on each cloud server, the virtual identity provider controls authentication and authorization. Further, the cloud directory service can help manage the device through the execution of tasks.

The most significant benefit of using IaaS and DaaS together is that IT organizations can feel comfortable that they have complete control over their remote infrastructure. Cloud servers can be controlled as if they were on-premise and with arguably better precision. A change in any user permissions automatically flows to all of the cloud-based infrastructure. New servers are brought into the fold automatically and controlled by the cloud-based directory.

Companies Notice How IaaS and DaaS Work Together

When implemented properly and tied together, IaaS and DaaS dramatically reduces the chances of devices or users existing outside of IT’s control (i.e. Shadow IT). And, that is incredibly valuable in an era where IT infrastructure is existing all across the Internet.

If you are using IaaS such as AWS, Google Compute Engine, SoftLayer, or many others, couple it with Directory-as-a-Service to help gain increased control and better security.

Greg Keller

Greg is JumpCloud's Chief Product Officer, overseeing the product management team, product vision and go-to-market execution for the company's Directory-as-a-Service offering. The SaaS-based platform re-imagines Active Directory and LDAP for the cloud era, securely connecting and managing employees, their devices and IT applications.

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